By Own Correspondent
HARARE: A brilliant century from Tadiwanashe Marumani was not enough for Alliance Health Eagles to overcome some fine consistent teamwork from Tuskers, who beat them again on Monday in the Pro50 Championship at Harare Sports Club by 15 runs.
This time Tuskers won the toss and decided to bat first, after their victory doing so on Saturday.
They were given a brisk start by Nkosana Mpofu and Tanu Makoni, although they could have hoped to score more runs when both were dismissed for 20 by the end of eight overs.
Brian Chari and Milton Shumba took over the crease, with Chari showing fine form with 45 runs off 61 balls, with seven fours in his innings.
He was out at 130 for three in the 28th over, and Tuskers looked well set for a big score.
Shumba played the anchor role, while his partners went after the bowling more vigorously.
Clive Madande scored 31 off 34 balls, in a partnership of 44 with Shumba, and was followed by Alvin Chiradza, who hit out well.
Shumba reached his fifty without really speeding up his scoring rate, but was then out without addition, having faced 95 balls and hit only three fours.
The score was then 193 for five in the 41st over, and there was some pressure on the remaining batters now to increase the rate.
Ernest Masuku soon went for five, but Ainsley Ndlovu fitted the bill, hitting out vigorously to push the score along with Chiradza.
The latter reached a fine fifty and was not out with that score at the end of the innings, scored off 44 balls with a six and three fours.
Ndlovu, the quickest scorer of his team, made 27 off 19 balls before he was out in the final over – the total was 269 for seven wickets.
The most effective Eagles bowlers were the batting and off-spinning all-rounders Wessly Madhevere, with two wickets for 45, and Kudzai Maunze, three for 32.
Tuskers this time had worked out how to play the spin of Tapiwa Mufudza, whose 10 overs cost 46 runs without a wicket.
The pace bowlers Faraz Akram and Tanaka Chivanga were also unable to make an impact, bowling between them 17 overs for 104 runs and only the wicket of Ndlovu in the final over to show for it.
Eagles went in after lunch and chased their target eagerly.
Regis Chakabva opened with Marumani and cracked four fours before he was bowled by Masuku for 16 in the third over with the score already 29 for one.
Craig Ervine was out for 10 off 22 balls with the score at 60 in the 13th over.
Then came the big partnership of the innings, as the veteran one-day specialist Chamu Chibhabha joined the dynamic youngster Marumani and they took on the bowlers together.
When Chibhabha was caught at the wicket off Tanatswa Bechani the score was 140, more than half their target, in the 28th over – he scored 36 off 49 balls with a six and three fours.
Maunze was out for nine, but Madhevere proved to be another worthy partner as Marumani powered on towards three figures.
He successfully brought up his hundred, but was then immediately stumped by Madande off the bowling of Sheu Musekwa for that exact score.
He faced only 108 balls and hit three sixes and 11 fours – Eagles were now 195 for five in the 36th over.
That wicket was the turning point of the innings, as Tuskers now began to take control.
Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and Faraz Akram were both out for a single each – 214 for seven in the 40th over.
This left Madhevere as the only recognised batter, although Chivanga did his best and gave him spirited support.
Madhevere reached 48 off 40 balls, but then he was bowled out by Masuku at 223 for eight, and the match looked to be as good as over.
Chivanga made some bold strokes, but the task was now too great, and he was last out for 18 as Musekwa finished off the innings and the match.
The total was 254, 15 runs short of the Tuskers score.
Musekwa finished with four wickets for 48 runs off eight overs and three balls, while there were two wickets each for Masuku and Shumba.