Injured Rhinos gores Mash Eagles

HARARE - An injured rhino is still more dangerous than a flying Eagle.

That is exactly what limping Mid West Rhinos captain Graeme Cremer exhibited midweek with a top-drawer bowling performance against Mashonaland Eagles at Kwekwe Sports Club.

Four first innings wickets and two in the second floored down high-flying Eagles to an emphatic nine-wicket defeat.

Taking to the field in only his first class domestic match since injuring his leg during the February One Day International series home defeat against Afghanistan, Cremer explored the home conditions at Kwekwe’s Sports Club with aplomb leading his side to a famous nine wicket victory over the defending championship inside two days of the four-day game.

To his credit he was the match’s highest wicket-taker with six wickets for 54 runs from 16.1 overs.

The 30-year-old legspinner gored the Eagles’ middle order in typical rhino’s fashion ending the visitors first innings with four wickets for 22 runs in just 6,1 overs with the Harare side managing a measly 92 runs in 35 overs.

Rhinos’ seamer Michael Chinouya had made early inroads with three wickets setting a good platform for his captain while upcoming pacer Carl Mumba weighed in with two wickets before Cremer creamed up the tail with a caught and bowled effort in the dismissal of tailender Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi.

“Very good win for us, happy with the performance of the guys...still feel a bit rusty with the ball, have not played for a while, so just trying to get back into it,” Cremer tells the Daily News on Sunday.

“I injured my leg (quad) during the Afghanistan series but it’s a lot better now. I really enjoy domestic cricket and I will play as long as I’m fit.”  

Having been coming close to putting their hands on the elusive Logan Cup trophy, Cremer is upbeat that with more consistency they can just end the seven year wait since the advent of the franchise era to win the championship.

Statistically Cremer has played in 82 first class matches taking 327 wickets with a best bowling performance of 8/61 including three 10 wickets plus in a single match, 19 (four wickets) and 16 five wickets hauls.

Mashonaland Eagles lost 10 wickets in either innings going all out twice on day and two setting the host an easy nine-run winning target which was reached in 11 balls.

After an indifferent display of 92 runs all out in only 35.,overs of their first innings on day one under siege from Rhinos captain Graeme Cremer’s five wickets, the visitors’  partially crawled back into the match on the backdrop of pace and spin combination of Nathan Waller and Jalat Khan with five and four wickets respectively.

Unlike Mash Eagles, Mid West Rhinos although they had lost nine wickets at stumps of day one their run rate was way better than the champions on 183/9 and on resumption of the match they only managed to add 12 runs to their overnight score to end their first innings on 195 runs.

Eagles’ opener another duck in his team’s second innings and only Gary Chirimuuta (27) and Elton Chigumbura (26) provided mini resistance on their way to an unlucky Nelson second innings total of 111 runs to lead by just eight runs. Mid West Rhinos then made nine runs for the loss of one wicket to register a massive and moral boosting home win over defending champions Mashonaland Eagles. Rhinos’ top order batsman Bothwell Chapungu scored the only half-century of the match with 63 runs attained in the first innings in a match that certainly belonged to the bowlers.

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