RE­LIEF FOR HIGH­LANDERS

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

BU­L­AWAYO giants High­landers fi­nally tasted vic­tory af­ter com­plet­ing a league dou­ble over How Mine who they beat 2-0 at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Bosso beat the gold min­ers by an iden­ti­cal score line in the re­verse fix­ture. On Sun­day, they got their goals from stand-in skip­per Erick Mudz­ingwa and Allen Ga­hadzikwa.

Mudz­ingwa said Sun­day’s vic­tory was a re­lief fol­low­ing a string of poor re­sults. High­landers had gone for six matches with­out a win.

“It’s good to win again be­cause morale was re­ally low in camp and this came as a re­lief to us as play­ers and I’m sure the sup­port­ers feel the same way too.

“We hope this vic­tory marks the re­turn of bet­ter for­tunes. We will con­tinue work­ing hard and fighting to the last game,” said Mudz­ingwa.

The long-serv­ing Bosso player, who has been at the club for a decade, also be­lieves they still have an out­side chance of win­ning the cham­pi­onship.

“I know some peo­ple may think I’m crazy, but the cham­pi­onship race isn’t over yet.

“We can’t be ruled out and what we just have to do is try to win our games to main­tain pres­sure on the lead­ing teams,” Mudz­ingwa said.

High­landers are third on the ta­ble with 35 points from 21 games and trail lead­ers FC Plat­inum by eight points.

Bosso are five points be­hind sec­ond-placed Caps United, who beat Mutare City Rovers 4-1 at the week­end to close the gap be­tween them and the plat­inum min­ers from five to three points.

FC Plat­inum were held to a 1-1 draw by Chicken Inn to take their un­beaten run to eight games.

De­spite be­ing held by the cham­pi­ons, the plat­inum min­ers re­main ti­tle favourites and how they re­spond to the draw will be key in their quest to land the cham­pi­onship.

FC Plat­inum’s next en­counter is a tricky tie against ZPC Kariba, one of only two teams to have beaten them this sea­son.

The elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tors were the first team to hand FC Plat­inum a loss in June when they beat the Zvisha­vane side 2-1 at Man­dava. The other team to have col­lected max­i­mum points from FC Plat­inum is Hwange that won 2-1 last month.

ZPC Kariba are fourth with 34 points, nine be­hind FC Plat­inum and are also cham­pi­onship dark horses.

For­mer cham­pi­ons Dy­namos, who are fifth on the ta­ble with 32 points off 21 games, played to a goal­less draw against Ngezi Plat­inum, while sixth-placed Tri­an­gle United were ham­mered 5-3 by Hwange.

The league’s lead­ing scorer with eight goals Gift Mb­weti and vet­eran striker Gil­bert Zulu scored braces with sea­soned de­fender Obert Moyo also find­ing the target for Hwange in the eight-goal thriller.

Mean­while, Bu­l­awayo City, who felt hard done by ref­eree Tha­bani Bhamala in their 1-2 loss to Harare City, say they are fo­cused on their next game against Mutare City Rovers.

Bhamala er­ro­neously awarded Harare City a penalty in the dy­ing stages of the game at JUST af­ter lunch yes­ter­day four Sri Lankan wick­ets were down for 40 runs as they faced up to a Zim­babwe Devel­op­ment XI’s first-in­nings to­tal of 349 at Harare Sports Club, and the home side scented a ma­jor vic­tory.

How­ever, there fol­lowed a mag­nif­i­cent and re­mark­able part­ner­ship of 236 runs be­tween the mid­dle-or­der pair of Charith Asalanka (100 not out) and Sandun Weer­akkody (151) that turned the match on its head.

By the close of play the Sri Lankans could be said to hold a slight po­ten­tial ad­van­tage now, be­ing 62 runs be­hind the Zim­bab­weans with five wick­ets still in hand.

The Zim­bab­wean team re­sumed on their overnight score of 302 for six wick­ets, with Luke Jongwe on 22 and Carl Mumba nine. Ru­faro Sta­dium on Fri­day af­ter ad­judg­ing that Bu­l­awayo City’s left-back Brian Chik­wenya had used his arm to block a goal­bound shot, when in fact the ball hit his shoul­der. Chik­wenya was sent off for the ‘‘of­fence’’.

Bu­l­awayo City act­ing coach Try Ncube said they have them­selves to blame for the de­feat.

“Ob­vi­ously we can’t change the past, but we had our­selves to blame be­cause we fluffed lots of scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. We can’t cry much about that penalty, which wasn’t a penalty any­way be­cause when that call was made, we should have put the game to bed. We de­fended too deep and paid dearly, but we’ve for­got­ten about that and are now look­ing for­ward to our next game,” said Ncube.

Cha­pungu piled more woes on Bor­der Strik­ers, dis­patch­ing the ta­ble an­chors 3-0 at As­cot Sta­dium. — @ ZililoR

the board. Worse was to fol­low for the tourists, as Mumba joined the party, mak­ing a ball fly to Lahiru Mi­lan­tha (1), who could only edge it hap­lessly to first slip; nine for three.

Mumba in par­tic­u­lar was work­ing up a good pace and trou­bling the bats­men.

Danny Phiri Khama Bil­liat Hardlife Zvirekwi

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