Depleted Mash Eagles confident

HARARE - Depleted Mashonaland Eagles are confident they can upset log leaders Mountaineers in a crucial Logan Cup encounter that has a huge bearing on where the championship will go.

The four-day match is scheduled to start at Harare Sports Club this morning with Mountaineers hoping to keep their top spot on the log standings.

The Manicaland-based franchise enjoys a five-point lead at the top of the standings with on two rounds of matches left.

Mid West Rhinos are in second place with 18 points while holders Mashonaland Eagles sit a distant third with 16 points.

Bulawayo’s Matabeleland Tuskers anchor the table with 10 points and are the only team that is now mathematically out of the race to win Zimbabwe’s premier cricket competition.

However, the match between Mash Eagles and Mountaineers will be very crucial for both sides in their bids to win the competition.

A win for the Eagles will take them to 20 points, three off Mountaineers and possibly to 21 if they are to do so with a bonus point while a draw will also not be good enough for the Harare side.

On the other hand, a victory for Mountaineers coupled with a defeat for Mid West Rhinos in the other fixture in Bulawayo against Matabeleland Tuskers will give the Manicaland side the prestigious trophy.

But should the Eagles win in Harare and Rhinos triumph in Bulawayo it will still be game on meaning that the championship could only be decided in the last round of matches.

Eagles have been dealt a heavy blow as they are missing eight players, six of them away on national duty with the country’s development side Zimbabwe A in Namibia while two are playing in England, Ryan Burl and Garry Chirimuuta.

The six with the Zim A include on fire batsman Chamu Chibhabha who scored 110 runs in the team’s 112-run win over hosts Namibia A at Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek as well wicketkeeper batsman Regis Chakabva who weighed in with 33 runs and all-rounder Sikandar Raza who was the pick of the bowlers in that match with four wickets for 46 runs.

Other Eagles players in Namibia are captain Tino Mutombodzi, seamer Nathan Waller and another wicketkeeper batsman Joylord Gumbie.

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