The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
AMAKHOSI saw their chances of winning the National Premier League dented when they suffered their first defeat in the 45-over club cricket competition with a four-wicket loss to Midwest at Queens Sports Club on Sunday.
Had they won, Amakhosi would have kept up with the leading pack but the defeat means that they lost ground as they remain on 22 points while Takashinga and Midwest both moved to 40.
Left handed opener Nkosana Mpofu top scored for the Bulawayo club with 40 off 59 balls, Amakhosi not able to take advantage of a good start with the bat as they could only manage 192 in 43.1 overs.
Man of the match, left arm spinner Jabulisa Tshuma was the Amakhosi chief destroyer with five wickets for 27 runs in nine overs, one of those overs being a maiden.
On a day when the NPL leading batsman Tarisai Musakanda was dismissed for a two ball duck by Amakhosi captain Ainslely Ndlovu, Remembrance Nyathi was the highest run contributor for Midwest with a 64-ball 49. Nyathi’s 65-run fifth wicket stand with Neville Madziva was the turning point in the Midwest run chase.
When Nyathi as well as Madziva (38) eventually fell, it was left to Tashinga Musekiwa (38 not out) and Davis Murwendo (15) to take the visitors over the line.
Ndlovu finished with 3/28 and off spinner John Nyumbu took 2/30 but the slow bowling duo’s efforts were in vain since they could not stop Amakhosi from conceding their first defeat in the NPL.
Midwest remain in second place after table topping Takashinga beat the Great Zimbabwe Patriots by eight wickets at Masvingo Sports Club. Amakhosi are in third place.
There was a first win in the NPL for the Gladiators who defeated Easterns by 19 runs at Mutare Sports Club while Rainbow Sharks were victorious by 37 runs against Queens Sports Club in Kwekwe.