LOGAN CUP MATCH: MASHONALAND EAGLES v MOUNTAINEERS
Day 2 at Harare Sports Club, 27 February 2013. Close of play: Mashonaland Eagles (222 and 31/1) v Mountaineers (259)
Some fine bowling from Raymond Price, well supported by the seam bowlers, gave Mashonaland Eagles a rather better day at Harare Sports Club against Mountaineers, who had their expected large first-innings lead cut to just 37 runs.
The experienced Price, who in 18 overs took three good wickets for only 20 runs, tied down and broke through the middle order during the afternoon session, and Mountaineers never recovered.
Dan Hodgson held together the early batting, but the bowlers deserve great credit for the way they prevented Mountaineers from running away with the game. At the close, Mashonaland Eagles were six runs behind with one second-innings wicket down – almost on even terms.
Mountaineers resumed at their overnight score of 57 for one wicket, with Hodgson (28) and Kevin Kasuza (11) at the crease. Kasuza’s was the first wicket to fall – rather fortuitously – as he played back to a ball from Taurai Muzarabani that rolled back on to his stumps, perhaps off his foot. Mark Pettini, the Mountaineers’ acting captain with Tinotenda Mawoyo in the West Indies, never looked comfortable. With his score on two, he was dropped at backward point, and then caught at the wicket for six off Nathan Waller.
Hodgson, however, was playing a fine innings, scoring rather more freely than he has done for most of the season, and reached his fifty off 98 balls. He went in to lunch on 78, and with the score at 144 for three Mountaineers could consider they had done well during the morning session.
Perhaps Hodgson was unnerved at the prospect of scoring a century, as he did not look the same confident, capable player after the interval, and eventually flashed at a wide ball from Waller to be caught in the slips for 79. He faced 143 balls and hit 10 fours. Not long afterwards there was a major mix-up between Timycen Maruma and Kudzai Sauramba, who managed to find themselves both at the same end, but an even bigger mix-up by the fielders meant that they escaped being run out.
The innings was nevertheless in slow decline, with Price the main demolisher. Maruma (34) tried to be too clever, reverse-sweeping a ball straight into the hands of Sikandar Raza Butt, the slip, who anticipated the stroke very well. Sauramba played a good innings of 43, only to be stumped off Price just before tea. His partner for a while had been Alec Muparura, a left-hander who scored 14 but did enough to show that he could be a useful player for Mountaineers in the future.
Price dismissed all three of the batsmen, bowling in quite attacking fashion, not pushing it through too quickly in one-day style but using all his experience and accuracy to tie the batsmen down and frustrate them, and they could not find a way to counter him. His captain should perhaps have used him for more than just 18 overs.
The score at tea was 222 for seven, the scores level, but Mountaineers would have expected to have more than three wickets left. They did little better after tea, with fine and generally attacking batsmen like Shingirai Masakadza and Donald Tiripano having few strokes to offer against either pace or spin. There were 37 more runs scored off 19 overs before the innings faded out for 259.
Taurai Muzarabani was on the whole the best of a good Mashonaland Eagles seam attack, despite bowling too many short deliveries, and he finished with figures of three for 50, while Waller had three for 62.
The Mountaineers batsmen had not thrown their wickets away as wastefully as their opponents had done, but they never found the way to master a good bowling attack.
Mashonaland Eagles had to face 11 overs in their second innings before close of play. The opening pair managed just 15 runs before Simba Gupo (8) miscued a drive and was caught at mid-on.
At the close the score was 31 for one, with a dogged Keith Kondo on seven and a flourishing Sikandar Raza Butt on 14.
THIRD ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL: WEST INDIES VERSUS ZIMBABWE
3rd ODI, National Cricket Stadium, Saint George’s Grenada, 22 February 2013 Result: West Indies (215/5) beat Zimbabwe (211/9) by 5 wickets.
Hosts West Indies beat Zimbabwe in their third and final One-Day International (ODI) match, to complete a series sweep.
For the third time in a row, Brendan Taylor won the toss and, as he did in the second ODI at the same venue – the National Cricket Stadium in Saint George’s, Grenada – on Sunday, he opted to bat.
Once again, Zimbabwe’s frailties with the bat were exposed as wickets fell cheaply.
Tinotenda Mawoyo was the first to go, when he was trapped leg-before-wicket by Sunil Narine. The Zimbabwe opener went for nine runs to the first ball of the 10th over. Hamilton Masakadza was the second to fall, bowled by stand-in captain Dwayne Bravo for six.
The departure of Vusimuzi Sibanda (41) and Taylor (39) – who was Veerasammy Permaul’s first victim on his way to three for 40 in his 10 overs – then triggered a middle order collapse for Zimbabwe from which they never recovered. And so their bowlers found themselves having to defend 211 runs.
They would never be enough moreso as the Zimbabwe seam attack had showed in the earlier two ODIs a lack of penetration.
On a day when Prosper Utseya had requested to be rested due to fatigue, it was left to the talented but inexperienced spin pair of Natsai M’shangwe and debutant Tinotenda Mutombodzi to deal with the host batsmen.
The duo showed a lot of promise with Mutombodzi dismissing both West Indies openers: Kieran Powell (42) whom he had caught by Malcolm Waller and Ramnaresh Sarwan (19), caught and bowled, and then catching Narsingh Deonarine (21) from the bowling of Masakadza.
But West Indies number three Darren Bravo showed his maturity as he curbed his natural attacking instinct to build an innings and with it victory. He was unbeaten on 72 runs, which he crafted from 103 balls, five of them fours.
Bravo was chosen man of the match and also clinched the best player of the series title with his total of 172 runs throughout.
After victories in the first and second ODIs, the five-wicket win on Tuesday gave West Indies a clean sweep of the three-match series.
The tour now moves to Antigua, for two Twenty20 matches at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, on Saturday and Sunday.
LOGAN CUP MATCH: MASHONALAND EAGLES v MOUNTAINEERS
Day 1 at Harare Sports Club(26 February 2013) Close of play: Mashonaland Eagles (222) v Mountaineers (57/1).
Mashonaland Eagles showed why they are at the bottom of the Logan Cup table with a poor batting performance against Mountaineers at Harare Sports Club. Their total of 222 would have been much worse had it not been for a fine innings of 82 by Sikandar Raza, but most of the batsmen threw their wickets away for soft dismissals off ill-judged strokes, when a much higher total should have been achieved. The main beneficiaries among the Mountaineers bowlers were Shingi Masakadza and Tapiwa Mufudza, who took four wickets each. Mountaineers made a useful start in reply, finishing at 57 for one.
On a warm and generally sunny day, Mountaineers won the toss and put Mashonaland Eagles in to bat. They were to find more help from the batsmen than the pitch, which was greenish and gave the seamers a little movement. Keith Kondo edged the first ball of the match, from Shingi Masakadza, just short of first slip. There was yet another opening pair for the home side, with Simba Gupo opening with Kondo this time. They put on only 14 together before Gupo (6) gloved a lifting ball from Donald Tiripano to the keeper.
Raza came in next and batted with enterprise, while Kondo was very defensive, taking 58 balls to score 11 runs before poking at a ball from Tiripano outside the off stump and edging it to the keeper; 51 for two. Stuart Matsikenyeri joined Raza and they took the score to 75 for two at lunch, of which Raza had 45.
Raza’s fifty came shortly after the interval, off 70 balls. He lost Matsikenyeri for 21, as the captain drove loosely at a ball from Masakadza that was outside the off stump, with no footwork, to be caught at first slip. Two balls later Remembrance Nyathi shouldered arms, pushed out his pad, but was still bowled by a ball that moved back in. The score was now 94 for four.
This did not worry Raza, who played some superb strokes, being particularly strong on the pull and the cut when the bowlers pitched short. In this form he looks a class above most batsmen, and especially today when so many of his teammates threw their wickets away so weakly. Forster Mutizwa played himself in, but then, strangely for a batsman just trying to recover from a dismal season, went on the attack, hit a ball from Tapiwa Mufudza straight for six, and in the same over was caught for 14 off a huge skier when he miscued a pull. 137 for five.
Sadly Raza was to join the list of batsmen to throw his wicket away when he looked set for what would have been a superb century. He too aimed a great heave across the line off Mufudza, only to be bowled for 82. It came off 106 balls and contained 13 fours. This left Mashonaland Eagles reeling on 140 for six. By tea, though, Nathan Waller and Mark Mbofana had taken the score to 187 for six, with Waller hitting three sixes – which would have entertained the spectators, had there been any. Once again the stands at Zimbabwe’s premier cricket ground were deserted at a Mashonaland Eagles home match.
The improvement did not last, as Masakadza trapped Waller lbw with the first ball after the interval. Mbofana batted steadily for 39 not out, but the tail did not give him much support. Mufudza picked up the last two wickets off successive balls, both off lofted drives, and the innings closed for 222. Mufudza finished with four for 37, but on the whole the best bowling was done by Masakadza, who took four for 58.
After a cautious start, Dan Hodgson and Greg Lamb began taking advantage of the width offered by the Mashonaland Eagles seamers, until Lamb (14) miscued and was caught at backward point. Hodgson batted with more aggression than he often shows, and finished the day unbeaten with 28 of the total of 57 for one. His partner was Kevin Kasuza, with 11.
Zimbabwe batsman Craig Ervine will undergo a late fitness test this morning, for the third and final One-Day International (ODI)match of the International Home Series 2013 against the West Indies.
Ervine played the second ODI on Sunday with a tight chest and general body pains which set in during warm up, and later on forced him off the field during the West Indies innings.
Before that he had been put on a salbutamol spray after suffering an asthmatic attack. He also got an antibiotic prescription from the medical doctor in attendance.
Yesterday, Ervine rested from all training and remained under medication until this morning, when his game-readiness will be determined.
Zimbabwe will be hoping that Ervine pulls through as he has been in a rich vein of form on the tour. In the first ODI, he was the second top scorer with 41 runs then upped that in the second when he led the Zimbabwe batsmen with 80 runs.
Unfortunately for the tourists, the improved performance with the bat was not enough for Zimbabwe to beat the West Indies.
The hosts won the match by seven wickets and with it the ODI series as the win gave them an unassailable two-nil lead going into the third and final match at the same venue – the National Cricket Stadium, in the Grenada capital, Saint George’s, today.