HARARE – Ninteen wickets fell on day one of the four-day Logan Cup match pitting hosts Mid West Rhinos and Mashonaland Eagles at Kwekwe Sports Club as bowlers took charge of the country’s premier first class encounter in spectacular fashion yesterday.
Log leaders Mash Eagles’ usually dependable batsman and skipper Tino Mutombodzi elected to bat after winning the toss away at Kwekwe’s Queens Sports Club but his reliable partner in recent games and opener Joylord Gumbie’s two-ball stay one run at the crease was the beginning of bad things to follow.
The wicket-keeper batsman Gumbie was bowled out by pace bowler Micheal Chinouya on the second ball of the match with the fringe national team bowler claiming another big wicket of Elton Chigumbura (8) in similar fashion in the fifth to leave the visitors reeling 11-2 after 4,4 overs.
Chinouya would complete his fine start to the innings in the 16th over when he had Eagles batsman Sikandar Raza caught for 12 runs by Bothwell Chapungu after which Rhinos captain and national team skipper Graeme Cremer made it his show creaming four wickets for 22 runs in 6,1 overs as Mashonaland Eagles were bundled out for a sorry 92 runs inside 35,1 overs.
Gary Chirimuuta (17), Jalat Khan (15) and Kudzai Maunze (13) at top of the order were the only batsmen other than Raza to get into double figures.
Upcoming seamer Carl Mumba grabbed the remaining two wickets for Mid West Rhinos.
But as fate would have it, hosts Rhinos also found the going tough with the bat although they closed day one with a lead 91 runs almost double Eagles first innings they only had the bad light to thank and hold on to a their single wicket getting into the second day this morning.
At stumps of day one Mid West Rhinos were on 183/9 with Neville Madziva and Chinouya both unbeaten on 24 and two runs respectively.
Chief destroyers for the Eagles were seamer Nathan Waller with a five-for and Khan with four wickets while Rhinos top scorers were openers Chapungu (63) and Tafadzwanashe Kaitano (34).
In Bulawayo, Matebeleland Tuskers trail Mountaineers by 141 runs at Bulawayo Athletic Club.
Tuskers restricted the visiting Mountaineers to 206 with their returning opener Tino Mawoyo top scoring with 46 runs before he was caught and bowled by Ainsley Ndlovu.
The 21 year old left arm spinner Ndlovu claimed six wickets for 47 runs from 18,3 overs.
Matebeleland Tuskers are currently on 65/1 following the loss of Taffy Mupariwa for eight runs.
Nkosana Mpofu (38) and Brian Chari (15) look are geared to continue with the run chase when play resumes on the second day this morning.