Mountaineers – 452-9 declared and 17-0 in 4.5 overs (Roy Kaia 11*, Shingi Masakadza 6*)
Eagles – 213 and (following on) 255 all out in 74.3 overs (Richmond Mutumbami 99, Regis Chakabva 46, Trevor Garwe 33; Victor Nyauchi 4/81, Shingi Masakadza 3/62, Natsai M’shangwe 2/34)
MANICALAND’s sole cricket franchise Mountaineers yesterday (Sunday) secured its third successive Logan Cup title after a 10 wicket victory over archrivals Mashonaland Eagles in Harare.
Despite a fighting innings of 99 from Eagle’s Richmond Mutumbami, Mountaineers retained the Logan Cup with a match in hand. Having declared 452/9 in their first innings they dismissed their Harare rivals for 213 and 255.
That meant they needed 17 to clinch the title and they achieved that in 4.5 overs with Roy Kaia (11) and Shingi Masakadza (6) without being dismissed. The match also saw Shingi claim a hat-trick in Eagles’s first innings.
2018/19 Logan Cup points table
Yesterday this had looked likely at the start of the day, as Eagles, forced to follow on, had lost four wickets for 167 in their second innings and were still 72 runs short of saving the innings defeat. Thanks mainly to Mutumbami, who had begun the day with 60, they did force Mountaineers to bat again, but they needed only 17 to win.
Eagles were in additional trouble from the start of the day, as they lost three more wickets, all to the consistently accurate Victor Nyauchi, 11 more runs. Tino Mutombodzi was bowled by Nyauchi for seven, Elton Chigumbura caught and bowled without scoring and Tony Munyonga bowled for three, though he stubbornly kept his end up for half an hour.
At last Trevor Garwe, recovering from a poor run with the bat, proved to be the partner Mutumbami needed. He reached 99, and his team were eager to celebrate what would have been a well-earned century against the defending champions when he was dismissed under unfortunate circumstances. There was an appeal for a stumping, which was rejected, but the umpire at the bowler’s end gave him out caught at the wicket, off the bowling of Mountaineers leg-spinner Natsai M’shangwe.
With Honest Ziwira gallantly defending, Garwe carried on the fight, avoiding the innings defeat and scoring 33 before he was dismissed by M’shangwe, and Ziwira immediately followed, to make the total 255. Nyauchi took four wickets for 81 runs and Shingi Masakadza three for 62, while M’shangwe had two wickets. Nyauchi and Masakadza both took seven wickets in the match and bowled very well throughout.
The Mountain goats as they are affectionately called therefore again triumphantly win the Logan Cup again in style, and their anticipated final, a postponed match against Tuskers, scheduled to start on Wednesday, will be a walk over, as whatever happens they have already won the first-class competition.
Mountaineers coach Shepherd Makunura said after a slow start where they lost to Midwest Rhino’s in the season opener he was glad the boys recouped and showed depth in the rest of the matches.
“It’s been a good season. We had injuries from key players Hamilton Masakadza and Tendai Chatara but its always good to see the youngsters stepping up. This is a positive that we have depth in terms of first class cricketers,” said coach Makunura in a telephone interview today (Monday).
In a tweet yesterday, Mountaineers captain Tino Mawoyo could not hide his joy.
“Our seamers have been exceptional this season! Kudos Shingi! 4/31 in 10, 1st hat trick in Logan Cup since 2015!” said Mawoyo.
On another note the Pro50 cricket action is expected to resume on February 23. The one-day format domestic league will start off with the Mountain goats taking on Eagles on home turf in back to back matches on 23 and 24 February. (ZimCricket)