HomeSportCricketMountaineers reach Stanbic T20 final

Mountaineers reach Stanbic T20 final

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Mountaineers became the first team to book a place in Sunday’s Stanbic 20 series final after stunning seven-wicket victory over pre-tournament favourites Matabeleland Tuskers at Harare Sports Club on Friday.

While Mountaineers qualified for the final, Matabeleland Tuskers will still have another chance to make amends when they meet Mashonaland Eagles in the other semi-final play-off on Saturday.

Man-of-the-match Hamilton Masakadza who finished with a towering six over long off led from the front with an exciting unbeaten 80 off 56 deliveries as Mountaineers finished on 170-3 in 19,2 overs in reply to Tuskers’ 167 for six.

Masakadza, who went into the match having struggled to build a big innings in the previous matches, answered his critics in style with an enthralling knock that included two fours and four towering sixes.

Tuskers seemed to have put themselves in a solid position to win the match when they won the toss and elected to bat first before setting what looked like a competitive 167-6 from their allotted 20 overs.

The hard-hitting pair of Charles Coventry and West Indies star Chris Gayle top-scored for Tuskers with identical scores of 45 runs although the former’s knock came through fewer deliveries.

Off spinner Prosper Utseya and seamer Shingi Masakadza shared two wickets apiece with the former’s crafty variations making it very difficult for the Tuskers’ batsman to score many runs off him.

In an earlier elimination match Mid West Rhinos crashed out of the Stanbic 20 series after a 53 run loss to defending champions Mashonaland Eagles, who gave themselves a chance of sneaking into the final.

Eagles were put in to bat after Rhinos won the toss, and got off to a storming start with openers Ryan ten Doeschate and Stuart Matsikenyeri putting on 109 runs for the first wicket partnership off just 56 balls.

Doeschate would go on to reach 63 off just 33 balls while former Eagles skipper Matsikenyeri top-scored with 98 runs off 51 deliveries.

However, after the departure of the openers there wasn’t much to write home about for the other batsmen but Eagles still went on to set a competitive 195-5 in from their allotted 20 overs.

Rhinos were under pressure from as early as the fourth over, when skipper Brendan Taylor departed for 24.

The Rhinos middle order failed to come to the party, with none of the middle order batsman, including the inform Gary Ballance, managing to reach double figures.

Riki Wessels top-scored with 42 runs at the top while tail-ender Shaun Tait chipped in with 26 runs as Rhinos were bowled out for 142 in 18,2 overs to hand Eagles a 53-run win and a place in tomorrow’s play-off.

Englishman Peter Trego led the good work by the Eagles’ bowlers, retaining impressive bowling figures of four wickets for 27 runs.

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