Zim Afro T10: Harare Hurricanes win close-fought battle against Joburg Buffaloes

The Harare Hurricanes registered their second consecutive win at the inaugural edition of the Zim Afro T10 when they defeated the Joburg Buffaloes by 2 runs at the Harare Sports Club on Monday.

The Harare Hurricanes overcame the Joburg Buffaloes by two runs on Monday at the Harare Sports Club to win the first Zim Afro T10 tournament for the second time in a row.

Asked to bat first, the Hurricanes began well, with the openers, Evin Lewis and Robin Uthappa, putting on a 28-run stand, in just under three overs before the West Indian batter was dismissed. Regis Chakabva added 4 to the cause after that and Donovan Ferreira got 11 from 4 balls before walking back to the pavilion.

At the halfway stage, the Hurricanes were 50/3, after which Uthappa and captain Eoin Morgan steadied the ship with a 27-run stand. In the 7th over though, Uthappa was packed off by Mohammad Hafeez for 31 and Noor Ahmad cleaned up Mohammad Nabi for 2 in the next over.

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That brought the dangerous duo of Morgan and Irfan Pathan together, but the skipper, who looked dangerous, could not kick on and was castled by Blessing Muzarabani for 12, caught in the deep on the leg side. Nonetheless, Irfan (15 not out) was on hand to help finish with a couple of big hits, as the Hurricanes posted 106/6 in their 10 overs.

After the break, it was the Buffaloes’ turn to play a few big hits, but they had a slow start with Milton Shumba (0) and Tom Banton (5) dismissed in the first couple of overs. That brought Will Smeed and Yusuf Pathan to the middle and the duo first absorbed the pressure, before breaking free.

Yusuf put the long handle to good use smashing a couple of huge sixes before being caught out at long on for 20. At the halfway stage, the Buffaloes were at 51/3 and were looking to get a move on.

Smeed didn’t last much longer and was dismissed for 21 as he tried to accelerate, and soon after the skipper Mohammad Hafeez was also knocked over for 2. The focus was squarely on Ravi Bopara then, with the Buffaloes needing 24 from the final two overs.

The penultimate over of the game saw Wessly Madhevere (4) and Noor Ahmad (0) lose their wickets which put more pressure on the Buffaloes, but importantly for them, Bopara was still in the middle. In the final over, Bopara and Mathew Campbell took the attack to Nabi, but fell agonisingly short, as they lost by 2 runs.

Brief scores:

Harare Hurricanes 106/6 in 10 overs (Robin Uthappa 31, Evin Lewis 19; Noor Ahmad – 2-20, Mohammad Hafeez 1-6) beat Joburg Buffaloes 104/7 in 10 overs (Ravi Bopara 39 not out, Will Smeed 21; Nandre Burger 3-12, Chris Mpofu 2-17) by 2 runs.

-IANS

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