Gladiators’ shock victory over Takashinga leaves NPL title race wide open

By Sibongumusa Dhlohlo

It was another exciting weekend of cricket action as Gladiators pulled a shocker after beating log leaders Takashinga to leave the National Premier League championship race wide open.

With a points difference of close to 20, not many gave Gladiators a chance in their David versus Goliath encounter against top side Takashinga at their fortress in Highfield this Sunday.

It turned out to be the perfect day for Malcom Chikuwa to play a major role in breaking the hosts’ hearts with both bat and ball as he posted 37 runs and claimed 4 wickets for 15 runs.

The visitors were all out in 42.6 overs with 182 runs, but the table-toppers failed to reach the target after they were bowled out for a paltry 96 runs in just 24,1 overs.

Gladiators, who began the club competition at the bottom of the table with three successive defeats, ended Takashinga’s run of four successive victories with a remarkable 86 run win while also recording their third victory on the trot in the current campaign.

Takashinga’s defeat saw MidWest gaining ground and are now tied on 50 points with the Harare based side after getting the better of struggling Queens by 4 wickets at Kwekwe Sports Club.

The Bulawayo side was bowled out for 94 runs from 34.1 overs with MidWest surpassing that total in just 22.1 overs courtesy of an unbeaten 31 by Remembrance Nyathi and solid bowling by Sheunopa Musekwa who recorded 3 for 38.

In other matches, Harare Kings beat Rainbow Sharks by 52 runs after posting 234 for 9 in 45 overs before Sharks were bowled out for 183 in 38.4 overs as the two sides squared off at the Old Hararians Sports Club this Sunday.

Cephas Zhuwawo top scored with 53 runs followed by 50 from Nick Welsh who recently returned to the country from the United Kingdom while Brian Mudzinganyama was the peak of the bowlers with figures of 3 for 41.

Harare Kings’ victory will come as good news to their fans as they are still third from the bottom with a paltry 22 points.

Amakhosi solidified their hold on third spot after a six-wicket victory over Easterners at Masvingo Sports club with Bright Phiri shinning brightest after posting an unbeaten 97 runs.

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