Tuskers coach plays down early lead

HARARE - Matebeleland Tuskers coach Wayne James has played down his side early dominance in both formats of the domestic franchise cricket league.

Tuskers lead both the Logan Cup and the Pro50 competitions thanks mainly to an all-round display on the field.

Tuskers winded up their 2014 fixtures with a 230-run demolition of Mashonaland Eagles in the country’s premier four-day first class competition, the Logan Cup at Queens Sports Club last week.

Three first innings half tons by opener Bornaparte Mujuru (86), Brian Chari (81) and captain Goodwill Mamhiyo (60) were the mainstay of the Tuskers innings.

The Bulawayo-based side declared on 405 for the loss of nine wickets.

Mash Eagles were rattled for a measly 112 inside 48.1 overs with Tuskers’ seamers Tawanda Mupariwa and Brian Vitori and off-spinner Sean Williams grabbing three wickets apiece.

Tuskers went in to bat for the second innings and added another 94 for four wickets to extend their lead to 387.

The visitors could only manage 157 runs in 76 overs as they went on to lose the match by 230 runs.

The victory saw Tuskers consolidating their lead on the four-team table with 17 points from three matches.

Defending Logan Cup champions, Mountaineers are in second place with nine points followed Mash Eagles with eight points while Mid West Rhinos anchor the log with six points.

“We are delighted with our performances so far but the season is far from over, there’s still a long way to go,” James told the Daily News.

“I think we did well to enjoy ourselves, yes we are playing a professional sport but success comes with enjoyment.

“We have also worked and played hard and the most important thing is that it has been a complete team effort, we do not have to rely on individuals.”

The Pro 50 championship has a familiar look with Tuskers once again leading the table with 14 points, Mountaineers are in second with nine points while Mash Eagles and Mid West Rhinos occupy third and fourth place with five and zero points respectively.

“For any coach in the league, that is the ultimate goal but we are taking it one day at a time,” James said.

“We are not looking too far ahead but obviously looking forward to the resumption of games in January and hopefully we will continue from where we left before the Xmas break.”

The league resumes on January 3 with Mashonaland Eagles taking on guest side Zimbabwe Under-19 at Old Hararians before Tuskers engage the junior national team on January 10.

The domestic league proper resumes on January 14 with reverse fixtures of the last games of 2014.

Mashonaland Eagles host Matebeleland Tuskers in Harare while Mid West Rhinos travel to Mutare to face Mountaineers.

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