HARARE – Domestic Pro 50 champions Matabeleland Tuskers ended their 2016/17 season with a nine-wicket win over Mashonaland Eagles at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Having already wrapped up the title last weekend with a seven-run Duckworth Lewis win over Mountaineers in Mutare, the Bulawayo-based side played with determination as they beat the bottom-placed Eagles yesterday.
The home side captain Tinotenda Mutombodzi had won the toss and elected to bat first but it soon turned into a nightmare.
Eagles opener Regis Chakabva departed on the third ball of the innings for four runs after he was bowled out by left-arm seamer Brian Vitori.
Batting at number three, Mutombodzi scored 16 runs before he returned to the pavilion after he was caught by Ainsley Ndlovu off seasoned seamer Chris Mpofu’s to leave the Eagles on 44/2 inside 10.4 overs.
Chamu Chibhabha showed some resistance at top of the order with 65 runs before he was caught by Tuskers’ skipper Brian Chari off left-arm spinner Ndlovu.
Nathan Waller’s late 35-ball 42-run cameo pushed the hosts to just above 200 as they were bowled out for 208 runs in 44.2 overs.
Vitori and spinner John Nyumbu finished with three wickets apiece while another spinner Sean Williams claimed two scalps.
Tuskers went about their batting like a house on fire losing just one wicket — opener Nkosana Mpofu — for 28 runs on their way to 209 runs.
Chari finished unbeaten on 105 runs from 123 runs with his knock featuring eight boundaries and three maximums.
Craig Ervine also finished the innings with 57 runs from 62 balls.
“It’s always a good feeling to contribute towards a winning cause; credit to our bowlers who restricted Mash Eagles to a low total which made it easier for the batsmen to chase down,” Chari told the Daily News yesterday.
“The performance sums up what we have been doing throughout the tournament and I believe the boys deserve it. We can go out and celebrate briefly before some of the guys re-join camp tomorrow.”
With the conclusion of the limited overs championship, the national team side troops back into camp this morning at Harare Sports Club for the final phase of their preparations for the forthcoming tour of Scotland, Netherlands and Sri Lanka.
Zimbabwe will depart for Scotland this Saturday.