|Scorecard:||Matabeleland v Manicaland|
GARY Brent struck a defiant century, his second in first-class cricket but his effort went to waste as Manicaland went down by 190 runs to Matabeleland on the fourth and final day of their inter-provincial Logan Cup match played at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Monday.
Brent scored 121 runs in 132 balls with 13 fours and four sixes in 188 minutes at the crease and was the last Manicaland wicket to fall as they were all out for 303 runs in 80.2 overs in their second innings after making 283 in their first attempt. Matabeleland, propelled by a double-century from Gregory Strydom scored 442 in their first innings and followed up with 334 for the loss of seven wickets declared in their second innings.
Manicaland resumed at their overnight score of 53 for the loss of two wickets with Rangarirai Manyande and Andre Soma the two batsmen at the crease on 24 and 14 runs respectively. The two put up 54 for the third wicket before Manyande was run out for 30 going for a quick single when he drove Mluleki Nkala to midwicket and set off for a quick run. Tawanda Mupariwa threw in the ball for Wisdom Siziba to complete the run out before Manyande could return to his crease.
Andre Soma made was joined by Brent and the two shared in a fourth-wicket stand of just 14 runs before Soma was bowled by young pace bowler Chris Mpofu for 46. Brent was joined by Blessing Mahwire and the two set about trying to repair the damage and seemed content with blocking most of the deliveries that came their way. Their partnership yielded 29 runs before Mahwire, who made his maiden first-class century in the first innings, was dismissed by left-arm spinner Keith Dabengwa, caught by close fielder Mark Vermeulen for 11.
Brent continued with his heroics as wickets kept on falling on the other hand. He got his half-century from 96 balls with seven fours and one six in 121 minutes at the crease. His century came up from 125 balls with 12 fours and two sixes in 174 minutes.
The other meaningful contribution came from tail-ender Prosper Utseya who made 38 runs. Manicaland were finished when Brent came off for a delivery from Mbekezeli Mabuza to be stumped by Wicketkeeper Siziba, handing the young off-spinner his first wicket in first class cricket.
Mupariwa was once again the most outstanding Matabeleland bowler with three wickets at the cost of 70 runs in 22 overs with eight maidens. Mpofu was close behind with two wickets at the expense of 46 runs from 13 overs with five maidens with Dabengwa also taking the same number of wickets while Mabuza and Nkala took one wicket each.
Missing the services of Trevor Gripper, Richard Sims, Tinashe Panyangara and Piet Rinke, who are all with the Zimbabwe A side in Bangladesh, Manicalandís lack of depth was heavily exposed in the match. The top order batting line-up failed to live up to expectations and runs ended up coming from unlikely sources.
On the other hand, Matabeleland were without skipper Heath Streak, pace bowler Mpumelelo Mbangwa, top-order batsman Charles Coventry and spinning all-rounder Gavin Ewing. This gave a chance to young and upcoming players to showcase their talent and they did not disappoint. Tawanda Mupariwa was in a class of his own with his bowling. Tinashe Hove made scores of 27 and 32, not bad for player making his four-day debut while Thabo Mboyi who could not bowl owing to a groin injury produced exceptional fielding.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Mehluli Sibanda)