Logan Cup 2021-2022: Tuskers Crowned Champions in Zim Domestic Cricket Glory

 By Ashley Dube & Takudzwa Hillary Chiwanza 

The Matabeleland Tuskers clinched their fifth Zimbabwe Logan Cup title – their first since 2015 – following the defeat of arch rivals Mountaineers who lost by 7 wickets to the Southern Rocks.

The Mountaineers cricket team needed at least a draw against the Rocks to take the trophy home. However, a brilliant second wicket stand between Cephas Zhuwao and Tadiwanashe Marumani of 221 on day one of the match (the highest in this season’s Logan cup) threw a spanner in the works and in turn, played a significant role in handing the trophy to the Tuskers.

Following Innocent Kaia’s early departure as he was caught leg before off the bowling of Tendai Chatara, Cephas Zhuwao joined Marumani to the crease.

Zhuwao was at his aggressively blistering best, ripping apart the Mountaineers to shreds en-route to his 152 off 168 balls. His innings comprised 18 fours and 6 maximums, at a strike rate of 90.48.

Where Zhuwao assumed the aggressive role, Marumani played an anchoring role superbly and was unfortunate for not getting a century of his own as he fell for 93 off 243 balls, spending more than five hours in the middle.

The Southern Rocks’ middle order chipped away with valuable starts; with Mutumbami (19), Roy Kaia (25) and Tafadzwa Tsiga (37) all keeping the scorers busy as they built on the solid foundation laid by Zhuwao and Marumani.

Down the order, bowling all-rounders William Mashinge (80) and Tendai Chisoro (46) built another devastating partnership as they threatened to reach 500 in their first innings.

Eventually, the Rocks were bowled out for an impressive 477.  Tendai Chatara (4-80) and Wellington Masakadza (4-92) were the pick of the Mountaineers’ bowling attack.

The Mountaineers in response failed to avoid the follow-on as they were bowled for 265. With the conspicuous  absence of consistent opener Ben Compton, the Mountaineers had to make changes to their batting line-up and surprisingly sent Wellington Masakadza to open the batting.

The decision proved to be a masterstroke as Wellington Masakadza scored 92 runs off 201 balls. To the Mountaineers’ downfall, Masakadza’s batting bravado was devoid of partners at the other end, with the exception of Tony Munyonga whom he combined for a 165 run stand.

Munyonga was bowled by Privilege Chesa after scoring 79 runs. Cuthbert Musoko delivered a brilliantly satisfying bowling performance, finishing with figures of 5-15 from 14.2 overs.

With the Mountaineers following on, they sent on Kevin Kasuza and Donald Tiripano for some defensive solidity in search of the priceless draw for the title. But following their departure, a mini collapse ensued and they found themselves in all sorts of trouble at 90-5.

Veteran Timycen Maruma displayed some valiant resistance with his 67. Tail enders Tinashe Muchawaya (43) and Tendai Chatara (25) showed some fight, building a slender lead of 57 in the process.

The cricket gods seemed to have smiled on the Mountaineers as rain came down midway through the third session at Harare Sports Club and the match was headed for a draw. However, rain cleared and the covers came off; and the Rocks chased down the score for the loss of 3 wickets, handing the glory of this season's first-class Zimbabwe domestic cricket league to the Matabeleland Tuskers.

At Old Hararians Sports Club, the Rhinos’ wretched form continued as they fell by 157 runs to the Alliance Health Eagles in a low-scoring encounter.

The Eagles batted first and were bowled out for 169 with debutant Ronald Masocha finishing with figures of 5-28.

In response, the Rhinos were bundled out for 162 with Richard Ngarava (3-37), Brad Evans (3-31) and Wessly Madhevere (3-26) all shining with the ball for the Eagles.

Will Fraine’s 85 was pivotal as the Eagles put 231 runs on the board for their second innings. Veteran ex-Chevron bowler Mike Chinouya finished with figures of 4-48.

A target of 238 looked attainable for the Rhinos but they all fell for a paltry 81 with only three batsman managing to put up double figure scores. Brad Evans was instrumental yet again with 3-25 and Wessly Madhevere who was named player of the match finishing with figures of 2-19.

The top performers in the Zimbabwe Logan Cup 2021-22 season include:

Craig Ervine

The Chevrons skipper was arguably the player of the season and his impressive batting displays were central to the Tuskers’ title charge. Ervine finished the season as the leading run scorer with 629 runs at a tremendous average of 78.62

Ben Compton

Englishman Compton was the backbone of the Mountaineers batting line up as he led almost a relatively inexperienced Mountaineers batting line up to the Logan Cup title contention. Compton finished with 479 runs and had the best average in the division of 79.83.

Kudzai Maunze

Maunze epitomized consistency at the top of the order of the Eagles batting attack, finishing the season with 530 runs, only behind Craig Ervine in the scoring charts at an average of 37.85.

Roy Kaia and Richmond Mutumbami

First class stalwarts Roy Kaia and Richmond Mutumbami produced stellar numbers for the Southern Rocks this season. Roy Kaia finished with 444 runs at an average of 49.33, whereas Mutumbami finished as the third highest run scorer with 520 runs at an average of 52.20 which was also in turn the third best batting average of the season.

Clive Madande

Clive Madande showed class and grit in his rookie year with his array of excellent cricket shots and capability to grind and see out trouble on the crease. He managed to get his maiden first class hundred against the Eagles facing the fastest bowling attacks bowling attack on the domestic scene comprising of Tanaka Chivanga and Richard Ngarava. He has been earmarked as the replacement of Regis Chakabva as the next wicketkeeper batsman for the Chevrons though his work behind the stumps needs improving. Fortunately for Madande, at 20, he has time on his side to work on his game. He finished the season with 407 runs at an average of 50.87. His impressive form did not go unnoticed as he was called up for the Sri Lanka tour in January.

Wessly Madhevere

Although his international form has dipped, Wessly Madhevere was solid this season with both bat and ball. He also got his maiden first class hundred this season as he finished the season with 426 runs at a healthy average of 42.60. Madhevere’s bowling improved significantly as well this season finishing the season with 20 scalps at an average of 22.10. He got his best figures of 7-105 against runners up Mountaineers.

Wellington Masakadza

Wellington Masakadza primarily known for his bowling prowess, showed incredible batting displays throughout this year’s Logan cup. In seven matches Masakadza finished with 364 runs at an average of 40.44 and 35 wickets at an average of 16.43

Ernest Masuku

The Tuskers new ball expert finished with the highest number of wickets in this season Logan cup with 38 wickets at an average of 23.44.

Victor Nyauchi

A national team recall may be imminent for Nyauchi as he finished with 32 wickets (third in the wicket charts) at an average of 16.43, the joint best bowling average this season.

Tanaka Chivanga

Touted the fastest bowler on the domestic scene Chivanga finished the season with 25 wickets at an average of 18.72 plying his trade for the Alliance health Eagles.

Other notable top performers include Rhinos pair Brandon Mavuta and opener Takudzwanashe Kaitano as well as fast bowlers Tendai Chatara and Brad Evans who also had good seasons for their respective franchises.

The Logan Cup

The Logan Cup is the  “premier” first-class domestic cricket league in Zimbabwe, having been originated with the 1993-1994 season. This followed Zimbabwe's promotion to Test status in 1992. The Rocks were the winners of the 2020-21 season. The Eagles have won the most Logan Cup titles, nine in total. The Logan Cup was named after James Douglas Logan, one of the “founding fathers” of South African cricket – who gave Rhodesian cricket teams a cup to compete for in 1903. And here is the Logan Cup 2021-22 team of the season by

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