Blistering Burl stars in Rhinos victory, Mountaineers too high for Eagles

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Ryan Burl receives the player of the match award from the match referee Emmanuel Dube after his match winning display for Rhinos CREDIT: Zimbabwe Cricket

Allrounder Ryan Burl lit up the opening day of the Zimbabwe Domestic Twenty20 Competition after smashing six maximums on his way to a quickfire half century, to inspire Rhinos to a six wicket over defending champions Tuskers at Old Hararians Sports Club on Thursday.

After claiming a wicket with his leg spin to help restrict Tuskers to a modest 158 for three from their allotted 20 overs, Burl put on a show with the bat to help Rhinos to an upset victory.

He came to the crease in the ninth over with Rhinos under a bit of pressure on 72 for three and initially played a patient knock, sharing a fourth wicket partnership stand of 45 runs with Prince Masvaure (48).

With the match seemingly headed for a nervy finish Burl exploded in the 16th and 17th over to extinguish Tuskers’ hopes.

The big hitting left hander smashed four sixes on his way to plundering 27 runs off the bowling of Tuskers’ skipper Ainsley Ndlovu in the 17th over.

He followed up that by scoring two more sixes in the 18th off Luke Jongwe to complete an impressive win for Rhinos.

In the end Burl finished unbeaten on 57 runs off 32 balls as Rhinos reached 161 for four in 17.3 overs to win by six wickets with 30 balls remaining.

Earlier Tuskers appeared on course to get their title defence off to a solid start after they overcame the absence of some of their stars like Sean Williams and Craig Ervine to put on a competitive score on the board.

Milton Shumba hit four massive sixes and a boundary on his way to 67 off 50 balls while Clive Madande chipped in with 55 runs off just 48 deliveries.

Meanwhile in the other match played at Harare Sports Club Mountaineers got their bid for a domestic double off to a perfect start with a convincing six wicket victory over Alliance Health Eagles.

The Mutare-based franchise, who recent won the Pro50 Championship got off to a flier after budling out Alliance Heath Eagles for a paltry 93 runs before easily chasing down for the loss of just four wickets with 30 balls remaining.

 

In the women’s competition Alliance Health Eagles and Mountaineers both registered impressive victories in one-sided matches.

Sixteen-year-old Kellies Ndlovu stole the show with sensational knock of 91 off 49 deliveries as Alliance Health Eagles reached 170 for three in their allotted 20 overs.

In reply Tuskers never came close to reaching the target after being limited to 76 for eight in 20 overs with Mitchel Mavunga claiming a five-wicket haul.

Mountaineers were equally dominant at Old Hararians, limiting Rhinos to 79 for eight in their allotted 20 overs before losing just one wicket on their way to reaching the target inside 13.4 overs.

Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano impressed on her return from a lengthy injury lay off by top scoring with 55 runs off 52 deliveries which earned her the Player of the Match award.

 

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