Chari hammers century to give Select an easy win

The Zimbabwe Select side duly maintained their victorious progress with an easy seven-wicket victory with six overs to spare over the Board XI, the highlight being a brilliant century from Brian Chari, in the first match at Old Hararians on Friday morning.


The Board XI were missing Prince Masvaure, who had a strain after his brilliant century against Kenya on Wednesday, but Peter Moor returned to take his place.


The Select won the toss and put the Board XI in to bat on a cold but sunny morning.


Tinashe Kamunhukamwe immediately got going in his usual fashion with two lofted drives for four in the first over, bowled by Rugare Magarira.


He lost his opening partner, Chamu Chibhabha, who was caught at fine leg for seven with the total at 37 in the sixth over.


Ryan Murray was in and out quickly for eight, while Richmond Mutumbami made three; 58 for three in the ninth over.


The Select fielding was faulty at times early on, there being several bad misfields, and Kamunhukamwe was dropped near the boundary on 38.


However, a second such stroke to a different fielder had him out for 46, scored off 30 balls, with nine fours, the score now being 76 for four in the 11th over.


Tight bowling restrained Elton Chigumbura and Moor for a while, until both hit Liam Roche for a six in an over before Moor holed out in the deep for 14; 112 for five in the 17th over.


Chigumbura might have been able to boost the score in the final overs, but he was very well run out for 34 off 28 balls, a direct hit from Wellington Masakadza.


Off the next delivery Brandon Mavuta was brilliantly caught in the deep by Bothwell Chapungu off the bowling of Chris Mpofu; 120 for seven in the 18th over.


The tailenders swung and frequently missed, and were not good enough to take the score any further than 131 for eight after their 20 overs, which must have disappointed them after passing 200 to beat Kenya two days earlier.


Only Kamunhukamwe and Chigumbura had surpassed 15; there were three wickets for Mpofu and two for Masakadza.


When the Select batted, Brian Chari hit the third ball of the innings, from John Nyumbu, over long leg for six.


Chari was in brilliant form and hammered the bowling unmercifully.


He reached his fifty off only 31 balls in the sixth over, the score at that point being 59, and monopolised the bowling so much that his opening partner, Chapungu, had then faced only five deliveries for five runs.


When Chapungu finally did get a share of the bowling, he swept unsuccessfully at a ball from Nyumbu and was trapped lbw for seven off 10 balls; the total was 74 for one in the eighth over.


Tarisai Musakanda scored seven before he missed a reverse sweep against Nyumbu and was stumped; 86 for two.


Chari continued to bludgeon the bowling, and reached his century off 56 balls, 102 out of a total at that point of 122.


Kevin Kasuza was out for three, and Chari finished off the match in the same over, the winning stroke being a huge six swung over the fine-leg boundary, with a full six overs in hand.


The score was 133 for three wickets, of which Chari had 112*, off 60 balls with 13 fours and six sixes.


It was an innings even more spectacular than that of Masvaure, but played under much less pressure.


Nyumbu came out of the ordeal admirably, his four overs costing only 19 runs and earning him two wickets; 15 of those balls were bowled to Chari, who scored 18 runs from them.