T20 MATCH: MOUNTAINEERS v MATABELELAND TUSKERS
At Mutare Sports Club, Sunday 9 December 2012
Result: Mountaineers (135/9) beat Matabeleland Tuskers (105) by 30 runs.
Mountaineers, despite a slightly disappointing total of 135 for nine, fought back well as Matabeleland Tuskers did not make a good job of tackling their target and could only manage a total of 105.
The outstanding individual performance was by Shingirai Masakadza, who took four wickets in his final over to finish the match, although at that stage his team had virtually won.
Mountaineers again won the toss and this time decided to bat, on a largely cloudy morning.
They probably made too frenetic a start, as they lost Hamilton Masakadza (3) and Tinotenda Mawoyo (1) in the first three overs. Mark Pettini held the innings together at the start with 31 off 33 balls, and shared in useful partnerships with Kevin Kasuza (18) and Timycen Maruma (28), but Mountaineers did not get either the major stand or the major individual innings required for a challenging total. The tail was left with too much to do, and the innings closed at 135 for nine.
Keegan Meth, Njabulo Ncube and Moeen Ali all took two wickets for 20 runs or below.
The total did not really look adequate, but Mountaineers were soon fighting back. Within three overs, the openers Ali (1) and Gavin Ewing (9) were both back in the pavilion, quickly following by Brian Chari (0): 15 for three.
The situation was rectified by Craig Ervine, however, in partnership with a rather subdued Charles Coventry. He placed the ball superbly in his innings of 41 off 37 balls (six fours), which ended only with an unfortunate run-out after a mix-up between the two. This proved to be the turning point of the match.
Coventry hit a big six over midwicket, but was caught down the leg side for 20, making the score 80 for five, with 8.4 an over needed.
Meth and Keith Dabengwa struggled to keep up the run rate; when Meth skied a catch, the required rate was over 11. Then 33 were needed off the final two overs, and the tail perished trying. Shingirai Masakadza, bowling the 19th over, took four wickets in five balls without quite managing the hat-trick, finishing with six for 16, and Matabeleland Tuskers were bowled out with an over to spare.
And so Mountaineers turned the tables successfully on the team which had beaten them in the Pro50 the previous day.