17 cricket teams reg­is­ter

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

SEV­EN­TEEN teams have been reg­is­tered for the Bu­l­awayo Metropoli­tan Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion’s (BMCA) three leagues that started last week and end in April 2017.

Four clubs, Emakhan­deni, Queens Sports Club, Bu­l­awayo Ath­letic Club (BAC) and Roost­ers are com­pet­ing in the First League, whose top two teams will rep­re­sent the prov­ince at next year’s Na­tional League.

The sec­ond pro­vin­cial tier league has seven clubs, Queens 2, BAC 2, ZRP Bu­l­awayo, Lu­pane State Univer­sity (LSU), Nust, Tigers and Nketa Cricket Club, while six teams Emakhan­deni 2, Gampu Lions, Chee­tahs, Cham­pi­ons, Glenkara and Bu­l­awayo Polytech­nic Lions will bat­tle it out in the Third League.

BMCA fix­tures sec­re­tary Vic­tor Mh­langa said they ex­pect stiff com­pe­ti­tion from all teams fol­low­ing the board’s res­o­lu­tion to have au­to­matic rel­e­ga­tion and pro­mo­tion of teams at the end of the sea­son.

“In the past we used to have play-offs whereby the bot­tom team in the First League took on the top team from the Sec­ond League, with the win­ner set to play in the top tier. How­ever, this time around the bot­tom team in the First League will be au­to­mat­i­cally rel­e­gated to make way for the Sec­ond League win­ners.

We will also have a team rel­e­gated in the Sec­ond League and one pro­moted from the Third League,” said Mh­langa.

De­fend­ing First League cham­pi­ons Emakhan­deni had a fine start to their 2016/17 cam­paign, beat­ing Roost­ers by 170 runs. Emakhan­deni bat­ted first, with Mbekezeli Mabuza top scor­ing with 111 runs to in­spire the cham­pi­ons to a to­tal of 296 for nine.

Roost­ers were bowled out for 126, with na­tional team spin bowler and Emakhan­deni cap­tain John Nyumbu tak­ing seven wick­ets.

In the other First League game, Christopher Mpofu led Queens to a 34-run win over BAC in a match that was re­duced from 50 overs to 37 overs due to rain. BAC has among its first class crick­eters Ta­fara Mu­pariwa and Charlton Tshuma.

Queens and Emakhan­deni lock horns on Oc­to­ber 15 at BAC, while Roost­ers and BAC square off a day later at the same venue. — @ZililoR

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