HARARE – Zimbabwe fringe cricketer Cephas Zhuwao opened his Vigne Cup League account with an unbeaten 168 as Old Hararians eased past Royal by seven wickets on Sunday.
Zhuwao smashed 17 boundaries and 12 maximums from 77 balls while Ryan Butterworth, the former Zimbabwe batsman, was dismissed for 73.
The Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association (HMCA) competition resumed at the weekend.
Old Hararians chased down Royal’s total of 299 inside 26 overs for the loss of three wickets, thanks to an 89-ball 168-run third wicket partnership between Zhuwao and Butterworth.
The former Glenshire player Zhuwao joined Old Hararians upon his return from a fruitful stint in the UK, where he played division one cricket for Eversley Cricket Club in North East Hampshire.
While in UK, Zhuwao pocketed £1,000 in a Super Over tournament, a competition that is held to determine London’s best all round club cricketer while he was also a cult hero in the league where he finished among the top performers.
On Sunday, the Mashonaland Eagles’ player smashed 17 boundaries and 12 maximums in his 77-ball knock 168. Zhuwao starred in a 168-run third wicket partnership with Butterworth.
Royal batted first before Simbarashe Haukozi’s half century (82) and 46 runs from opener Talkmore Borerwe took the Chitungwiza based side to 299. The score was however, not enough on a batter-friendly surface as the home team reached the target in the 26th over to earn a bonus point.
At Prince Edward, Uprising got their revenge on breakaway faction Rainbow with a 31-run win in another Vigne Cup encounter played on Sunday.
Meanwhile, HMCA provincial chairman Cyprian Mandenge said the league will continue to survive in the absence of funding from Zimbabwe Cricket.
“As cricketing loving people we just have to go ahead with the league, they (ZC) have decided to channel funding to the franchises but they are forgetting that club cricket act as a conveyor belt that feeds players into the provinces and national teams,” Mandenge told the Daily News.
“We will play for only one round and funds permitting will add another round or two, but having said that, running club cricket shouldn’t entirely be a ZC issue.”
ZC made an undertaking to support club cricket activities this year with minutes of the board AGM held in July confirming their pledge.
“…The delegates also noted that the country’s 10 provincial cricket associations will be empowered with effect from the first of September 2013, to administer more effectively the development programmes and club cricket in their respective provinces,” read the AGM minutes circulated by ZC.
“This will relieve the franchises and leave them to concentrate on their mandate, which is First Class domestic cricket. Each provincial cricket association will have an area manager dedicated to it, and under the area manager will be development coaches. These positions will be funded and resourced directly by ZC.”