Mashonaland Eagles – 401 and 311 for 8 declared (Cephas Zhuwao 75, Tinotenda Mutombodzi 70, Ryan Burl 66; Herbert Chikomba 4-101) Mountaineers – 261 and 115 (Tinotenda Mawoyo 29, Forster Mutizwa 25*, Natsai M’shangwe 21; Lovemore Gumunyu-Manatsa 4-12, Tafadzwa Muzarawetu 4-53, Trevor Garwe 2-46) Eagles won by 336 runs.
Gregory Lamb must have left Mutare Sports Club a satisfied captain after the way his players performed with the bat, and then followed that up with similar feats with the ball at Mutare Sports Club.
After winning the toss and opting to bat, Mashonaland Eagles were dismissed for 401 runs. Ryan Burl was bowled by Victor Nyauchi eight runs shy of a century, former Zimbabwe under-19 captain Tinotenda Mutombodzi made 80 and Keith Kondo 49.
Chasing, Mountaineers could only make 261 runs. And so Eagles carried a lead of 140 runs into their second innings. They declared on 311 for eight wickets, with Mutombodzi (70) and Burl (66) among the runs again, and Cephas Zhuwao living up to his “Bully” nickname with a 50-ball 75 that included seven sixes.
Mountaineers were left with a mountain to climb as they had to chase 452. After a 38-run opening partnership by Tinotenda Mawoyo and Kevin Kasuza, the slope became slippery.
Kasuza was the first wicket to fall – caught by Mutombodzi off the bowling of Tafadzwa Muzarawetu for 11 in the sixth over. Then Charles Kunje was bowled by Herbert Chikomba and it was two for 40 after 7.6 overs. It would be three for 42 after 8.3 overs when Mawoyo himself fell for 29, caught by Joylord Gumbie off the bowling of Lovemore Gumunyu-Manatsa who would retain Eagles’ best figures of four wickets for 12 runs in 6.5 overs.
Muzarawetu finished with four for 53 in 13 overs and Trevor Garwe two for 46 in 10, as they dismissed Mountaineers for 115 in 29.5 overs.
Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Wilson Manase and managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa have sent messages of condolence to their Cricket Australia counterparts Wally Edwards and James Sutherland, respectively, following the death of cricketer Phillip Hughes.
Asking Mr Edwards to convey the ZC condolence to the Hughes family as well, the ZC chairman said the Zimbabwe cricket fraternity has fond memories of Phillip when he came for an A-team triangular one-day series in 2011 which also involved South Africa, and for another triangular series this time with the senior team in August this year, also including South Africa.
Mr Manase said that during both occasions Zimbabweans enjoyed interacting with Hughes both on and off the field of play: “We got to know of him as a fine cricketer and an even finer young man.”
“Any death is a loss, but when it is the death of such a talent and at just 25! It is indeed a great loss not only to his family and CA, but the world of cricket as a whole,” continued the ZC chairman in the statement.
In conclusion, Mr Manase expressed the solidarity of the local cricket community with counterparts in Australia during what he described as “this very trying time especially for the game in Australia.”
The series is already decided and with two games to go in the five match series, if Bangladesh plays anywhere near as they have been during this tour, then they are going to be tough to beat.
It is up to Zimbabwe to somehow find a way to turn around their form and eliminate their most glaring weaknesses.
One of the main issues that Zimbabwe has lacked, which is essential on a foreign tour, has been quality in the batting department. Early wickets in all the three ODIs have made it virtually impossible to find any momentum to even get close to Bangladesh’s totals.
While there have been some individual positives, collectively the batting department has failed to get past 200 on three occasions, and of particular concern is how the team has struggled to bat on the same pitches that were made to look easy by their hosts.
The real frustration in losing the series has been less the loss, more the nature of the capitulation.
Bearing in mind that the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup is only four months away, there is not much time to experiment and look elsewhere for batting resources.
The current batting line-up has been successful in the past so its ability is undoubted, but in recent times the players have been pale shadows of their former selves with bat in hand.
Perhaps a change in tactic could do the trick.
Chasing has been a challenge as games have been lost barely half-way into the chase. Winning the toss and putting runs on the board first could be the formula, seeing how it has worked so well for the hosts.
The bowling has Tinashe Panyangara to thank for his seven wickets in three matches for not many runs. He needs support, and not of the part-time kind he has been offered thus far. Roles have to be clearly defined, making sure those picked as bowlers complete their 10. It is criminal to have batsmen bowling most of the overs.
Intensity has to be shown in the remaining games, and, instead of viewing them as dead rubbers, they ought to be regarded as dress-rehearsals for the ICC Cricket World Cup.
After all, the team is representing their country at cricket – surely the greatest privilege of all!
Mid-West Rhinos – 255 and 111 (Nyasha Mayavo 54; Sean Williams 4-19, Brian Vitori 3-43, Steve Chimhamhiwa 2-12) Matabeleland Tuskers – 461 for 9 declared (Brian Chari 99, Bornaparte Mujuru 96, Sean Williams 96, Tawanda Mupariwa 57; Carl Mumba 2-51, Michael Chinouya 2-71, Bradley Wadlan 2-89 )
Matabeleland Tuskers won by an innings and 95 runs in the Logan Cup match at Kwekwe Sports Club.
The day’s play began with a minute’s silence in memory of Phillip Hughes, the Australian cricketer who had toured Zimbabwe in August and was killed by a blow from a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match.
It was not anticipated that play would last long at Kwekwe Sports Club, as Mid-West Rhinos were still 136 runs behind Matabeleland Tuskers with only three wickets left in their second innings, none of them specialist batsmen.
Nyasha Mayavo continued his attacking policy and most of the runs came from him. Two cover drives to the boundary off Brian Vitori took him to an admirable fifty off 76 balls, the total then being 96, so he had scored more than half his team’s total. Four byes in the next over took the team into triple figures.
It was almost time for morning drinks when Steve Chimhamhiwa finally produced a yorker that breached Mayavo’s defences and knocked out his middle stump. He had made a gallant 54 off 89 balls, and the score was 105 for eight. Next to go was Bright Njanji, who had defended doggedly to score 12 off 62 balls. He was caught and bowled by Sean Williams. The last man Mike Chinouya lasted only two balls, shouldering arms to a ball from Williams that bowled him, and the innings was over for 111, after about an hour and a quarter’s play.
Williams finished with the best bowling figures of the innings, with four for only 19 runs, while Brian Vitori took three. Mayavo’s 54 constituted almost half of his team’s total, the next-best scorer being Njanji with 12.
Matabeleland Tuskers had been thoroughly dominant throughout the game, but Mid-West Rhinos were more seriously weakened by international calls.