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Rains threaten Pro50 final


THE PRO50 Championship final between Matabeleland Tuskers and Mashonaland Eagles is on today at Queens Sports Ground.

Report by Vitalis Moyo

Cricket lovers are expected in their large numbers as no entrance fee is being charged for the potentially thrilling encounter.

The heavy downpour which pounded the city on Tuesday and light showers and drizzly conditions that have persisted throughout the week have not affected the wicket at the venue.

Last weekend’s final round of league matches in Kwekwe and Triangle failed to yield any results due to the prevailing wet conditions around the country.

The Tuskers-Rhinos match was abandoned in the 12th over due to the rains while the Rocks-Mountaineers game was also rained off without a single ball bowled.

Speaking to the NewsDay Sport yesterday, Tuskers coach and former national team captain Heath Streak said his side was ready for the game.

“We are ready to play in the final. We have managed to train for the past three days despite a few disruptions to our training sessions due to the rains. Players are confident and ready to go onto the final,” Streak said.

Streak added that there will be no major changes to the squad that he has been using in the campaign.

“I’m sticking to the squad that I have been using with Sean Ervine the only regular player who will miss tomorrow’s  (today) final as he is away playing in the Bangladesh League. The final squad will be finalised before the game,” Streak said.

The last Pro50 encounter between the two sides was played on January 9 where Tuskers won by seven wickets with 104 balls to spare.

Eagles, seeking to defend their title, will be relying on the batting expertise of their top order batsmen Nathan Waller, Sikandar Raza and Stewart Matsikenyeri while spin bowlers Prosper Utseya and Raymond Price will be looking to rattle the Tuskers batting order.

The defending champions will be without the services of some of their key players including Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor and Elton Chigumbura, who left the country for the Bangladesh Premier League earlier this week.

Tuskers, who have four of their bowlers in the top five wicket takers in the tournament, will be looking to use that to their advantage to restrain their opponent’s batting.

Right-arm medium-fast bowlers Glen Querl, Christopher Mpofu, Sean Ervine and right medium bowler Keegan Meth of Tuskers make up the bulk of the top five players with the most wickets so far in this year’s edition.

In the chance of a rain disruption in the final, Tuskers will be crowned as the champions, as they top the log standings with 24 points-five points ahead of their opponents Eagles.

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