Bulawayo Metropolitan Tuskers kept alive their challenge for the Pro50 Championship with a comfortable six-wicket victory over Rising Stars at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
A dynamic innings by Tinashe Kamunhukamwe gave the Stars a fine start, but apart from Ryan Burl, the middle order failed to build on this against good bowling from Ernest Masuku, and they were unable to set Tuskers a target that would test them with Brian Chari and Craig Ervine in fine form.
Tuskers began this match top of the table with 10 points and a superior net run rate to Mountaineers, while Rising Stars were close behind them both with nine points.
On a mild sunny morning at Harare Sports Club, Tuskers won the toss and put Rising Stars in to bat.
Chris Mpofu opened the bowling with Stephen Chimhamhiwa against the Stars openers, Kamunhukamwe and Tafadzwa Tsiga.
In response, in the six overs possible before lunch, they put on 20 runs without loss, of which Ncube had eight and Handirisi 12.
Handirisi did not last much longer, being well caught in the covers off a miscued shot from the bowling of Muchawaya; 37 for two in the 14th over and neither opening batsman was able to improve his Pro50 best score.
Chari and Richmond Mutumbami were now together, scoring comfortably, Chari playing a very responsible game.
Mutumbami was rather more experimental, and his shot selection eventually let him down, as he tried unsuccessfully to sweep a ball from Mavuta and was trapped lbw for 23; 86 for three after 24 overs.
Craig Ervine joined Chari and showed sound form, pushing the score along effortlessly, while Chari reached his fifty off 76 balls.
The pair had added 112 runs in less than 20 overs, and the score was now 198 for four in the 44th over; 17 more runs needed for victory.
Rising Stars – 214 all out in 40.2 overs (Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 47, Ryan Burl 42, Tafadzwa Tsiga 38; Ernest Masuku 4/49, Ainsley Ndlovu 2/41, Stephen Chimhamhiwa 2/60)
Bulawayo Metropolitan Tuskers – 215-4 in 45.5 overs (Brian Chari 79, Craig Ervine 63*, Richmond Mutumbami 23; Tinashe Muchawaya 2/37, Brendan Mavuta 1/50)
Bulawayo Metropolitan Tuskers won by six wickets – zimcricket.