BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ALLIANCE Health Eagles upstaged favourites Mountaineers by two wickets in a thrilling low scoring final to clinch the Domestic Twenty20 Competition title at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
After their bowlers had set the platform by bowling out Mountaineers for a measly 105, Alliance Health Eagles overcame some intense pressure to reach 107 for eight with an over to spare.
The Mountaineers bowlers should be credited for making a match out of the low score, but Eagles kept their nerves well in the end with Wessley Madhevere (32) and Nick Welch (29) getting their team close to the finish line.
The win completed a remarkable comeback for franchise were the underdogs heading into the final against a dominant Mountaineers which had completed the round robin phase of the competition unbeaten.
Earlier, Mountaineers were left ruing their decision to bat first after winning the toss as they lost their first seven wickets for just 59 runs.
Opener Kevin Kasuza (17) and number 10 batsman Tendai Chatara (19) were the only Mountaineers batsman to reach double digits while the 21 extras provided the biggest contribution to the team’s total.
The Eagles bowlers were superb with Richard Ngarava, Tapiwa Mafudza and Brad Evans all claiming two wickets each, while some brilliant work in the field led to two runouts.
In what should have been a straightforward chase, the Mountaineers bowlers complicated things for Eagles right from ball one as opener Tinashe Kamunhukwamwe perished from the second ball of the innings.
Alarm bells might have started ringing when Alliance Health Eagles were reduced at one time on the ropes on 57 for six after 13 overs.
However, Mountaineers’ low total, left little to no room for the bowlers to force the result in their favour. They did make life difficult for Eagles who got over the line with just two wickets in hand and an over to spare.