Mountaineers win Logan Cup

HARARE - Manicaland Mountaineers are the Logan Cup champions for the 2016/17 season.

Led by a masterly innings of 79 from Foster Mutizwa, batting at his favourite number three position again, they comfortably forced a draw with Mash Eagles at Old Hararians yesterday, which was enough to ensure they finish the season at the top of the table.

Both teams receive two points for a draw, and Mountaineers another for leading on the first innings.

This therefore gives Mountaineers a total of 31 points and Eagles 20, an unbeatable lead for the new champions.

Eagles began the final day with a second-innings score of 266 for six wickets and a lead of 216, with Kudzai Maunze on 128 and Trevor Garwe on 31, the pair resuming a partnership that had already added 91 runs to the total.

The pair only added three more runs, as Garwe (32) drove a ball from Shingi Masakadza uppishly into the covers for a catch, the seventh wicket falling at 269.

Herbert Chikomba scored a single before he too drove Masakadza into the covers for a low catch, at 273 for eight.

Maunze and Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi kept the runs ticking over steadily in singles as Mountaineers set several deep fielders to try to slow the scoring rate.

The batsmen might have pursued the runs more urgently with a declaration in mind, but they seemed rather too content to push for ones and twos, cutting into the time their bowlers would have to bowl out the visitors.

Chigumbura was waiting for Maunze to reach 150 before they declared, and he took his time over it, but eventually reached the landmark with a quick single.

He faced 242 balls during his outstanding innings, with 12 fours and three sixes.

Munyaradzi was unbeaten with 17, and the total 312 for eight wickets declared, leaving Mountaineers 263 to win in a minimum of 75 overs.

A scoring rate of almost four an over on an unreliable pitch and heavy outfield meant that Mountaineers would probably be willing to settle for a draw, particularly as that would be enough to secure them the Logan Cup.

However, that was not the initial impression, as Roy Kaia slashed the second ball of the innings, short and well outside the off stump from Garwe, over the cover boundary for six, and the final delivery backward of point for four. – Zim Cricket

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