Logan Cup: Mutombodzi stars as Eagles wrap up big win over Rhinos
Harare Metropolitan Eagles – 171 and 501 all out in 107.1 overs (Cephas Zhuwao 265, Kudzai Maunze 76, Tino Mutombodzi 39; Tendai Chisoro 6/192, Tendai Maruma 2/75)
Midlands Rhinos – 224 and 281 all out in 76.3 overs (Tendai Maruma 62, Simbarashe Gupo 48*, Nyasha Mayavo 42; Tino Mutombodzi 5/60, Tapiwa Mufudza 4/125)
Harare Metropolitan Eagles won by 167 runs
Harare Metropolitan Eagles captain Tino Mutombodzi took centre stage with his leg-breaks as his team completed a 167-run victory over Midlands Rhinos just in time for lunch on the fourth day of their Logan Cup match at Harare Sports Club.
He finished with five wickets for 60 with his tempting leg-breaks, and took nine for 84 in the match – he has been working on his bowling more this season and enjoyed a good harvest in this match.
Aiding him was the off-spinner Tapiwa Mufudza, who bowled throughout the morning session – his final figures were four for 125, so he took his wickets, but was expensive.
Midlands Rhinos began the final day at 160 for five, facing a target of 449 and with little hope of avoiding heavy defeat; Simba Gupo had 10 and the more aggressive Nyasha Mayavo 41.
Mayavo added just a single to his score before he pushed a return catch back to Mufudza and six men were out for 161.
Tendai Chisoro played some good strokes in scoring 27 off 42 balls, but became a little too obsessed with various versions of the sweep against the bowling of Mutombodzi, and in the end the bowler trapped him lbw missing a sweep, with the score 206 for seven; the drinks interval had secured another victim.
Kyle Jarvis scored 18 off 14 balls, but was beaten and bowled by a quicker yorker from Mufudza; 225 for eight.
Trevor Gwandu scored two before he pushed too firmly at a ball from Mutombodzi and was caught at short extra cover; 230 for nine wickets and still more than half an hour to go before lunch.
There was one surprise to come, though, as the last man, Mike Chinouya, resisted all efforts to remove him for 39 minutes and scored 26 of a last-wicket partnership of 51 with Gupo and delaying the lunch interval, until the match finally came to a close as he sliced a catch into the covers off Mutombodzi.
Gupo was left not out with 48 off 153 balls, a solid defensive innings, but he never tried to dominate the bowling.
This victory took Eagles to 42 points in the Logan Cup table, behind Mountaineers with 48.
Both teams have two matches to play, and the other three teams are too far behind to top the table now.