HARARE – Focus switches to the Logan Cup today after the conclusion of the two-match Test series against West Indies which ended in a 0-1 series win for the visitors last week in Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe batted out all the overs on the fifth and final day before settling for a declaration draw with just a handful of overs remaining thanks to man-of-the-match Sikandar Raza (89) as well as Regis Chakabva (71) and captain Graeme Cremer’s (28) patient but composed eighth wicket partnership that frustrated the Caribbean Islanders.
This morning Mid West Rhinos hosts Harare side Mashonaland Eagles at Kwekwe Sports Club while Rising Stars riding on their maiden First Class victory over Matabeleland Tuskers in Kwekwe a fortnight ago welcome Mountaineers at Takashinga Sports Club in Highfield.
Eagles settled for a draw in their last match, a high scoring encounter against defending champions Mountaineers at Harare Sports Club two weeks ago.
The Harare-based franchise will be under no illusion when they square off against a star-studded Rhinos side which boasts of several national team players led by captain Cremer, batsmen Brendan Taylor and PJ Moor, seamer Kyle Jarvis as well as all-rounders Solomon Mire and Malcolm Waller.
Eagles head coach Stanley Timoni has declared war ahead of the titanic clash at Kwekwe Sports Club.
“We are going there for a serious fight. It’s not going to be an easy game, yes we know of the amount of talent they have in their ranks but we are not in any way intimidated with that. We just want to get our basics right and this will give us the victory,” Timoni told the Daily News.
“We need to win all our remaining games ruthlessly and as such the batting department needs to be on fire because it hasn’t performed very well so far. The good thing is that the batters have been putting hours in their work of late.”
Mashonaland Eagles will be without top order batsman Chamu Chibhabha who is part of the Zimbabwe A side on tour of the United Arab Emirates.
“We won’t be affected by Chamu’s absence because all the youngsters whom we gave contracts are very good enough to perform and give us the results that we want,” thundered Timoni.
On the other hand holders Mountaineers coach Shepherd Makunura will be without four players who are in UAE with Zimbabwe A for their match against the youthful and largely talented Rising Stars.
“Preparations have been good, we will be missing four players but it’s a good opportunity for us to test our depth and also for the fringe players to step up and be counted as well,” Makunura said.
“We need to work on our bowling department a bit more, I would want my bowlers to be a bit more disciplined and stay patient for longer periods.”