Friday, June 23, 2017
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HARARE SPORTS CLUB-based cricket franchise, Mashonaland Eagles is going through a rough patch of poor form in the four day Castle Logan Cup as they are yet to register a win this season.

After a fantastic performance which saw them scooping the Stanbic Bank 20Twenty Series tournament in November last year, the Andrew Hall-coached side has not regained its fine form since then as they are losing all their matches in succession.

Eagles were booted out of the MetBank Pro40 Championship after they finished on the bottom of the five team log standings in which they managed 10 points from 8 matches, 14 shy of the log leaders and defending champions Mountaineers.

In the on-going Castle Logan Cup, Eagles have only managed 5 points from 11 matches.

Speaking to Zimbabwe Sport 24-7 after his side was beaten by an inning and 70 runs by MidWest Rhinos at Harare Sports Club earlier this week; Hall could not hide his disappointment at his batsmen whom he said are not performing according to his expectations.

He said, “It’s the batting at times they do well and at times they lose crucial matches.”

Eagles bowling department has been exceptional as Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Innocent Chinyoka, Chad Keegan and Trevor Garwe have been picking up crucial wickets and the responsibility remains on the batsmen to get back to their fine form which they displayed during last years’ Stanbic Bank 20Twenty Series tournament.

”Looking at the wickets, the bowlers have bowled really well at times it’s about the guys making sure they come back to the basics to get rid of unnecessary mistakes,” said Hall.

Mutombodzi and Chinyoka top the wicket-taking charts in the Castle Logan Cup as they occupy first and eighth positions with 33 and 26 wickets respectively and Hall said he is quite impressed with Mutombodzis’ performance.

He said, “Tino has been brilliant this season I must admit, he is an unbelievable cricketer, he works really hard, I think he still has a good future in cricket, he does everything right, I am proud of the way he has been bowling.”

As the Eagles are struggling with their game, there is no doubt that Hall greatly misses the services of his key players; Greg Lamp, Raymond Price and Regis Chakabva who are currently on national duty at the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup and he openly admitted that this has impacted negatively on the performance of the team.

He said, “Yes definitely national team players are a big advantage to any side; we are not the only side that lost national team players, we played throughout the season with a couple of our players missing.”

“It’s going to be tough, we should work hard, get out there and score runs”, added Hall.

Eagles are fourth on the standings with five points from 11 matches, 29 short of the log leaders Mountaineers.

The Harare Sports Club-based franchise has a date with third placed Tuskers at Harare Sports Club tomorrow while second placed Rhinos host Mountaineers at Kwekwe Sports Club.

By Terrance Ndawana

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