Insight Online News
Harare, July 22 : Joburg Buffaloes opened their campaign at the inaugural edition of the Zim Afro T10 with a thumping win as captain Mohammad Hafeez picked six wickets to derail the Bulawayo Braves, here.
The Buffaloes won the contest by 10 runs in what was a tightly fought contest.
Batting first, the Joburg Buffaloes lost wickets at regular intervals from the initial stages. Will Smeed (4), skipper Mohammad Hafeez (1), Ravi Bopara (1) and Delano Potgieter (0) were all back in the hut within the first three overs, with Taskin Ahmed picking three of the first four wickets.
Tom Banton at the other end was fighting on and scored a brisk 34 from 18 deliveries, having hammered four boundaries and two sixes. Banton along with Mushfiqur Rahim put on a 36-run stand to steady the ship before Banton was dismissed.
Rahim battled along after that even as the likes of Wessly Madhevere (5) and Wellington Masakadza (9) departed after looking good. Rahim eventually remained unbeaten on 46 as the Joburg Buffaloes huffed and puffed their way over the 100-run mark, and put on a score of 105/7.
During the chase, the Bulawayo Braves had their task cut out as batting under the lights was seemingly quite tough. Kobe Herft (9) and Ben McDermott (13) tried to get the Braves off to a good start and put on a 32-run stand for the opening wicket.
However, Wellington Masakadza struck three telling blows after that, removing the openers first and then dismissing Ashton Turner for a first ball duck. A little later, in the fourth over, skipper Sikandar Raza, the star of the Braves’ first game, was packed off by the opposition captain, Mohammad Hafeez, for 1. The very experienced Hafeez then went onto to pick the wickets of Thisara Perera and Timycen Maruma, both for ducks, to leave the Braves reeling at 35/6 in the fourth over. That was Hafeez’s first over, in which he conceded 0 runs and picked 3 big wickets.
Ryan Burl and Beau Webster were tasked with keeping the Braves in the game from then on in. And it was Webster who took the attack to the Buffaloes’ bowling, hammering them for 16 runs off three deliveries in the 7th over. At that stage, the Braves needed 42 from 3 overs.
The Buffaloes’ skipper Hafeez was back in the attack for the next over, and much to the joy of his teammates, bagged three wickets, dismissing Burl (16), Tymal Mills (0) and Tanunurwa Makoni (0), to put his team on the brink of a comprehensive win. Hafeez finished his spell with 6 wickets, while Webster at the other end was battling on.
In the final over of the game, the Braves needed 26 to win and while Webster (39*) threw the kitchen sink at the Buffaloes’ bowling, they fell just short of the finish line.
Brief scores: Joburg Buffaloes – 105/7 (Mushfiqur Rahim – 46, Tom Banton – 34; Faraz Akram – 1/6, Sikandar Raza – 1/20) won by 10 runs against the Bulawayo Braves – 95/9 (Beau Webster – 39, Ryan Burl – 16; Mohammad Hafeez – 6/4, Wellington Masakadza – 3/11).