Pro 50 war at Harare Sports Club

HARARE - High- flying Eagles captain Tino Mutombodzi boasts of a solid depth within the side ahead of this morning’s Pro 50 Championship against an equally explosive Tuskers at Harare Sports Club.

The all-rounder fired a salvo at yesterday’s pre-final presser describing their base of players as good enough for a coach to choose from with his eyes closed. “I think we have got quite a good squad which is a mixture of older and younger guys. When you need energy you have got your younger guys when you need experience you have got your older guys. 

“But I think we have got a pretty squad like our coach always says you can literally close your eyes and choose anyone and expect them to do the job for the team on the day,” boasted Mutombodzi.
The Eagles finished the group stage leading the four-team table with 24 points from six matches winning five and losing only once. 

Tuskers booked their final berth by claiming second slot with 15 points, Logan Cup champions Mountaineers with 10 settled for third place while Rhinos anchored the table on four points with a single victory and five defeats. “I think we had a good game against them (Tuskers)...we will take game by game as it comes…we played well against them but for now it’s a final, they will be pressures that will come along with it so we will just look to concentrate on tomorrow’s (today) game,” Mutombodzi added.

“…We are not really thinking about how they played and how they are going to play I think we gonna concentrate on our cricket as a team and try to do our best. I think it has been a good season for us unfortunately we didn’t win the Logan Cup. 

“We started really well but we didn’t end on a good note but I think in that it really helped us in the sense that we managed to pull ourselves back and so keen that we really want to win this Cup. But like I said we just looking to play our best cricket tomorrow (today) and let the rest take care of itself.”

Eagles are spoilt for choice as they have hard working wicketkeeper batsman Regis Chakabva in their midst who has a century under his belt against Mountaineers this season and a couple of half tons.
“They also have high-riding hard hitters Cephas Zhuwao and Tafadzwa Kamunhukamwe, the captain himself and their newly-found slinger in seamer Daniel Jackiel who has been taking wickets regularly.

“He’s a special player for us (Jackiel). He has done well in the club setup in Harare…he’s been working hard on his game he’s been bowling to the national team players when they are having their nets and also to us and I think  it has been our big reward for him. 

“I’m happy for him as a captain, I’m happy for him that he has done well these past two games and I’m looking forward to some more good performances especially tomorrow (today),” said Mutombodzi.
Tuskers on the other hand have national team batsman Craig Ervine who recently notched back-to-back centuries.

Ervine’s unbeaten 168 against Eagles was, however, in vain as they went on to lose the match by four wickets at Harare Sports Club but was rewarded the following match after his 111 not out powered Tuskers into the Pro 50 final — downing Mountaineers by eight wickets at Takashinga Cricket ground.

Opener Brian Chari also boasts of a century and a couple of half tons during this campaign while spinner Sean Williams made his presence felt with the ball more than he did with the bat making this an epic final. Tuskers captain and man of few words, Ainsley Ndlovu  would have loved to play the final at their fortress Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

“I guess it was the form we had in the four-dayers which was bad it motivated the guys to do well in the 50- overs format. We really need this as a unit going on into the next season. Definitely we would have loved it to be in Bulawayo, a lot of people to support us it was quite nice to play at home after a long time,” Ndlovu said.

“It’s been a good privilege all the senior guys have been a good help every time they have been there to provide advice whenever it’s needed. 

“To be honest we are not looking at all those things we just trying to go through our process and try to win the game.”