AFTER being recently crowned Logan Cup champions, Mutare-based cricket franchise Mountaineers could complete a clean sweep of all domestic competitions by winning the Pro50 Championship title next week.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
Mountaineers needed a win in their final group game on Tuesday to ensure their place in the Pro50 Championship 2013-14 final, and they put on a clinical show to swipe aside Mid West Rhinos and set up the title clash with Southern Rocks at Mutare Sports Club next Wednesday.
Rhinos chose to bat, and Mountaineers’ bowlers all contributed to restrict them to 180.
The only resistance came from Tarisai Musakanda, who scored 71 off 99. Mountaineers’ top order were then solid in reply, with Tino Mawoyo and Hamilton Masakadza scoring fifties.
Left-arm spinner Bradley Wadlan was the only Rhinos bowler to make any inroads, taking all three wickets that fell, but that hardly jolted Mountaineers — they eased home with almost 10 overs to spare.
The win saw Mountaineers finish top of the points table on 21 points after eight matches while Rocks finished on 19 points to just piping Mashonaland Eagles who finished third on 18 points.
Infact Eagles, who were the defending champions, could have qualified if they had won their match against rivals Matabeleland Tuskers.
However, Tuskers had other ideas as they upset the defending champions on their home turf by eight runs in a low scoring match.
Tuskers chose to bat and were kept in check by regular strikes from Eagles. A half-century from captain Godwill Mamhiyo helped them push past 200. They finished on 202 for eight.
This proved to be enough as their opening bowlers Tawanda Mupariwa and Steve Chimhamhiwa were both incisive and tidy, claiming six between them.
Sikandar Raza provided some resistance with a rapid 65, but when he was out — the ninth wicket to fall — Eagles were still a way away from the target.
A few anxious moments followed for Tuskers, even while hope sparked for Eagles, as number 10 and 11 put together a dogged stand of 35.
They had plenty of time, but they couldn’t quite finish the job, the final wicket falling with the score on 194 with more than four overs to spare.