© ON THE mend Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor’s scored a hundred in vain after his youthful Rangers side crashed to a seven-wicket defeat against an experienced Mountaineers in a Logan Cup encounter Takashinga Sports Club in Highfield which concluded on Sunday.
Nursing a back injury which ruled him out of the first two matches, Taylor returned to haunt champions Mountaineers with a gritty 143 runs up the order.
His knock lifted Rangers to 242 runs all out inside 44.2 overs with Clive Chitumba (26) and Alvin Chiradza (15) the other notable run scorers.
Victor Nyauchi with four wickets for 59 runs, Donald Tiripano’s 3/44 and William Mashinge’s 2/38 were the pick of the bowlers for Mountaineers.
Mashinge returned to star with the bat scoring 64 runs before being bowled out by seamer Kyle Jarvis while Kevin Kasuza (42), Wellington Masakadza 41 (not out) and Ray Kaia (34) ensured Mountaineers get bonus points for a first innings lead. They were bowled out for 254 runs in 82 overs with a lead of 12 runs.
Rangers right arm pacer Charlton Tshuma claimed four wickets for 43 runs in 18 overs while Jarvis and Kudakwashe Macheka another seamer picked two wickets each.
The second innings was a complete disaster for Rangers. Taylor once again top scored with 25 runs, Dylan Hondo was unbeaten on 18 runs while Johnathan Campbell and Macheka chipped in with identical 10-run scored as they fell for a paltry 90 runs.
Tiripano was the chief tormentor with five wickets for 15 runs in nine overs while Nyauchi and Mashinge picked two wickets apiece.
With a lean target of 78 runs to win the match Mountaineers wrapped up the match in 14.3 overs thanks to Timycen Maruma’s unbeaten 27-ball 37 runs, Tinashe Chimbambo’s 23 and Shingi Masakadza’s 10 runs not out.
“I was a little bit surprised how I actually played considering I hadn’t put my whole lot of work during the festive season. I was hampered by small back sprain, spasms and stuff so I couldn’t do the work I would have liked to have done but I just fought through the early periods and once I got through that I sort of started finding my rhythm,” Taylor told the Daily News.
“We lost some clustered wickets and I just managed to play a freer game in the end. It was just nice to spend a good three or four hours in the middle and it was very valuable to me leading into the Test series. I feel like I’m 90 per cent fit. It’s good to get some work under the legs and spent some times on the middle that was really valuable.”
He said it was disappointing to be on the losing end.
“But yah disappointing to lose obviously; we have a young side so we not really expecting to win, that’s not the end goal, the end goal is to nurture these young guys and just help them where I can,” Taylor said.
“They’re extremely enthusiastic, they have trained really hard with Gary Brent (head coach) over the last five months and they’re definitely the most well prepared team. All these young guys have got three First Class games under them so, they potentially should have won their first two games with no experienced players playing with them.”