Eagles Women captain Modester Mupachikwa scored her maiden century in the Fifty50 Challenge – and the competition’s first hundred – in their 78-run victory over Mountaineers Women at Takashinga Sports Club on Saturday.
Mupachikwa carried the bat for her side scoring an unbeaten 104 that came off 131 balls and had 15 fours.
Mountaineers, who had already qualified for the final of the competition before this match, won the toss and chose to field in a match reduced to 39 overs after a late start due to overnight rain.
While they kept their extras low, the Eastern Highlands side found taking wickets tough.
Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano and Loryn Phiri were the only ones to get breakthroughs.
Kellies Ndlovu was the first one to go, trapped leg before for nine – at that point, she and Mupachikwa had put on an opening partnership of 63.
Soon after Mupachikwa got to her half-century, scoring 51 off as many balls.
Christabel Chatonzwa was handy for her 11 in a 43-run partnership for the before Mugeri-Tiripano then accounted for her wicket with Pinky Mashonganyika completing the catch.
Precious Marange continued her impressive turnout this season as she remained unbeaten on 36 when the Eagles innings ended on 177 for the loss of two wickets.
Mugeri-Tiripano claimed one wicket for 26 runs and Phiri one for 29.
In response, Mountaineers never really got going, losing their first four wickets inside 12 overs with only 12 runs on the board.
Mitchell Mutongawafa did the early damage dismissing the dangerous Mugeri-Tiripano for 14 and Rumbidzai Nire for nought.
Nyasha Gwanzura provided the main resistance, top-scoring with 22, her partnership with Audrey for the fifth wicket the highest of the innings with 36.
Phiri and Francesca Chipare chipped in with 14 and 16 respectively but in the end Mountaineers could only score 99 for the loss of eight wickets from their overs.
Mutongawafa took two wickets, conceding 14 runs in two overs.
Marange returned one for nine and Ndlovu one for 12.
Tuskers Women – 160-8 in 50 overs (Nomvelo Sibanda 29; Tasmeen Granger 18, Chiedza Dhururu 12; Mary-Anne Musonda 3/28, Nomatter Mutasa 2/22, Ashley Ndiraya 1/19)
Rhinos Women – 68-3 in 23.2 overs (Mary-Anne Musonda 21, Ashley Ndiraya 15, Josephine Nkomo 13*; Philanthropic Songo 1/2, Nomvelo Sibanda 1/22, Tasmeen Granger 1/25)
Rhinos Women won by seven wickets (DLS)
Rhinos Women have snuck into the final of the inaugural Fifty50 Challenge after they beat Tuskers by seven wickets via the Duckworth-Lewis system at Kwekwe Sports Club on Saturday.
When rain stopped play, with Rhinos down three wickets after 23.2 overs, their target was 68 to win.
As fate would have it, they were on 68 and with no play possible after, they went on to win the match and thus book a spot in the final next weekend against Mountaineers.
It was a game of inches, as they had lost Mary-Anne Musonda for 21 in the 23rd over and a single run gained in the proceedings five balls later ensured that Rhinos got the victory.
Earlier in the innings, Ashley Ndiraya scored 15 before going out to Philanthropic Songo.
Her fellow opener Bongani Munyayi could only contribute four to the total before Tasmeen Granger accounted for her wicket.
Rhinos skipper Josephine Nkomo was unbeaten on 13 with no Nomatter Mutasa yet to get off the mark on the other end having faced three deliveries.
Songo returned an impressive one for two off eight deliveries.
Tuskers captain Nomvelo Sibanda took one for 22 and Tasmeen Granger one for 25, the latter having bowled her full complement of 10 overs.
For their part, Tuskers racked up their highest total of the season when they put up 160 for the loss of eight wickets from their allotted 50 overs.
A significant part of that score came off the extras bowled by Rhinos, which amounted to 72 in total – they comprised 55 wides, six no-balls and 11 byes.
Sibanda top-scored for Tuskers with 29, followed by Granger who contributed 18.
Opening batter Chiedza Dhururu with 12 was the only other player to get into double figures.
Musonda took three wickets for 28 runs, Mutasa had two for 22, Ashley Ndiraya one for 19 and Nkomo one for 28.
But in the end, Rhinos qualify and it means that all four teams have something to play for across the two women’s competitions