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Naqvi, Musekiwa heroics earn Takashinga 2 NPL T20 Blast

Story by Raynald Ngwarati

TAKASHINGA Patriots 2 were crowned the 2023 National Premier League T20 Blast Champions after edging Uprising Cricket Club by three runs at Harare Sports Club on Saturday night.

It had to take nerves of steel as Takashinga 2 held off Uprising’s challenge to clinch the NPL T20 Blast silverware on a fun-packed Saturday evening.

Although all-rounder Antum Naqvi had scored a blistering 91 runs to propel Takashinga 2 to 207 runs for nine, Chevrons’ limited overs skipper, Craig Ervine and Nicholas Welch put Uprising Cricket Club in control of the proceedings with the pair each scoring clinical half-centuries.

The pair were aggressive as Uprising looked on course to an easy run chase. However, both batsmen failed to keep their wickets bringing Takashinga back in the game.

Playing under the lights, Takashinga were alert and did not let anything loose towards the end of Uprising’s innings with Tashinga Musekiwa bowling a dotball off the final delivery to hand Takashinga Two a three-run victory and ultimately the trophy.

“We have been doing well, especially when they put us to bat first. We didn’t need to change anything we have been doing for all the games that we won. We batted first so it was just a matter of enjoying in the field and believing until the end. I’m happy the guys did well,” said Takashinga Patriots Two Coach Elton Chigumbura.

Takashinga 2 were dominant in the awards ceremony as well with Belgian-born Antum Naqvi named the player of the tournament, while Elton Chigumbura scooped the coach of the tournament award.

Chigumbura now has two successive T20 Blast titles after winning the inaugural edition with the Lions in 2022.

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