Hwange avoid rel­e­ga­tion

Takashinga off to good start in Uganda

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - To­bias Man­doreba in Hwange Per­ci­val Sizara in Kam­pala, Uganda

Hwange 0-0 Cha­pungu A DRAW was prob­a­bly the fairest re­sult as hosts Hwange and vis­it­ing Cha­pungu bat­tled it out in this luke­warm Cas­tle Lager Premier League match at the Col­liery Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

Both teams have sud­denly found them­selves as rel­e­ga­tion can­di­dates with the on­go­ing rel­e­ga­tion saga be­tween Zifa and the Premier Soc­cer League but the coalmin­ers will be more pleased with the point as it leaves them in a safe zone what­ever the fi­nal out­come of the im­passe is at the end of the day.

The air­men had a big chance in the open­ing two min­utes of the con­test with striker Pa­trick Khum­bula’s flash­ing header be­ing ac­ro­bat­i­cally tipped over the bar by the im­pres­sive Hwange goal­keeper Tai­mon Mvula.

Khum­bula’s at­tempt jolted the hosts into life. They started to pin Cha­pungu in their own half but the goal proved elu­sive with a glut of missed chances by the min­ers.

The miss of the af­ter­noon came in the 18th minute when Hwange’s tal­is­manic striker Gift Mb­weti clev­erly waltzed his way past two Cha­pungu de­fend­ers in­side the box only for him to mis­cue his ef­fort with goal­keeper Tal­bott Shumba to beat.

The young­ster was to again hold his head in dis­be­lief three min­utes into the last stanza when he blazed his ef­fort over the bar from a few me­tres out af­ter he had latched on to a lovely Gil­bert Zulu cross.

The match then be­came a big yawn and only livened up in the last quar­ter af­ter Me­belo Njekwa in­tro­duced vet­eran at­tack­ing

mid­fielder Farai Vimi­sai for Ad­mire Banda in the 75th minute.

Vimi­sai em­barked on some mazy runs from the right flank and sent in del­i­cate crosses which found no tak­ers in­side the box. Over­lap­ping left back Mun­yaradzi Mungadze joined in the list of cul­prits to miss chances on the stroke of full­time when he blazed his shot way over the bar af­ter com­ing at the end of a Vimi­sai sit­ter. Njekwa be­moaned the chances wasted for the share of points. “It was a game of missed chances as we got many of them but we failed to con­vert any. They also de­fended well but I thank my God for help­ing the team avoid rel­e­ga­tion,” he said. His op­po­site num­ber John Nyikadzino praised his boys for the right at­ti­tude. “My boys had a right men­tal ap­proach to the game and it is com­mend­able. We wanted max­i­mum points away from home but well it didn’t hap­pen but in our last match against Caps we will fight tooth and nail to get max­i­mum points,” he said. Bu­l­awayo ref­eree Phi­lani Ncube had a firm grip on the match much to the ap­pre­ci­a­tion of both coaches. — @ to­by­man­dox TIMYCEN Maruma dis­played ma­tu­rity and com­po­sure in his un­beaten 57 off 54 balls that spurred Takashinga Cricket Club to a nervy three-wicket vic­tory over Uganda XI at the Lu­gogo Oval yes­ter­day.

Takashinga, 113-7, reached home in 32 overs af­ter their bowlers had done an ex­cep­tional job of bundling out Uganda for 110 in 32,4 overs.

De­spite it be­ing anx­ious tri­umph, Takashinga got off to a win­ning start at the 2016 Uganda Quad­ran­gu­lar tour­na­ment which also in­volves Kenya XI and Uganda Se­lect.

But yes­ter­day, Takashinga’s vic­tory be­gan at the toss af­ter cap­tain Roy Kaia called cor­rectly and opted to bowl with the smart aim of util­is­ing a pitch that re­tained a lot of mois­ture from Satur­day’s down­pour.

“I think it was a good toss to win be­cause the wicket played a lot in the morn­ing and the bowlers did bowl very well to start with,” Maruma said.

Left arm seamer Richard Ngar­ava (3-13) took ad­van­tage of the pitch con­di­tion and got Uganda pan­ick­ing be­fore off spin­ner Tapiwa Mu­fudza (4-19) com­ple­mented the ef­forts along­side Bless­ing Muzara­bani (2-25) and Shingi Masakadza’s solo scalp.

“I just want to give credit to the bowlers for bowling well though the wicket was as­sist­ing and it was dif­fi­cult to bat in the morn­ing so we took ad­van­tage of the morn­ing con­di­tions.”

What looked to be an eas­ily achiev­able tar­get of 111 ended up mak­ing Takashinga bite their nails af­ter Uganda XI spin­ners tight­ened screws and al­most turned the game on its head.

Apart from Maruma stick­ing it up, Takashinga’s top and mid­dle or­der didn’t fire with In­no­cent Kaia (four), Ti­nashe Ka­munhukamwe (14), Charles Kunje (one), Roy Kaia, Forster Mu­tizwa (both six), Welling­ton Masakadza (eight) and Shingi Masakadza (seven) be­ing the wick­ets to fall.

Maruma added: “When we came to bat in the af­ter­noon I just thought there were too many soft dis­missals. Guys didn’t stick there, guys were just get­ting out; no one looked like they wanted to ap­ply them­selves.

“When I saw guys get­ting out I just said to my­self ‘I just have to be here till the end’ be­cause I know if I was there till the end we would win the game which we did.”

Ugan­dans Frank Nsub­uga (3-34) and Henry Senyondo (2-29) ap­plied the “choke and stran­gle” which al­most paid off.

Maruma, seven fours and a six, got to his match-sav­ing and win­ning half cen­tury with bound­ary be­fore hit­ting the win­ning runs with a max­i­mum over the mid­wicket.

Takashinga will play their sec­ond match against Kenya XI at the same venue to­day.

“It’s good we started on a win­ning note. We just got to carry on with this mo­men­tum to the next game," said Maruma.

“Once you win the con­fi­dence will go high so I am sure every­one will come to­mor­row (to­day) with their heads high though we should have got this (yes­ter­day’s) to­tal with­out los­ing many wick­ets. But I am sure just hav­ing a win in our bag will boost the guys’ con­fi­dence."

Gift Mb­weti

Timycen Maruma

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