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Mashonaland West beat Singapore side in tour opener

Mashonaland West – 148-6 in 20 overs (Malcolm Waller 72, Trevor Chibvongodze 20, Tarisai Mahlunge 19; Janak Prakash 2/39, Dharmichand Mulewa 1/17)

SCA President’s XI – 101-7 in 20 overs (Anish Paraam 27, Aalap Asurlekar 20*, Chetan Suryawanshi 16; Graeme Cremer 2/10, Tadana Masike 2/15, Tafara Chingwara 2/15)

Mashonaland West won by 47 runs

Malcolm Waller smashed an imposing half-century that powered Mashonaland West to a 47-run win over the Singapore Cricket Association (SCA) President’s XI in a Twenty20 match played today in the Malaysian state of Johor.

Mashonaland West are in Malaysia where they are scheduled to play three T20 matches and four 50-over matches against the Singapore side.

The Zimbabwe provincial side will also face a Johor team in another 50-over match.

The tour got underway today with the T20 match against the SCA President’s XI played at the Johor Cricket Academy Oval.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Mashonaland West only had six runs on the board when Tinotenda Mawoyo, one of the senior Zimbabwe internationals touring with the provincial side, was dismissed without scoring after facing three balls.

His opening partner, Tarisai Mahlunge, went on to chalk up a 20-run partnership with Takudzwa Kaitano before the latter fell in the fifth over for 17 off 18 balls, a knock that included one six and a single four; 26 for two.

That brought in the experienced Waller to the crease who quickly asserted himself on the game as he and Mahlunge, who turned 29 today, added 28 before the birthday boy was trapped lbw by Anish Paraam in the 12th over; 54 for three.

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He scored 19, including two boundaries, off the 25 deliveries he faced.

Just after the team hundred came up in the 17th over, Trevor Chibvongodze was dismissed having managed a run-a-ball 20 – his partnership with Waller had yielded a massive 46 runs.

Nyasha Mayawo came in with his intentions obvious, carting one over the rope and smacking another one to the boundary before he was run out having scored 12 off the four balls he faced; 120 for five.

With two overs remaining, Waller went for the kill, plundering 24 runs off nine deliveries before he was caught off the very last ball of the innings as he unsuccessfully sought to sign off with a maximum.

With his impressive 72-run knock, which came off 47 deliveries and included nine fours and two sixes, Waller had done enough to put his team in control of the match as they finished on 148 for six.

Graeme Cremer remained unbeaten, scoring three runs from as many balls, while Neville Madziva, Richard Muzhange, Tadana Masike and Tafara Chingwara did not get a chance to bat.

Janak Prakash was the Singapore side’s most successful bowler with two wickets, while there were one each for Paraam, Aalap Asurlekar and Dharmichand Mulewa.

Paraam got the SCA President’s XI off to a frenetic chase, flaying Muzhange all over the park before Cremer had his fellow opening batsman, Navin Param, caught for zero by Chingwara in the third over; 22 for one.

Paraam added three more runs before he again lost his partner, the new batsman Utsav Rakshit, who was bowled by Chingwara without also scoring.

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The Singaporeans then suffered a major blow in the fifth over when Paraam was trapped lbw by Madziva – he top-scored for his side with 27 runs that came off 16 balls and contained three boundaries and the innings’ only six.

Chingwara bagged his second wicket of the day when he sent Mulewa’s bails flying for a duck, leaving the SCA President’s XI on 45 for four in the sixth over.

Captain Chetan Suryawanshi (16) tried to put their chase back on track with two quick boundaries but the writing was clearly on the wall when he was caught by Chibvongodze off Cremer’s bowling in the ninth over; 55 for five.

Tadana Masike then conjured up some magic with the ball in the 12th over, first snaring a return catch to end Deepak Sarika’s innings for two before dismissing Prakash for 11 in the space of three balls.

Although Asurlekar and Aman Desai saw out the remaining overs, finishing unbeaten with 20 and 12 respectively, their efforts were unfortunately not enough to save their team from a 47-run defeat as the SCA President’s XI could only manage 101 for seven in reply to Mashonaland West’s total.

Cremer, Masike and Chingwara each took two wickets, while Madziva had a single scalp.

The two sides will meet again tomorrow, this time in a 50-over match, at the same venue.

Adam Chifo is coaching Mashonaland West, while provincial board chairman Paul Mungofa is leading the team on tour.

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