BY SPORTS REPORTER
Eagles: 106 and 330-9 in 89 overs beat Rangers – 221 and 214 all out in 66.3 overs by one wicket
Mountaineers: 230 and 352 beat Rhinos 269 and 308 (79 overs, target 314) by 5 runs
EAGLES held their nerve to secure a one-wicket victory over newboys Rangers on the final day of a thrilling Logan Cup encounter at Harare Sports Club.
Former Zimbabwe international Blessing Muzarabani was the unexpected hero with the bat after the tailender scored the final six runs to secure victory for Eagles by hammering a big six off fast bowler Charlton Tshuma’s delivery.
The England-based fast bowler who finished Eagles second innings with 12 runs off 23 balls, shared a crucial 10th wicket partnership stand of 17 runs with Tony Munyonga. Munyonga finished the innings unbeaten on 49.
The day began with Eagles on 248 for five wickets in their second innings, needing to score 330 runs for victory and in the end they secured a thrilling win against determined debutants Rangers, who pushed them all the way on their Logan Cup bow.
It was a great blow to Rangers, who had come so close to victory, but they had put in a remarkable performance throughout the match, coming close to victory against one of the Logan Cup’s strongest teams on their home ground.
They did owe a great deal to the experience of Kyle Jarvis, who finished with six wickets for 76, while Tshuma supported him well but only managed to take one wicket for 61.
Munyonga had held the Eagles batting together, never dominating, but keeping his end up and finishing with 49 not out off 138 balls, with three fours.
This is only the eighth occasion in the history of first-class cricket in Zimbabwe that a team has won a match by a single wicket, and the abiding memory will be that of Muzarabani’s startling six to clinch it.
Meanwhile, in the other match played at Takashinga Sports Club, reigning champions Mountaineers beat Rhinos by five runs in another thrilling encounter, which went right to the wire.
Neville Madziva scored an unbeaten 77 but his efforts were in vain as Rhinos were bowled out for 308 in 79 overs while chasing 314 runs for an unlikely victory.
Offspinner Roy Kaia was the hero for Mountaineers with impressive match figures of nine for 151 runs, which included a five wicket haul in Rhinos’ second innings.