Zhuwao, Mugochi help Eagles clinch title in eliminator

File photo: Tendai Chatara conceded just four runs off the last over to force a tie and a subsequent eliminator © AFP

Mashonaland Eagles beat Mountaineers in the eliminator to clinch Zimbabwe’s domestic T20 competition at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

Chasing 17 in the one-over shootout bowled by Bright Mugochi, the left-arm spinner, Mountaineers fell one short. This despite Hamilton Masakadza’s power hitting delivered a boundary and a six to bring the equation down to four runs off the last ball, off which only a brace was possible.

That they needed an eliminator to decide the winner was largely because Tendai Chatara, who conceded just four runs off the final over to force the game into a tie as Eagles also finished on 167 for 6 after 20 overs.

Cephas Zhuwao (71) and Chamu Chibhabha (37) put on 69 in just 5.5 overs to set the chase up nicely, before Mountaineers struck twice in four deliveries. When Regis Chakabwa was dismissed, Eagles were in a hint of trouble at 80 for 3. A 42-run stand for the fourth wicket between Zhuwao and Tinotenda Mutombodzi, who made a sprightly 22, before the slower bowlers applied the choke to force the game into a shootout.

Earlier in the piece, Mountaineers rode on Masakadza’s 42-ball 66 to post 167. Despite his strong show with the bat, it boiled down to his big-hitting prowess at the end once again, but on the night, the Eagles managed to hold on by the thinnest of margins in a thrilling finale.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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