BY PAUL VUTETE
AFTER missing out in the final last year, Alliance Health Eagles men’s team will be looking to go one step better and claim the T20 title as the men and women’s domestic championship roars into life at Harare Sports Club and Takashinga today.
Cricket lovers will enjoy six days of T20 cricket action during which 26 matches will be played at the two selected venues.
Eagles’ men kick-off their campaign with a date against Mountaineers at Harare Sports Club in the afternoon while defending champions Tuskers take on Rhinos at Takashinga.
The Harare-based club lost by 69 runs to Tuskers in the previous edition of the competition and are targeting nothing short of the championship despite missing a number of top players in the opening encounter.
“We made the finals of last season’s T20 competition so we will be looking to go one further in this edition. We are as ready as we can be under the circumstances. We are missing some of our top players due to injury and suspension in different cases. However, it does bring some new talent which is always exciting,” Eagles coach Stuart Matsikenyeri told NewsDay yesterday.
“Given that it is only one round, we are looking to start strong and win tomorrow against the Mountaineers then take the momentum further into the tournament,” he added.
In the women’s competition, Eagles will be hoping to make a positive start against Tuskers at Harare Sports Club in the morning kick off while Rhinos and Mountaineers will also clash in the morning at Takashinga.
After a disappointing show in the Fifty50 competition, the Mountaineers women’s team will be hoping for better fortunes.
“We have been training in our bases (Mutare and Masvingo). We just finished our session as a team here at Old Hararians ahead of tomorrow’s encounter with Rhino’s women’s team,” Mountaineers coach Sinikwe Mpofu said yesterday.
However, Eagles will be missing the services of opening bowler Francesca Chipare Mpofu but will be buoyed by the return of Chipo Mugeri Tiripano for the T20 competitions.
“We are excited to have Chipo Mugeri Tiripano back for the T20s. Unfortunately; we will not have Francesca Chipare in our opening Bowler match due to work commitments.
“We won our last two games of the Fifty50 competition and we look forward to carrying the momentum into the T20 games. The new girls have improved and we will still rely on the experienced players,” Mpofu said.
Only fully vaccinated fans will be allowed to watch the matches which will be free of charge.
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