Bradley Staddon’s half century helped Matabeleland Tuskers close on 116/2 in their second innings on day two against Mountaineers at Mutare Sports Club on Thursday in the Logan Cup cricket final to take a 72-run lead.
Tuskers had finished their first innings on 195 all out from 68,2 overs thanks to Mbekezeli Mabuza’s half century while Tawanda Mupariwa and Njabulo Ncube added 34 and 29 runs respectively.
Mountaineers bowlers, Tendai Chatara and Natsai Mushangwe, wrecked havoc taking three wickets each for a combined 102 runs to stifle Tuskers’ surge on a rather slow wicket.
In replay, the hosts failed to build up on Hamilton Masakadza’s 119 to finish on 239 all out from 67,2 overs with former national team captain Prosper Utseya’s 39 the only other notable big figure in their total.
The rest of the batsmen, Masakadza included, fell to Keegan Meth’s rampaging deliveries, who claimed a career best six for 40.
Mountaineers went into Thursday’s game on 56 for four after Meth had ripped through the top order, leaving Masakadza at 18.
A useful all round player, who bowls at a lively pace, swinging the ball either way, Meth was forced to rise rapidly through the ranks because of Zimbabwe’s shortage of options and he suffered as a result.
He was discarded after the 2006 tour of the Caribbean and while he remained on the fringes, he was not able to advance his claims and moved to South Africa to try to move his career on.
The former St John’s College student is a sound batsman who improvises well and thus shows good all-round potential.
A very good hockey player, he has an excellent eye for the ball and these performances bode well for his quest to make the national team for upcoming series against Pakistan and Bangladesh.
On Thursday, Tuskers began their quest in better fashion, Bradley Staddon putting away eight boundaries to reach his half century from 60 balls before being given out leg before wicket to an Utseya delivery.
Mabuza followed up, adding just 17 runs but fell to Shingi Masakadza, to leave Tuskers reeling at 81/2.
Tuskers closed on 116/2 after 41 overs with number three Charles Coventry and Steven Trenchard unbeaten on 24 and 23 respectively.