DEFENDING champions Mountaineers are set to begin their Domestic Twenty20 title defence against rivals Mashonaland Eagles in a repeat of last year’s final, according to the fixtures released by Zimbabwe Cricket yesterday.
The two giants are expected to lock horn on Tuesday at Harare Sports Club, a day after the start of the tournament which marks the resumption of Zimbabwe’s domestic cricket after a two-month-long strike.
Mash Eagles will be itching for revenge after Mountaineers cruised to a seven-wicket victory last February to secure their third major Twenty20 title after the two Stanbic Twenty20 titles.
However, before the highly-anticipated clash, the tournament gets underway on Monday with Mash Eagles and Mid West Rhinos clashing in the opening match of the tournament.
Matabeleland Tuskers then tackle Southern Rocks in the second match of the day.
The second day sees MidWest Rhinos taking on Southern Rocks in the afternoon, after the game between Mash Eagles and Mountaineers.
Each of the country’s five franchises is expected to play each other once in a round-robin phase.
The teams which finish third and fourth will then meet in a third/fourth place playoff which will act as a curtain-raiser to the final set for Harare Sports Club next Saturday.
The domestic Twenty20 competition is expected to afford national cricket team selectors an opportunity to assess players in the shortest version of the game before selecting the final squad for next month’s ICC World Twenty20 competition in Bangladesh.
Full list of fixtures below:
February 10 – Mashonaland Eagles v MidWest Rhinos, Southern Rocks v Matabeleland Tuskers
February 11- Mountaineers v Mashonaland Eagles, MidWest Rhinos v Southern Rocks
February 12 – Mashonaland Eagles v Southern Rocks, Matabeleland Tuskers v Mountaineers
February 13 – MidWest Rhinos v Matabeleland Tuskers, Southern Rocks v Mountaineers
February 14 – Matabeleland Tuskers v Mashonaland Eagles, Mountaineers v MidWest Rhinos
February 15 – T20 3rd & 4th place (TBC), T20 Final (TBC)