MASVINGO CITY-Masvingo’s Southern Rocks cricket team, hoping for back to back wins last weekend in their quest for a spot in the finals of the Pro 50 championship suffered a setback last weekend.
Despite easily winning their first match against the Mutare based Mountaineers on Friday, they went down to the same side on Sunday in front of their home fans at Masvingo Sports Club.
Friday’s game was a one sided affair with the Rocks beating the defending champions by five wickets with 28 overs to spare and condemning the Mountaineers to their third straight defeat after back to back losses to the Midwest Rhinos the weekend before.
Man of the match, William Mashinge who took 3 wickets for 25 in five overs was the chief destroyer of the Mountaineers who managed just 121 before being bowled out in the 25th over. Despite a nervy start by the Rocks, who were two wickets down for just 5 runs in the second over and 5 down for 65 in the 13th over Mashinge who made 28 and wicketkeeper Tafadzwa Tsiga who weighed in with 30 saw the Rocks home in the 23rd over. Tinashe Muchawaya was easily the best Mountaineers bowler taking four wickets for 42 in eight overs in what was always going to be a losing cause.
On Sunday the Rocks were sent in to bat first and posted a healthy 315 for 5 on the back of a superb 97 by Roy Kaia ably supported by Jonathan Campbell who made 53; Rocks captain Richmond Mutumbami who made 38 and Cephas Zhuwao who posted 36 runs. Donald Tiripano took 2 wickets for 58 runs in 9 overs while Mountaineers captain Tony Munyonga; John Masara and Brian Bennett each took one.
Needing 36 to win the Mountaineers got off to an excellent start with openers Joylord Gumbie, who went on to make 68, and Kevin Kasuza (60) putting together 117 for the first wicket. That brought Peter Moor to the crease. The Irish international then put together a magnificent 96 in just 65 balls. Moor, who won the man of the match award, was joined by Bennett with the score on 206 for 3 and with Bennett making a run a ball 31, the pair overhauled the Rocks total with more than three overs to spare.
The Mashonaland Eagles with four wins out of four are almost certain to reach the finals but the other four franchise teams all have a chance to join them if they win their remaining matches.
The Rocks next home games will be back to back one dayers against the Matabeleland Tuskers.