TWO late wickets by the Matabeleland Tuskers’ quickies just before close of play left Mashonaland Eagles facing a daunting task after the opening day of their Logan Cup cricket match at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Eagles openers Cephas Zhuwao (14) and Keith Kondo (0) both perished off the bowling of Glen Querl and Keegan Meth in a disastrous final half hour to undo a spirited bowling effort by their spinners.
It left Eagles floundering on 17 for two at the close — still 251 runs behind Tuskers’ competitive first innings total of 268 all out.
The Tuskers duo of will be hoping for more success today after claiming a wicket apiece.
Earlier veteran spinner Raymond Price had taken four wickets as Eagles spinners combined to stifle Tuskers’ formidable batting line-up to a modest score.
The 36-year-old Price bowled superbly to finish with figures of four for 62 while fellow bowlers Prosper Utseya and Tino Mutombodzi claimed two wickets apiece.
Middle order batsman Sean Williams batted with resolve for his 69 while former England Under-19 international Bilal Shafayat had earlier weighed in with 51 runs.
Querl fell just a run short of a half century as he put the Eagles’ bowlers to the sword with a late blitz to ensure his side posted a competitive first innings score.
He would later return to haunt the hosts with a devastating opening spell which was rewarded with a wicket by Kondo.
Eagles will resume today on 17 for two with nightwatchman Ray Price unbeaten on one run.
Chamu Chibhabha had managed two runs.
In the other match Mountaineers amassed 252 (81,1ov; Mawoyo 58, Cremer 3/84), MidWest Rhinos 40/1 (6ov; Sibanda 24*, Chatara 1/21). Rhinos trail by 212 runs.