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Eagles Ladies skipper Mupachikwa elated

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Austin Karonga

SPORTS WRITER

karongaa@dailynews.co.zw

EAGLES women cricket team captain Modester Mupachikwa, pictured, is not reading much into her charges’ blistering start to the domestic provincial tournament as she believes it is still early days yet.

The Harare-based outfit clobbered their Bulawayo counterparts Tuskers in both the T20 and 50-over matches at Kwekwe Sports Club over the weekend to begin their campaign with a 100 percent record.

Pace bowler Esther Mbofana ensured that her batters had the easiest of totals to chase down after picking four wickets for 12 runs while Christabel Chatonzwa and Precious Marange claimed a wicket apiece as Tuskers finished their innings on 96-8 after 20 overs.

Mupachikwa then led from the front with an unbeaten 48 together with Chatonzwa (16) not out as the Eagles finished the match on 98-1 inside 14.5 overs. 

Tuskers spinner Tasmeen Granger claimed the only wicket of Marange for 14 having also top scored for Tuskers with 34 runs while Chiedza Dhururu weighed in with 25 runs.

The following day, Eagles produced yet another top drawer performance with seamer Mbofana producing a magnificent bowling display that saw her claim eight wickets and a hat trick in the 50 over encounter against the same opposition.

Mbofana finished with figures of 8-21, Marange and Kellies Ndlovu wiped out the remaining wickets taking one each in Eagles’ 142-run win.

Eagles had batted first and the protagonists of Marange (45), Chatonzwa (37) and Mupachikwa (29) steadied the ship on their way to 197 all out in 48.5 overs, succumbing to Ellen Tshuma’s three wickets for 33 runs, Nomvelo Sibanda (2) and Anita Chisirimunhu’s single scalp.

But woman of the moment Mbofana proved too hot to handle as Tuskers perished for 55 runs all out inside 22.5 overs.

“It’s been a long while since we last had women’s cricket and we are glad to be back on the field full of promise and purpose.

“We are taking each game as it comes, all teams are equally strong and competitive and it just boils down to whoever does their processes right on each particular day, so yes, we are glad we have opened our campaign with wins but it’s still a long walk to freedom,” Mupachikwa told the Daily News yesterday.

True to Mupachikwa’s sentiments, the competition promises to be a thriller as in the capital Rhinos and Mountaineers won a match each of the two played over the weekend. 

Rhinos drew first blood with a 14-run win in the Twenty20 inspired by Lady Chevrons’ captain Mary-Anne Musonda (64*) and Josephine Nkomo’s (56*) unbeaten half centuries.

Mountaineers, however, fought back in the Fifty50 encounter with a six-wicket win with also half centuries by the Manicaland side’s pair of Pellagia Mujaji (59) and Chipo Mugeri Tiripano (51) and an unbeaten 43 from new signing Lorryn Phiri carrying the day.   

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