Zhuwao ton deflates Rhinos

HARARE - Mashonaland Eagles batsman Cephas Zhuwao finally ended his 10-year wait for a maiden First Class ton when he scored a double hundred in his side’s 167-run win over Mid West Rhinos at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

The left-handed batsman known as the “Bad Bully” in local cricket circles for his hard-hitting batting style made his First Class debut as a 22-year-old in May 2007 and has toiled helplessly in search of a hundred managing 11 half tons in the process.

However, he plundered with a commanding 256 runs in the Mash Eagles’ second innings before he was finally dismissed by Timycen Maruma. 

This is the third highest individual First Class score by a Zimbabwean batsman after Ray Gripper’s 279 not out against Free State in 1967/68 season and former captain and coach Dave Houghton’s 266 in a Test match against Sri Lanka in 1994/95.

Zhuwao’s knock featured 25 boundaries and 12 maximums as he faced 318 balls and lasted seven hours 28 minutes.

“I really can’t explain the excitement I have after scoring a massive record breaking 265 in one inning; it has always been my wish to score big and break records...thanks to my family, friends and teammates for without them I wouldn’t be where I am now and I’m sure there’s more to come,” an ecstatic Zhuwao told the Daily News.

Mashonaland Eagles batsman - Cephas Zhuwao

Mash Eagles coach Stanley Timoni said he has always backed the 32-year-old to deliver by keeping faith in him at the top of the order.

“Quite a scintillating knock from an able performer, it is not surprising that Cephas went on to score his historic and maiden First class ton, it was always coming and I’m certain we haven’t seen the last of him yet,” Timoni said.

“We have given him the licence to play in a way he feels comfortable and that indeed has helped him grow in confidence.

“Credit also to the bowlers for complementing the work done by the batsmen.

“We are all focused on wrestling the championship from runaway leaders and defending champions Mountaineers and will see how it goes by the end of the season.”

Mash Eagles set 501 inside 107.1 overs with a healthy lead of 448 runs, a huge ask for the Rhinos who had earlier perished for 224 runs in their first innings in reply to Eagles’ 171 which saw the Kwekwe based franchise getting a bonus point for the first innings lead.