|Scorecard:||Matabeleland v Manicaland|
ZIMBAWE senior national team player Blessing Mahwire scored his maiden first class century for Manicaland against Matabeleland but his effort was in vain as the home side remained in firm control of proceedings on the second day of their Logan Cup inter-provincial cricket match at Queens Sports Club yesterday.
Mahwire, who is better known as a bowler, scored 115 runs from 117 balls with 16 fours and three sixes in 141 minutes as Manicaland, in reply to Matabelelandís first innings score of 442 in 92.4 overs, made 283 in 74.5 overs. The home side stretched their lead to 200 when they closed on 40 for no loss in 10 overs at the close of play.
Play on the second day got underway 30 minutes than scheduled to recover time lost to rain on the first day. Matabeleland resumed on their overnight total of 383 for six with their overnight watchmen Keith Dabengwa and Tawanda Mupariwa on three and zero respectively.
Manicaland used only three bowlers and they managed to get rid of the remaining four batsmen. Dabengwa scored 45 runs as Matabeleland added 59 runs to their overnight score with the rest of the lower order batsmen failing to come up with meaningful contributions.
Medium pace bowler Andre Soma was the most outstanding Manicaland bowler with three wickets at the expense of just eight runs in eight overs with one maiden. Right arm seamer Gary Brent and left arm seamer Allan Mwayenga were close behind with two wickets apiece.
In reply, Manicaland saw their opening batting pair of Darlington Matambanadzo and Neil Ferreira putting up just 18 runs on the board before Matambanadzo was dismissed by Mupariwa, caught by a diving Gregory Strydom at third slip for just eight runs.
Innocent Chinyoka joined Ferreira in Manicaland s quest to avoid the follow on but their partnership yielded 11 runs when Chinyoka was clean bowled by Campbell McMillan for six runs.
Manicaland were three down with just 35 runs on the board when Andre Soma was adjudged leg before wicket to Mupariwa for three runs. Brent joined Ferreira and brought some glimmer of hope for the visitors with a stand of 33 for the fourth wicket before Ferreira nicked a delivery from Mluleki Nkala to be caught behind for 15 runs.
Brent was joined by Mahwire and the duo produced some aggressive batting, taking advantage of some lose bowling by left arm spinner Dabengwa. Brent got his half-century after facing up 67 balls, smashing seven fours and one six and toiling at the crease for 87 minutes. Brent could only add three runs to his half-century before he fell to Nkala, caught behind by Siziba.
Mahwire continued with his aggressive batting with and offered hope to Manicaland with some beautiful strokes. He got his 50 off 58 balls with six fours and one six in 73 minutes while his hundred came off 92 balls with 15 fours and three sixes in 120 minutes of toiling at the crease. He put up 110 for the sixth wicket with Rangarirai Manyande before he fell to off spinner Strydom, caught by Dabengwa. By the time he was dismissed Manicaland needed only six runs to avoid the follow on.
The remaining five batsmen were skittled out for just 47 runs with the other meaningful contribution coming from Leon Soma who made 27 runs.
Mupariwa was the most outstanding Matabeleland bowler with three wickets, which came at the expense of 26 runs in 14 overs with eight maidens at an economy rater of 1.8 runs an over. Nkala claimed two victims and conceded 29 runs from 14 overs with five maidens at an economy rate of 2.0 runs an over. McMillan, Chris Mpofu, Strydom Thabo Mboyi and Mark Vermeulen took one wicket each with Vermeulen giving away just one run in 1.5 overs.
The home side stretched their lead to 199 runs when their opening pair of Siziba and Tinashe on 15 and 21 runs respectively.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Mehluli Sibanda)