Kamunhukamwe impressive as Eagles win the 2023/24 Pro50 Championship title


HARARE – Midwest Rhinos lost their third final in the last 12 months as Mashonaland Eagles won the 2023/2024 Pro50 Championship final after securing a resounding 5-wicket victory at Takashinga Sports Club, Harare on Saturday.

Eagles winners of Pro50 Championship 2023
Eagles got all the enviable bragging rights in Zimbabwean domestic cricket after defeating Rhinos by 5 wickets in the final match of the Pro50 Championship played at Takashinga Sports Club in Harare on Saturday. [Image: @zcdomestic/X]

The foundation for the Eagles’ victory was laid by a blistering start from Tadiwanashe Marumani, fortified by stellar half-centuries from Tinashe Kamhunukamwe and Nick Welch. 

Their formidable batting prowess ensured a comfortable chase, following a strong showing by their bowlers in the initial innings. 

When the Rhinos took to the crease, their top order encountered early challenges, with three key batsmen departing with single digit scores. 

Bright Matsiwe (0) and Ben Curran (9) fell cheaply, while the standout player of the season, Antum Naqvi, was dismissed without posting a score. 

Although Takudzwanaishe Kaitano exhibited what seemed to be enviable glimpses of promise, he was eventually removed by Richard Ngarava for 28—the latter secured two wickets; and was accompanied by Hamza and Wessly Madhevere, each claiming a wicket, as the bowlers maximized the swing offered by the Takashinga pitch in the morning.

Rhinos found resilience in Prince Masvaure and Brandon Mavuta, who initiated a 50+ run partnership. However, Masvaure fell agonizingly short of reaching a personal milestone, coming within two runs of his half-century. 

Meanwhile, Mavuta continued his magnificent batting form, notching his third half-century in the last five matches. 

His impressive 69 runs were compiled from 88 deliveries, embellished with three boundaries and four powerful sixes, prompting the fervent crowd to advocate for his reinstatement to the national team. With a quickfire 40 from tailender Muhammad Adil, the Rhinos concluded their innings at 246 runs.

Eagles launched their pursuit with an aggressive stance, led by Tadiwanashe Marumani's explosive start, amassing 30 runs from just 17 deliveries. A leg before wicket dismissal off Adil’s delivery sent him packing. 

Tinashe Kamunhukamwe maintained the tempo with a hard-hitting 63 off 49 balls, including 12 boundaries.

Building upon this impregnable foundation, Nicholas Welch and Chamunorwa Chibhabha – though at lower strike rates – contributed valuably to Eagles’ chase as domestic cricket glory beckoned.

Welch’s innings culminated in 58 runs from 69 balls, while Chibhabha remained unbeaten with a steadfast 46 from 85 deliveries. 

Chibhabha ultimately secured the winning runs with a boundary, steering the Eagles to yet another remarkable triumph and adding another prestigious accolade to their already illustrious collection.

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