By Eddie Chikamhi
Zimbabwe cricket captain Hamilton Masakadza will be back today to bolster defending champions Mountaineers’ fight to reclaim the Logan Cup.
The premier first class cricket tournament is set for an enthralling finale when the visiting Mountaineers take on Eagles in a top-of-the-table clash at Harare Sports Club.
For the Eagles, it is a final because it is their last game of the season.
Any other result for them, which is not a win, would hand the leverage to their opponents, who still have an outstanding game with winless, bottom-of-the-table Tuskers.
Mountaineers, who are coming from a huge innings victory over the same Tuskers outfit in their last game at the weekend, have been further boosted by the return of Masakadza.
The veteran batsman, who suffered an ankle injury during the national team tour of Bangladesh three months ago, has not played a part in all forms of domestic competitions since the season begun in December.
Mountaineers coach Shepherd Makunura is happy that his side is well-placed to defend their title after taking advantage of the slip-up by Eagles recently, which brought them to within a point of the log leaders.
“The championship is still wide open and we are happy that we have a slight advantage in this race since we still have another fixture after this one.
“This is a big game for us and hopefully we will be able to take it up from our performances in the previous game.
‘’We had Timycen Maruma coming back to get a 100 and young Tafadzwa Tsiga scoring a ton, which is a plus for us. Our batting has been getting better and better with each outing. We need to keep that momentum,” said Makunura.
Mountaineers are chasing a third successive Logan Cup title after winning the previous two editions.
But they face stiff competition from the hosts Eagles, who sit on top of the log table with 26 points.
The Mountain Goats have 25 points while Rhinos, who face Tuskers in another league match beginning today, complete a three-horse race as they also have a chance on 24 points.
Eagles coach Stuart Matsikenyeri is treating their clash with Mountaineers like a cup final.
“This is a big game for us, more like a final because Mountaineers have a game in hand,’’ he said.
‘’A draw will actually mean that our fate is no longer in our hands. So we don’t want anything short of a win since this is our last shot for the season.
“As a team we need to respond positively to the setback we suffered in our last game. I can’t fault our players, but we definitely need to put runs on the board.’’ The Herald