Mash Eagles soar above Rocks

HARARE - A clinical Mashonaland Eagles thrashed hapless Southern Rocks by an innings and 94 runs in a Logan Cup that finished in the hours of Wednesday morning on the final day at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

The Eagles only needed 4.1 overs to wipe out the Rocks tail having closed the third day three wickets short of an emphatic victory.

Brian Vitori, the former Southern Rocks seamer, architected the Masvingo side’s downfall by taking a five-for in both Rocks’ innings.

Vitori finished the match with impressive figures of 12 wickets for 106 runs from 33.1 overs - his best bowling stats in first class cricket.

On top of that, Vitori’s second innings performance of seven wickets for 62 runs from 19.1 overs was also his best bowling figures in an innings.

A double century from Sikandar Raza Butt (200) not out, Regis Chakabva's 102 took the game beyond the visitor’s reach.

Top order batsmen Mark Vermeulen (81) and new kid on the block, Nick Welch's 83 also contributed to the Eagle’s huge score of 507-5 before declaring.

Southern Rocks had won the toss and elected to bat first on the first day before they crumbled to 164 all out for inside 57.3 overs.

Trailing behind 343 runs, Southern Rocks needed a miracle to win the match but they were unable to get going.

Roy Kaia provided meaningful resistance as he top scored with 68 runs at middle order while Richmond Mutumbami contributed 40 runs.

Luke Jongwe weighing in with 30 runs but it was not enough to stop the high-flying Eagles romping to an overwhelming victory.

Rocks were dismissed all out for 249 runs from 82.1 overs.

Raza Butt, who turns 28 later this month, was pleased with his performance and the team's victory.

"There's no denying that it was a good batting track but there was some movement and bounce that made it a little bit difficult for the batsmen," Raza Butt told the Daily News yesterday.

"Mark (Vermeulen) has been doing really well for us this whole season in this longer version of the game but special mention to Nick (Welch) who held the innings together with that massive half century opening the bat and for a guy of his age, I thought it was quite out this world.

"There comes tomorrow and a day after so I will keep on trying my level best on my batting. I feel humbled and most importantly I have proved a point to myself that I can play this game and hope to continue doing so."

In another match played at Mutare Sports Club, hosts Mountaineers hammered defending champions Matebeleland Tuskers by 162 runs.

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