At Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Thursday 10 January, 2013
Result: Mashonaland Eagles (184/4) beat Matabeleland Tuskers (161/5) by 12 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis system.
Fantastic! The only way to describe the match between Tuskers and Eagles.
Having set a mammoth 184 thanks largely to the unbeaten 46 off just 20 balls from Regis Chakabva, Eagles must have thought they had done enough to bat Tuskers out of the match.
Charles Coventry – 58 runs from 31 balls including 24 off one Raymond Price over – made sure Tuskers made a game of it.
Eagles won the toss and elected to bat, and bat they did. Chamunorwa Chibhabha finally lived up to his potential with a well played 78 off 57 balls. He hit three massive sixes in his knock. Fellow opener Sikandar Raza Butt scored 23 at a run a ball. Chibhabha kept going and the scoreboard ticking over at a rate of knots. They appeared to lose momentum when a few wickets fell as they tried to up the scoring rate, with Steve Chimamhiwa, playing his first game of the season, picking up two quick wickets.
Enter Chakabva and he struck the ball sweetly to all parts. He was ably supported by Forster Mutizwa who posted 19 runs off 10 balls. The pair took 23 off the last over bowled by Njabulo Ncube.
All the bowlers suffered in the carnage. Chimamhiwa, two for 19 in three overs, was the pick of the much-changed Tuskers bowling attack.
Tuskers, needing to go at more than nine runs an over from the start, lost Brian Chari early. Skipper Gavin Ewing kept going, ending undefeated on 72 off 59 balls but with wickets falling around him, his effort fell just short of getting his side home.
After the downpour, Tuskers needed to get 82 in six overs. Try as they did, the required rate was sliding out of reach and eventually proved too much.
Tuskers still have only the one win in this year’s competition.