MidWest – 306-8 in 45 overs (Tarisai Musakanda 142, Takudzwa Kaitano 63, Nyasha Mayavo 42; Masimba Maruvatsanga 4/59, Owen Muzondo 1/47)
Gladiators – 158 all out in 33.1 overs (Wesley Madhevere 59, Tony Munyonga 27, Ashley Mufandauya 26; Trevor Chibvongodze 3/21, Manson Chikowero 2/13, Jabulisa Tshuma 2/23)
MidWest won by 148 runs
A magnificent innings of 142 by Tarisai Musakanda led the way for MidWest as they overcame the handicap of defeat in their first match in this National Premier League (NPL) campaign to beat Gladiators by a convincing margin of 148 runs at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
Takudzwa Kaitano and Trevor Chibvongodze briefly impressed with an opening partnership of 23 before the latter went for nine, and then Kaitano and Musakanda took toll of a rather inaccurate bowling attack.
They were not afraid to hit the ball over the field – there were a couple of lucky escapes when the ball fell close to a fielder, but no catches were dropped, although Kaitano survived a stumping chance.
The 100 went up in the 17th over, and they took the score to 161 before Kaitano (63) drove a catch to mid-off, partnership worth 138 runs.
Nyasha Mayavo proved another good partner for Musakanda with a dashing 42 off only 28 balls, and their fourth-wicket partnership added 72 runs.
Musakanda was ninth out in the final over after an outstanding innings, daring yet not reckless, as he has sometimes tended to be in the past.
The MidWest captain hit 10 fours and four sixes, and faced 117 balls.
This left Gladiators with a virtually impossible target to chase down.
In their first match, last Sunday, they had started their innings with some reckless strokes, but this time round they showed they had learned a lesson, and the top order tried to knuckle down and build an innings.
Unfortunately, with the need to score overall at almost seven runs an over to win, they were never able to challenge, and lost wickets steadily to a good bowling attack.
Five wickets were down for 62 before Wesley Madhevere (59) and Tony Munyonga (27) got together to effect a recovery.
Later Ashley Mufandauya contributed 26, while Madhevere went on to reach his most impressive 59, scored off 56 balls with six fours.
But MidWest always had the situation under control and won the match handsomely with almost 12 overs to spare.