Mountaineers desperate to bounce back

HARARE - Logan Cup champions Manicaland Mountaineers are gunning for their first win of the season to kick-start defence of their title when they take on hosts Midwest Rhinos at Kwekwe Sports Club beginning today.

The Mutare-based franchise claimed a double last season, winning the Pro 50 Championship as well as the country’s premier first-class competition, the Logan Cup.

This season, they have however started on a slow note and are without a win in the Logan Cup after two games.

Shepherd Makunura’s men will be hoping to change their fortunes in the Midlands against third-placed Rhinos.

“In the first games we were missing a couple of our tough guys, but if you also look at our record, we don’t really do well at the start of the season, something we need to change if we are going to retain the title,” Mountaineers captain Tino Mawoyo told the Daily News yesterday.

“We will see how this one goes, but I hope with the positive one-day cricket that we have been playing in recent weeks, coupled with Sunday’s win against (Rhinos), the boys should be motivated to go all the way.”

Mountaineers beat Midwest by six wickets in a Pro 50 Championship match on Sunday, thanks in the main to returning Zimbabwe batsman Stuart Matsikenyeri’s unbeaten 83-ball 100.

They reached the target with 12 overs to spare for the loss of four wickets to close on 195-4.

Mawoyo, who is currently struggling for form, was run-out for 11 runs.

“I’m hitting the ball well but I think I just need to spend some time on the crease and get some big scores,” said the former Zimbabwe Under-19 captain.

Meanwhile, current Logan Cup log leaders Matabeleland Tuskers hope to extend their lead when they host second-placed Mashonaland Eagles at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

Tuskers won the Pro50 match against the men from the capital by three wickets on Sunday.

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