THE Logan Cup, the country’s premier first-class cricket competition, takes centre stage today with defending champions Matabeleland Tuskers opening the defence of their title against Mountaineers at Queens Sports Club in the pick of the first round matches.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
Tuskers, who have won the last two editions of the prestigious four-day competition, will welcome the start of the four-day competition more after a poor start to the limited overs leg of the domestic season.
Tuskers managed only one win from four matches in the Domestic Twenty20 competition and only two wins from four outings in the Pro-50 competition.
In recent seasons, Tuskers have always seemed to reserve their best form for the Logan Cup.
The Bulawayo-based franchise is expected to unleash Worcestershire top order batsman Moeen Ali who completed a move to Tuskers at the weekend.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport, Streak said Ali would be a good addition to his side.
“We are happy to have Moeen Ali in the side as one of our overseas professionals. He is a quality batsman who will certainly add value to our top order and also to our bowling as he is also a very good off spinner.
Ali is expected to add quality to a batting line-up that already boasts quality batsmen such as skipper Gavin Ewing, Charles Coventry, Terry Duffin, Keith Dabengwa and the Ervine siblings Sean and Craig.
His off spin will also add to the Tuskers bowling arsenal made up of fast bowlers Keegan Meth, Christopher Mpofu, Njabulo Ncube, Glenn Querl, Bradley Staddon and fellow off spinner John Nyumbu.
The former Zimbabwe captain said his charges were determined to preserve their good record in the Logan Cup.
“Yes, it’s not a secret that we have in the last two seasons done well in the Logan Cup as compared to the other formats. We have done well in the past and the boys have been working hard because we are aware that when you are at the top everyone wants to beat you,” he said.
“We know Mountaineers are a well drilled side. They have some very good bowlers upfront on Shingi Masakadza and Tendai Chatara and a good batting line-up to back that so it should be quite a close encounter,” said Streak.
Meanwhile the other match will see Mashonaland Eagles host Southern Rocks at Harare Sports Club.
Rocks have not won a Logan Cup match since the advent of the franchise system three seasons ago and will be hoping for a change of fortunes under new head coach Dave Houghton.