BY Kevin Mapasure
Eagles and Tuskers suffered disappointment in the Logan Cup in contrasting ways, but both have today’s Pro-50 final at Harare Sports Club to make-up for it.
While Eagles narrowly lost to Mountaineers in the country’s premier cricket competition, Tuskers were nowhere near the battle for honours after failing to win a single match in the four-day competition.
Yet, Tuskers were galvanised by their poor run to try and do well in the 50-over competition and find themselves fighting it out against an Eagles side that is also hungry for success.
The two teams parade their stars this morning to compete for the glittering piece of silverware where a good crowd is expected, befitting a final of this magnitude.
Eagles captain Tino Mutombodzi, who lead national team stars, among them Chamu Chibhabha and Elton Chigumbura, will have a team blending experience and youth as they try to finally redecorate their trophy cabinet.
While acknowledging the strengths of Tuskers who have, among others, the inform Craig Ervine and Sean Williams in their ranks, Mutombodzi said his team will not focus too much on what their opponents can do, but will look to just play the best cricket they can with both bat and ball.
“We are not thinking about how they played or how they will play, we just concentrate on our game and try to play the best cricket,” he said.
“We are ready for the game tomorrow (today). We had a good game against them a few weeks ago. We played well against them, but this is a final and there will be a bit of pressure and we will need to play well to win it.”
He said his team will be looking to make-up for the frustration of failing to win the Logan Cup.
“So far has been a good season, unfortunately, we did not win the Logan Cup. That has helped us to come back fighting and try to win this cup. We have quite a good squad with a mixture of youth and experience. When we need energy we have and when we need to call upon experience we have it. We can choose anyone and expect them to perform well for the team.’
Tuskers skipper Ainsley Ndlovu also said they will not pay attention to the stars that Eagles have in their camp.
“We had bad form in the four day matches that motivated us to try and do well in the 50 over format. As a team we need to win this looking ahead to next season. We just try to go through our processes and not focus too much on the opponent,” he said.
“We would have loved to play in Bulawayo, where our home crowd would have come out to support us.”