Three half-centuries from Brendan Taylor, Riki Wessels and Gary Balance saw MidWest Rhinos beat Mashonaland Eagles by seven runs in a thrilling Stanbic T20 cricket series at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
Taylor smashed 54 runs from 42 balls (four boundaries, two sixes) while Wessels had 51 from 44 balls (five boundaries, two sixes) before both were sent back by Rory Hamilton-Brown as the openers shared a 111-run stand.
Balance, coming in at number three, was the most lethal, grabbing an unbeaten 53 runs from 25 balls in which 38 runs came from five sixes and two boundaries to take Rhinos to 184-2 off 20 overs.
But Eagles battled back with Stuart Matsikenyeri leading the chase with 73 off 55 balls (four boundaries, four sixes) and Peter Trego making 71 from 49 balls. He struck three boundaries and three sixes as they closed in on 177 in 20 overs.
In the day’s opening match, debutant Kudzai Sauramba smashed an unbeaten 36 from 15 balls as Mountaineers beat Southern Rocks by 43 runs.
Sauramba’s tally was achieved from three sixes and a boundary as Mountaineers reached 166-6 from 20 overs after being sent in to bat after Rocks had won the toss.
In the chase, Rocks were 123 all out with Shane Burger putting 62 runs on the board from 43 balls.
Mountaineers moved to the top of the standings after gaining five points on Wednesday and now have 14 points while Matabeleland Tuskers are second on 13 and Rhinos third on 10 points leaving Rocks and Eagles to fight for the last semi-final spot.