WOUNDED Gladiators Cricket Club are away to log leaders Westside for an epic National Premier League (NPL) T20 Blast at Mutare Sports Club this morning.
The Chitungwiza-based cricketers had spanners thrown into their works during the recently-ended NPL competition after losing to Westside for the first time in the season with only two matches remaining.
That defeat in Highfield coupled with the loss to Takashinga 1 on the final day of the season saw Gladiators slide into second place. Takashinga 1 were crowned champions after the head to head aggregate finished tied on points with the Highfields side.
Westside have in their ranks, third leading run scorer in the T20 Blast so far, Kevin Kasuza, who in the comfort of their mountainous range can be a menace to any bowler any day. Kasuza has notched 110 runs in two innings, averaging 55 and a high score of 64. Leading the runs table is Uprising’s Nicholas Welch with 111 runs, 69 as his top score and an average of 55.55.
Brian Mudzinganyama, turning out for Rainbow, has amassed 110 runs and sits in second place. But Gladiators have the arsenal to glide away with talented players such as Wessly Madhevere, Milton Shumba, Tony Munyonga and Clive Madande among others.
However, that defeat which costs them the NPL title will be playing out loud at the back of their minds.
In another thriller, in Highfield, it is a Cain versus Abel encounter as brothers; Takashinga 2 hosts their senior Takashinga 1. Both sides won a single match each, Takashinga 2 beat Mutare Sports Club by 37 runs, while Takashinga 1 emerged 51 runs victorious against Uprising.
It was Takashinga 1 side which sent shivers through out the league with a highest T20 score in the country, 281/5 against Uprising at Takashinga Sports Club. Vintage, Hamilton Masakadza scored 64 runs, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe notched 51, Innocent Kaia (37), while Wellington Masakadza and Carl Mumba were unbeaten on 47 and 34 runs, respectively.
- ‘Cont doesn’t need Zanu PF validation’
- Creatives salute ‘Malume’!
- Big send-off for Cont Mhlanga
- Cont was a doyen of the arts
Uprising tried to chase down the total, but it was too steep. They commendably scored 230/9 with Nicholas Welch top-scoring with 69 runs. Luke Jongwe scored 38 not out, while Tadiwanashe Marumani and Aisha Chibanda weighed in with 38 and 37, respectively.
Today’s NPL T20 Blast Fixtures
Mutare Sports Club v Amakhosi (Masvingo Sports Club)
Westside v Gladiators (Mutare Sports Club)
Rainbow v Uprising (Old Hararians)
Takashinga 2 v Takashinga 1 (Takasinga Cricket Club)