Mangongo to wield axe on non-performers

HARARE - Mashonaland Eagles coach Stephen Mangongo is set to wield the axe on under-performing batsmen following three successive defeats in the Castle Logan Cup.

The latest in the series of losses came yesterday when the Eagles succumbed to defending champions Matabeleland Tuskers by 312 runs at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

Eagles batsmen failed to use the platform set by their bowlers, who restricted the home side to a paltry 143 runs in the first innings, only managing a 102-run first innings lead after totalling 245 runs.

Zimbabwe pace bowler Kyle Jarvis claimed seven wickets for 35 runs in the first innings while Tuskers batsmen Charles Coventry, Glen Querl and Chris Mpofu were highest scorers with identical scores of 23 runs.

During the Eagles’ innings, swing bowler Keegan Meth took a five-for while Querl grabbed two wickets on a day that the visitors’ tail-enders Nathan Waller, Foster Mutizwa and Prosper Utseya scored 51, 47 and 37 runs respectively.

In the second innings, Tuskers scored two centuries through former national team batsmen Sean Ervine (153) and overseas professional Moeen Ali (101) while opener Terry Duffin’s half century of 96 runs and Coventry’s 76 saw them reach 518-8 to declare with a lead of 416 runs.

Like the proverbial deck of cards, Eagles crumbled all out inside 31.5 overs for a measly 104 runs.

“It was a tale of two stories and a very disappointing one indeed,” Mangongo told the Daily News yesterday.

 “After a fantastic bowling display from Kyle Jarvis, Nathan Waller, Innocent Chinyoka and Elton Chigumbura, our top order failed to come to the party, they let us down badly. In both innings they failed to go beyond 10 overs and when that happens in a Test match it is a disaster.

 “There were six caught behind dismissals which shows lack of feet movement and temperament to leave the ball outside off stump, which is a cause of concern really because we are not talking of novices here, but experienced players, guys who have been in the franchise trenches for quite some time. They have to do a lot of soul searching.

 “To me there’s no one too big for the game and some of those top order batsmen don’t deserve to be in the team, they have been given enough chances to prove their mettle.”

On the contrary, Tuskers coach Heath Streak showered his team with praise after the win.

“The guys showed good attitude and worked very hard in all aspects of their game, we are playing simple cricket and have stuck to the basics more than any other team in the league,” Streak said.

 “I would say it was a game of three innings, credit to them, Jarvis bowled pretty well on a seam friendly wicket.

“We also bowled well and over and above that batted well in the second innings after they allowed us to come back having set a slender lead which was below par on the hard batting surface.”

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