Mountaineers emerge victorious from nail biting contest against Rocks

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Mountaineers on Monday edged past Southern Rocks at Harare Sports Club in a nail-biting encounter, which they eventually won by a single run.

Man-of-match Hamilton Masakadza’s brilliant 102 swayed the match in favour of the Mountaineers as they set an imposing total of 190 for 2 in their allotted 20 overs.

Tatenda Taibu provided ample support with his unbeaten 71.

In reply Southern Rocks put up a spirited performance, but they fell short of one run to tie the match.

Masakadza entertained the crowd with a dominant display with the bat, which saw him become the first Zimbabwean to score a century in a competitive Twenty20 match.

His 102 came off just 56 balls and it included six fours and six sixes.

Masakadza’s record breaking second wicket partnership with Taibu yielded 179 runs and it proved to be the difference between the two sides.

Southern Rocks showed a lot of character as they tried to chase down the Mountaineers total.

Opening batsman Chamu Chibhabha scored 70 runs before he was clean bowled by Prosper Utseya in the 15th over.

Rocks’ captain, former Kenyan international Steve Tikolo scored a well compiled 60.

He looked to have set up a solid foundation for the Rocks to possibly win the match. Southern Rocks let themselves down with some poor running between the wickets as they only seemed interested in hitting boundaries rather than taking the quick singles.

In the end the experienced Mountaneers side was able to hold to their lead to win their second game in the tournament.

After the match SteveTikolo conceded that his team’s lack of concentration in the field and poor running between the wickets had cost them the match.

“We let ourselves down in the field, which gifted them with a few extra runs in the field, but we showed a lot of character to make it so close in the end.”

On the other hand Masakadza who collected his second man-of-the-match award credited his team’s victory to team work.

Masakadza said: “The bowlers really worked very hard toward the end in limiting them (Southern Rocks). It’s all because of the unity in our camp, we have been playing together for some time now and we are all united as a family.”

Monday’s win moved Mountaineers back into contention after their defeat to the Namibian Vipers on Saturday threatened to derail their campaign to win the inaugural Stanbic Bank Twenty20 tournament.

In an earlier match Mashonaland Eagles defeated the Namibian Vipers by 5 wickets in another thriller. I was the visitors’ first defeat