HomeSportCricketRhinos down Tuskers to secure final spot

Rhinos down Tuskers to secure final spot

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Seamer Michael Chinouya picked up five wickets for 35 runs as Mid-West Rhinos beat Matabeleland Tuskers by three wickets at Kwekwe Sports Club to confirm their berth in the finals of this weekend’s Coca Cola Pro50 Championship.

Rhinos will meet Mashonaland Eagles in the final at Harare Sports this Saturday.

Rhinos’ decision to bowl was vindicated by strong opening spells from former national team seamer Ed Rainsford (three for 26) and Chinouya.

A 33-run opening stand between Tuskers skipper Gavin Ewing and all-rounder Keith Dabengwa proved to be a false start, as the first five wickets tumbled for eight runs.

Rainsford picked up three early wickets and the Tuskers never recovered.

They were bowled out in the 22nd over for a paltry 81runs. It was then the turn of Njabulo Ncube and Tawanda Mupariwa to wreak havoc with the new ball.

Vusi Sibanda fell for a duck in the first over, but a 31-run stand for the second wicket put Rhinos on course for an easy win.

Thereafter, Ncube got into the act, slicing through the top order with a five-for-35, that left Rhinos gasping at 42 for 7.

Rainsford put his head down to score 21 off 35 balls, and along with Graeme Cremer sealed a nervous win in the 25th over.

Rhinos will play Eagles in the final, in Harare on February 25.

In another low-scoring thriller, which unfortunately was a dead rubber Southern Rocks overcame Mountaineers by one wicket at Masvingo Sports Club.

After being inserted, Mountaineers were shot out for 134 in 29,4 overs, their humble score embellished considerably by Timycen Maruma’s 72 off 82 balls.

No one else in the Mountaineers line-up managed to cross 19, as the Rocks’ bowlers shared the spoils around. Natsai Mushangwe’s four-wicket haul made the Rocks strive for their runs.

From a relatively comfortable 105-4, and later 125-6, they lost their nerve to go within a wicket of defeat, but Hilary Matanga managed to save them the blushes.

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