The home side’s in-form seamer; Shingirai Masakadza claimed three wickets for 29 run from 14 overs as the mainstay of their onslaught. Gushy winds, bad light and rain stopped play after 65 overs and the on-field umpires had to call a day.
Mashonaland Eagles chose to bat upon winning the toss and once again, in his third time in recurrence Eagles opening batsman Simbarashe Gupo (4) failed to reach double figures and was caught behind in the third over off Masakadza’s bowling. Foster Mutizwa suffered the same fate from Masakadza's accuracy -also being caught behind when the Eagles had 46 runs on the board. His heroics saved the Eagles in their three-wicket victory against Southern rocks last week and they may be required in this match once again.
Masakadza continued to demolish the Eagles’ top order, this time dismissing their skipper Stuart Matsikenyeri who had just scored one run. Razza Butt (38) was the most resolute batsman but the introduction of the spinners broke his defences. He was caught at extra cover as he leaned back and miscued a shot to Liam Dawson of Natsai Mushangwe’s bowling; this was Englishman’s first catch on African soil. The Eagles were crippled at 95/5 as Elton Chigumbura had been caught at gully five balls prior to Razza’s removal.
A 49-run partnership by Mark Mbofana and Tinotenda Mutombodzi for the eight wicket gave the Eagles a much better fight compared to their top order’s fall. However they have a very fragile and long tail, already Trevor Garwe (22) and Nathan Waller (0) were dismissed attempting to play inappropriate big shots.
Play resumes tomorrow at 0930hrs, 30 minutes earlier to make up for time lost and possible weather interruption, with Mbofana (31*) and Mutombodzi at the crease.