Tuskers, Rhinos Match Abandoned Due To Dangerous Pitch
Bulawayo Metropolitan Tuskers – 39-4 in 11.5 overs (Nkosana Mpofu 15, Cunningham Ncube 9, Richmond Mutumbami 4*; Tendai Chisoro 2/10, Tafara Chingwara 2/11)
Match abandoned due to an unfit pitch
History of an unfortunate kind took place at Old Hararians Sports Club on Sunday when the Pro50 Championship match between Bulawayo Metropolitan Tuskers and Midlands Rhinos had to be abandoned due to a dangerous pitch.
The batsmen at the pavilion end were hit several times by flying balls from the pace bowlers, and it was decided that the match could not be continued without an unjustifiable risk to the safety of the players.
Yet again Tuskers won the toss and decided to bat on a largely overcast morning, on a pitch that gave no real sign of causing problems, and with a heavy outfield.
Cunningham Ncube and Nkosana Mpofu opened their innings against the bowling of Neville Madziva and Mike Chinouya.
The usually sedate Mpofu played himself in and then opened up with two successive fours off Tafara Chingwara.
Tendai Chisoro was brought on to bowl and immediately removed Mpofu lbw, playing no stroke, for 15; 32 for one in the seventh over.
Without addition to the score, Ncube (9) tried to avoid a lifter from Chingwara and was given out caught at the wicket.
The score was still on 32 when Brian Chari slashed at a ball from Chisoro and was caught at the wicket without scoring.
Three wickets had fallen in nine balls without a run being scored.
At 38, Chingwara removed Craig Ervine (2) who, cautious after receiving a couple of sharp lifters, drove a low catch to mid-on.
Chingwara, bowling from the city end of the ground, was making some deliveries rise unusually sharply, and twice hit Richmond Mutumbami painful blows on the fingers.
The second time it was so painful that the umpires called a halt to the match, and a long time was spent consulting with the match referee before it was reluctantly but correctly decided to abandon the match, for the safety of the players.
Fortunately, Mutumbami, who has had recent problems with his fingers, did not suffer a fracture, but the finger was badly swollen.
The final score at the abandonment was 39 for four wickets, with Mutumbami on four and Handirisi one.
Rhinos at least may be ruefully grateful to obtain their first points of the tournament for a ‘no result’ match, but Tuskers had urgently needed a victory to have a slim chance of qualification for Saturday’s final.