Eagles are Pro 50 Champions

Tinashe Kamunhukamwe won the battle of big hitters powering Eagles to a two-wicket win over Tuskers in the Pro 50 Championship final on Saturday.

The 23-year-old ex-Rising Stars opener notched 73 runs from 60 balls in his 99-minute stay on the crease before he was trapped plum by Tuskers captain Ainsley Ndlovu.

Eagles’ skipper Tino Mutombodzi elected to field after winning the toss with the move quickly paying dividends after opener Brian Chari was bowled out for zero by Richard Ngarava on the fourth ball of the match.
On-song Tuskers batsman Craig Ervine was dismissed for 31 so was number four batsman Charles Kunje. Their mini-redemption came at the middle order courtesy of Ernest Masuku’s 78-ball 67-runs as Tuskers completed their innings on 202 all-out after 54.2 overs.
Eagles got off to a similar disappointing start in their chase after opener and big hitter Cephas Zhuwao was caught behind by wicketkeeper Cunningham Ncube for just one run in the second over.
Wickets began to tumble at regular intervals after the fall of the second wicket of Chamu Chibhabha for 11 runs. The Eagles later found themselves reeling on 155-7 and needing a miracle to find their way to the 48-run deficit and thanks to 42-run eighth wicket partnership between Tapiwa Mufudza (17) and Regis Chakabva who finished unbeaten on 38 runs.
Ervine was named batsman and player of the tournament on the backdrop of his back-to-back 100s while Eagles’ bowling sensation Daniel Jackiel, with 13 wickets in only four matches, walked away with the bowler of the tournament gong.
The Pro 50 Championship title was the first for new coach Stuart Matsikenyeri and Kamunhukamwe in Eagles colours and second in two seasons the duo having won it last year with Rising Stars.
“Double it is on an individual level but first with Eagles I think that is quite special. I think generally I had a good squad to work with we have got a good squad so it helps but it also makes it very difficult to manage,” victorious coach Matsikenyeri said.
“…I suppose it was just the attitude of the squad that helped…finals do come with a little bit of pressure…we lost one or two maybe unnecessary wickets so it made the chase a little bit more exciting than it should have been.”
Eagles will, however, have to cut short their celebrations as the domestic T20 competition kicks off this morning at Old Hararians Sports Club and interestingly they square off against Tuskers in the afternoon fixture.
Rhinos and Mountaineers meet in the tournament opener this morning at the same venue.

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