Mountaineers’ leg-spinner Natsai Mushangwe grabbed his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket as Mashonaland Eagles suffered a dramatic second-innings collapse to go down by a massive 284 runs in a Castle Logan Cup match at Mutare Sports Club on Thursday.
The 22-year-old leg-spinner finished with career-best figures of 5-21 in nine overs to help bowl out Eagles for a paltry 89 runs while chasing 373 runs for victory.
Mountaineers won the toss and chose to bat on the first day, with Bernard Mlambo (141) and Timycen Maruma (56) the main contributors in their first-innings score of 354.
Fast bowler Chad Keegan and leg-spinner Tinotenda Mutombodzi picked up three wickets apiece for Mashonaland.
In reply, Mashonaland scored 229 with half-centuries from Cephas Zhuwawo and South African player-coach Andrew Hall.
Medium seam bowlers Donald Tiripano and Tendai Chatara were the toast of the Mountaineers bowlers, with three wickets apiece.
This gave Mountaineers a 125-run lead before declaring their second innings on 248-5, courtesy of a century by skipper Hamilton Masakadza.
That left Mashonaland to play out four sessions to ensure a draw, but they did not get off to an ideal start, losing opener Prince Masvaure with the score reading 11.
The highest contribution came from skipper Forster Mtizwa with a measly 22 runs with the rest of the batting line-up wilting and not posing any challenge to the hosts.
Mushangwe easily ripped through the Eagles’ top-order for his five wickets with Tiripano combining with Chatara to finish off the tail.
The win made sure that Mountaineers extended their lead at the top of the points table to 12 with only three rounds of matches left in the competition.
Meanwhile, the only century of the match by Vusimuzi Sibanda on the penultimate day and nine wickets in the match by Justin Lewis inspired MidWest Rhinos to a 98-run win over Southern Rocks at Kwekwe Sports Club on Thursday.
Sibanda’s 104-run knock helped MidWest Rhinos overcome a deficit to set a target of 308 runs before Lewis added two wickets to his seven-wicket tally in the first innings to set up the win.
Rhinos won the toss and elected to bat, but they found themselves in trouble after being bowled out for just 181 runs.
However, Lewis grabbed a career-best seven wickets as Rhinos fought back to dismiss Rocks for 199 runs for a lead of just 98 runs before Sibanda’s century in the second innings inspired them to 326 runs in their second innings.
Needing 308 runs for victory, Rocks could only manage 210 runs with Rhinos’ off -spinner being the pick of the bowlers with four wickets for 56 runs in 31 overs.