HARARE – Midwest Rhinos captain Brendan Taylor opened his Zimbabwean domestic franchise league account with a century in the Logan Cup as his team reached 296 runs before claiming a wicket in the final over of the day at Harare Sports Club on Monday.
Hosts Mashonaland Eagles handed Under-19 player Joylord Gumbie his first-class debut and also paraded new signings Mark Vermeulen and Brian Vitori who both got first team starts.
The Eagles lost a wicket in the final over on day one to close on zero runs and still trailing Rhinos by 296 runs.
Opener Keith Kondo was trapped plum by Rhinos seamer Ed Rainsford on the second ball of the host’s innings for a two-ball duck and soon after the umpires signalled an end to the day’s play.
Taylor won the toss and elected to bat with the decision backfiring on him temporarily after losing two wickets early inside the opening 13 overs.
At drinks in the morning session, Rhinos were 38-2 with Vusi Sibanda (7) and Bothwell Chapungu (8) falling victim to the bowling of Brian Vitori and Taurai Muzarabani respectively.
Rhinos lost Peter Moor for 16 runs after he was clean bowled by Vitori before Taylor and Malcolm Waller took them to lunch on 86-3.
The two senior players absorbed pressure and turned on the heat on Eagles bowlers, adding 151 runs for the fourth wicket before Taylor was caught at slips by Mark Vermeulen off Chamu Chibhabha for 101 runs. This was Taylor’s 20th first class century.
Waller then departed for 74 runs in similar fashion, caught at slip by Vermeulen off Chibhabha with Neville Madziva’s (26) wicket in the 83rd over ensuring an innings break for Mashonaland Eagles.
Mash Eagles debutant Vitori impressed on his debut and leads the bowling pack with four wickets followed by Muzarabani and Madziva on two wickets each.
At Masvingo Sports Club, visitors Matabeleland Tuskers elected to bat after winning the toss, taking their first innings tally to 216-6 at stumps after facing 95 overs.
Godwill Mamhiyo (41) and Tonny Mupariwa (7) resume the day on the crease hoping to stir their team to a massive first innings total against Southern Rocks.
Openers Brian Chari and Bornaparte Mujuru put on 70 runs for the first wicket before Mujuru was run out by Rayan Bezuidenhout for 54 runs in the 32nd over.
Chari was the last man to fall for Tuskers after he was caught by Kudzai Maunze off the bowling of Tafadzwa Kamungozi for a patient 224-ball 63 runs in the 80th over.
Tinashe Panyangara and Tafadzwa Kamungozi are currently on two wickets apiece.