Rising Stars bask in Pro 50 championship glory

HARARE - New Boys Rising Stars are on top of the world after thumping seasoned campaigners Mountaineers on Saturday to lift the Pro 50 Championship in their debut season at Highfield’s Takashinga Sports Club in Harare.

The match which was beamed to be a closely contested affair dubbed “youth versus experience” turned out to be a one-sided affair with the youth clearly outclassing their more experienced counterparts.

Stars’ leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta stole the show with eight wickets in the match inside 8.1 overs to restrict the Logan Cup champions Mountaineers to 137 runs all out in 30.1 overs.

Mountaineers’ captain Tino Mawoyo had elected to field after winning the toss before three half centuries from Tony Munyonga (65), Ryan Burl (62) and Tarisai Musakanda’s 51 runs at top order gave the youthful side a healthy total of 289/9.

Rising Stars had finished on top of the log standings after the round robin stage and their coach Stuart Matsikenyeri was happy with his charges’ ability to capitalise on the momentum they had heading into the final.

“The momentum was on our side going into the final but we also knew we hadn’t played our perfect game,” Matsikenyeri told the Daily News.

“So the department that needed to turn up were meticulous in their preparation for the final.

“Once those fired we knew we were well in but no one expected it would turn out to be very easy at the end of it all.”

Mountaineers who finished second at the end of an eight-round tournament expected their experience would come in handy but their game plan went horribly wrong on toss.

Mountaineers coach Shepherd Makunura conceded his team played badly and was happy to pick up lots of valuable lessons from the youngsters, Rising Stars.

“We did not bowl as well as we should have. We conceded too many runs in the last power play,” Makunura said.

“Obviously, we need to work on bowling particularly addressing our death bowling and generally being consistent in hitting the right areas.”

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