By John Ward at Harare Sports Club
Close of play, Day 4: Southern Rocks (164 and 249) lost to Mashonaland Eagles (507/5 dec) by an innings and 94 runs.
Southern Rocks resumed on their overnight score of 228 for seven wickets, still needing 115 to avoid an innings defeat.
Roy Kaia, their leading hero of the previous day, was still there with 65. Under cloudy skies, he handsomely drove the second ball of the day, from Brian Vitori, through the covers for two; the fourth he drove straight at backward point and was caught. Southern Rocks’ hopes of making a strong fight on the last day took a nosedive.
Tinashe Panyangara was still there with eight, a man who can always be relied upon to give of his best. Tafadzwa Tsiga was trapped leg before wicket by a good ball from Vitori – without scoring – and then Vitori quickly bowled the last man, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, to finish the match after little over 20 minutes’ play. The last two batsmen faced four balls between them. The total was 249, with Panyangara unbeaten on 16.
Vitori took seven wickets for 62, twelve in the match, but his figures flatter him. Although he bowled some outstanding deliveries that secured the wickets of batsmen without much fight in them, he frequently bowled too short and with uncertain direction.
This was not a good match for Southern Rocks supporters. Mashonaland Eagles are none too strong a side at present, yet they lost only five wickets in the process of dismissing Rocks.
Rocks will play their final Logan Cup match of the season against Mountaineers, a much stronger team than Mashonaland Eagles.
They will need their players of proven talent such as Panyangara, Roy Kaia, Richmond Mutumbami, Trevor Garwe and Luke Jongwe to once again raise their hands.