Timoni lauds all-round Utseya

HARARE - Mashonaland Eagles assistant coach Stanley Timoni has showered praise on Proper Utseya after his all-round heroics saw the Harare side retain the Pro50 Championship title from the jaws of defeat.

Utseya was the man apart for Eagles with both bat and bowl as the title holders scripted a fightback to beat rivals Matabeleland Tuskers by five runs on the Duckworth Lewis in a rain-affected final in Bulawayo on Saturday.

Utseya, coming in to bat at number seven, was the only Eagles batsman to reach 50 as Eagles crawled to 222 runs all out in 49.1 overs.

In reply, Tuskers looked on course to reach the set target with Gavin Ewing (94) and Brian Chari (47) crafting 138 runs for the first wicket partner.

However, led by experienced spinner and former national team captain Utseya, who grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck to end with figures of 3-41, the Harare franchise bowlers soon pinned the Tuskers’ mid-order back into their shells.

All-rounder Nathan Waller took a brace of wickets while opening bowlers Taurai Mzarabani and Innocent Chinyoka, as well as spinner Tino Mutombodzi, took a wicket each before rain stopped play with Tuskers scrambling on 203-8 from 47.5 overs.

“You can’t buy experience. Prosper was probably the man-of-the-match for us,” Timoni said.

“He really held up his end, he was calm and really played for the team. In games like these you can’t rule out the element of luck and that’s something that was on our side.”

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