HARARE – Mashonaland Eagles batsmen fought doggedly with the bat to close the second day of the on-going Logan Cup encounter on 298-3 and leading Midwest Rhinos by two runs at Harare Sports Club.
The Harare franchise had lost opener Keith Kondo for a two-ball duck in the final over of day one on Monday to close on 0-1.
Regis Chakabva is unbeaten on 147 runs from 263 balls, beating his previous first-class highest score of 131 runs. He will be joined on the crease by Sikandar Raza Butt, on 42 from just 49 deliveries, when play resumes on day three this morning.
The home team lost opener Chamu Chibhabha for 10 runs after he was bowled by Rhinos seamer Michael Chinouya in the eight over. Chakabva and Mark Vermeulen architected Eagles’ recovery, steadying the ship after a shaky start.
The two took their team to lunch time on 87-2 after 31 overs and continued with their onslaught to the tea break on 181-2, having faced 60 overs.
Vermeulen, however, agonisingly fell in the final hour for 99 runs, caught at mid-off by Neville Madziva off the bowling of former Eagles rookie Kuda Munyede.
This brought to an end a well-played 230-run third wicket partnership that lasted 426 balls.
Chakabva carried on the chase, ably supported by Raza, and it was the latter that ensured that the Eagles closed the day in the lead with a boundary off the last ball of the day from Ed Rainsford.
Meanwhile, in Masvingo hosts Southern Rocks trail Matabeleland Tuskers by 138 runs with four wickets remaining. Tuskers finished their first innings on 284 runs all out having resumed day two 216-6.
Rocks tail-ender Tinashe Panyangara and middle order batsman Ryan Bezuidenhout are currently batting on eight and 16 runs respectively. Earlier, Godwill Mamhiyo scored a half century (62) for Tuskers before he was trapped plum by Cuthbert Musoko, joining openers Brian Chari and Bonaparte Mujuru, who scored 63 and 54 runs respectively on day one.
Wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami scored 52 runs for Southern Rocks while Prince Masvaure weighed in with 37 in their chase of 284.