Christopher Mpofu took five-wickets to guide the defending champions Matabeleland Tuskers to a slender first innings lead of 12 runs on the second day of their Castle Logan Cup cricket tie against Mountaineers at Mutare Sports Club on Tuesday.
The lanky seamer bagged five wickets for 55 runs in 23 overs to restrict Mountaineers to just 294 runs in 91.1 overs, 12 runs shy of Tuskers’ first innings total of 306 as the Mountaineers’ batsmen struggled to assert themselves on their home turf.
Hamilton Masakadza top-scored with 75 runs and together with Bernard Mlambo (38) they held their team’s innings together with a third-wicket partnership stand of 86 runs.
Eighteen-year old Kevin Kasuza had the second highest contribution with 46 runs while Benjamin Katsande chipped in with 45 runs.
Tuskers will resume their second innings this morning with the match still evenly poised and promising to produce a result.
Tuskers won the toss on the first day on Monday and elected to bat first and although they lost their openers early they recovered well to post 306 runs in 85.4 overs.
Skipper Gavin Ewing top-scored with 102 from 172 deliveries – the first century in this year’s Logan Cup, to add to half centuries by Craig Ervine (59) and Keith Dabengwa (67 not out).
Mountaineers’ leg spinner Natsai Mushangwe was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets for 110 runs while Shingi Masakadza also chipped in with three wickets for 40 runs in 19 overs.