LOGAN CUP MATCH: MATABELELAND TUSKERS v MASHONALAND EAGLES
Day 3: 22 November 2012, at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Close of play: Tuskers (143 & 518/8 dec)v Eagles (245 & 88/8)
Sean Ervine blasted 153 not out and bettered the entire Tuskers first innings score on day three of their Logan Cup match against Eagles, at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
He was not alone in the destruction of the Eagles bowlers who at one stage refused to bowl.
Ervine blasted five huge sixes and faced 140 balls. Charles Coventry was even more brutal – just 53 balls for his 76. The boys must have watched Australia take South Africa apart in the morning and took a leaf out of their batting. Anyone not paying attention would have been forgiven for assuming it was a Twenty20 match.
For the first time this season, the blazing sun gave way to moist over-cast conditions, resulting in a 48-minute delay to the start.
The bowlers made use of the moist conditions and Kyle Jarvis trapped overnight batsman, Craig Ervine leg-before-wicket for just four. This brought his brother Sean to the crease to join Terrence Duffin who was battling hard and edging ever closer to his 100. However, on 96 he attempted a quick single and brilliant fielding from Stuart Matsikenyeri sent him back to the hut an agonising four runs shy of his ton.
Sean Williams played a brief cameo (17), before he too was removed by Jarvis, attempting to up the scoring rate. Coventry then strode to the crease and smashed the ball to all parts. It was the most entertaining stand in longer version cricket in living memory. Coventry and Ervine shared a 127-run stand and there was serious hitting and none of the bowlers were spared. Coventry broke a glass in the gym with a massive straight drive. His innings included 11 fours and three maximums. He was eventually brilliantly caught and bowled by Tinotenda Mutombodzi attempting to go over the leggy’s head.
Ervine kept going and as Tuskers pushed for a declaration around tea, the shots got bigger. Keegan Meth (11) and Glenn Querl (23) perished for the cause, before Ervine pulled Jarvis over the Queens’ clubhouse. Feeling pity for the third umpire, Keegan Meth declared the innings and Mr Lucky Ngwenya did not have to take on the replacement balls.
The Eagles, set 417 for victory, got off to the worst possible start. Meth got the ball to move both ways and removed both openers Chamunorwa Chibhabha (10) and Sikandar Raza Butt (0) cheaply. The Eagles recovery act was soon in turmoil as Forster Mutizwa was clean-bowled by Keegan Meth for a duck. Elton Chigumbura tried to hit out, but did not last long before he was caught behind off Querl for 13.
Eagles were staring down the barrel at 41 for four after only 16 overs. It was soon to get worse when Regis Chakabva (16) had his furniture disturbed by Querl. Now it was 42 for five.
Skipper Matsikenyeri made 18 before he was judged lbw from an in-swinging Querl delivery, reducing Eagles to 63 for six and Tuskers fast approaching the home straight. Mutombodzi did not fare much better edging Meth to the slips for eight. Eagles were crushing rapidly. Tuskers were sensing victory, but the light was deteriorating. Innocent Chinyoka delayed the inevitable with a 29-ball nine before he was bowled by Sean Williams with the very last ball of the day.
Eagles are precariously placed at 88 for eight, still requiring a further 329 runs with only two wickets standing.
Play will resume at 1000 hours tomorrow.