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Match report day 2 Manicaland v Mashonaland Logan Cup 2003/04
by John Ward


Scorecard:Manicaland v Matabeleland

Overnight: Matabeleland 390; Manicaland 26/0 in 11 overs (Matambanadzo 8*, Manyande 12*).
Lunch: Manicaland 186/2 off 50 overs (Manyande 83*, A D Soma 50*).
Tea: Manicaland 396/3 off 85 overs (A D Soma 184*, Mahwire 2*).
Close: Manicaland 509/7 off 112.5 overs (Chioza 23*).

 

Manicaland enjoyed their first really successful day in a long while on the second day of their match against a similarly depleted Matabeleland team. Setting their sights on a massive total, they finished the day on 509 for seven wickets. The stars of the day were opener Norbert Manyande (148) and Andre Soma (204), who took full toll of weak bowling and poor fielding to put on 288 together for the third wicket.

 

A handsome cover drive for four by Manyande in the opening over showed that he was much more confident than he had been at the start of his innings. Matabeleland missed the chance of an early breakthrough, though, when another catch went down, Darlington Matambanadzo being missed at second slip off the bowling of Mluleki Nkala. This time it did not prove too expensive, though, as Matambanadzo grew impatient with his inability to score, aimed a drive at the same bowler and was comprehensively bowled for 15; 40 for one.

 

There was more determined batting from Manyande and Innocent Chinyoka, who suffered an unusual dismissal when he played too far back to Chris Mpofu and stood on his middle stump, thus departing hit wicket for 24; 96 for three.

 

Manyande pulled the next ball he received for four to reach his maiden first-class fifty, a fine fighting effort after such a difficult start. Andre Soma now settled with him and the pair looked increasingly comfortable, Matabeleland resorting to eight bowlers before lunch, and a ninth afterwards, in a vain effort to part them. For some reason Hamilton Masakadza, who has taken a Test wicket with his occasional leg-breaks, was the one fielder overlooked for a turn with the ball.

 

Soma reached his maiden fifty just before lunch, off just 65 balls, and afterwards Manyande hit the third ball he faced, from Mbeke Mabuza, over long on for six to reach the nineties. He slowed down until a powerful on-drive was misfielded and went through to the boundary, to bring up his century off 170 balls. It was very well earned and he deserves to have it go down in the first-class records – but first-class bowling it was not, in the present unhappy state of Zimbabwe cricket.

 

Shortly afterwards Soma reached a more aggressive century off 125 balls, despite the distraction of the scoreboard crediting him with three figures one run early. Shortly afterwards Masakadza became the tenth bowler to be tried, despite his protestations of being out of practice. He did not do too badly at first, but at the other end the pavilion roof between square leg and midwicket suffered a regular bombardment of fours and sixes as the batsmen took greater toll of the full tosses and long hops that were frequently served up for their delight.

 

It was easier than taking candy from a baby; in this case, the baby was gleefully doling out the candy. There was still an occasional catch offered and rejected, with the Matabeleland manager ‘Buds’ Mukadam accused of missing one through sitting on his deckchair just beyond the wide long-on boundary instead of moving in with the bowler! Then suddenly, just before tea, Manyande played forward defensively to Tawanda Mpariwa with the second new ball and was unexpectedly bowled. He departed for 148 in just over five hours and the partnership had realized 288, the second-highest for the third wicket in the country’s first-class history. Manicaland were 384 for three and by tea they had taken the lead.

 

The final session of the day began with some more sloppy Matabeleland fielding. Soma, whose previous highest first-class score had been 46, went on to a double-century that must have been one of the easiest played in first-class cricket, but that was scarcely his fault; he applied himself and reached 200 off 211 balls. Shortly afterwards he pulled Mpariwa to midwicket, where Masakadza held a sharp one-handed catch above his head, bringing his innings to a close at 204, scored off 213 balls in just under four hours. He hit 36 fours and a six.

 

Leon Soma scored 13 before driving Nkala to short extra cover, and Prosper Utseya 5 when he edged Grey Strydom into the gully. But Stanley Chioza stayed with captain Blessing Mahwire and continued the slaughter of the hapless bowlers. In the final over of the day Mahwire (51) walked for an appeal for a catch at the wicket off Romeo Kasawaya, although umpire Justice Tapfumaneyi was not intending to give him out. This was a praiseworthy piece of sportsmanship, as was Matabeleland’s brisk over rate during a tiring day for them. On the third day Manicaland will seek to tighten their grip on the match.

 


(Article: Copyright © 2004 John Ward)

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