April 17, 2008 - May 20, 2008
The Logan Cup of 2008 was dominated by Northerns, who for the first time since the provincial restructure had looked to regain their position as the top domestic side. Ray Price, who returned to the national setup in 2007, joined the team while Brendan Taylor and Gary Brent also joined the squad for 2008. Including Elton Chigumbura and Graeme Cremer, there were times when half of the team consisted of Test players. It is therefore no surprise that nearly half of all century makers in the tournaments were Northerns players.
With Kenya Select not participating this time around, it was only the 5 teams competing and the action started from the first innings, where young wicket keeper batsman Tafadzwa Ngulube scored a First Class century on debut. Other debutants in the opening game between Centrals and Westerns were the much talked up Malcolm Waller, son of former national team player Andy, and Bradley Staddon, son of Westerns board member Stanley.
Runs continued to flow throughout the series, with the Northerns batsmen punishing Westerns. Alois Tichana scored his first Logan Cup century, while Elton Chigumbura scored a career best 186.
Without doubt the most embarassing innings of the tournament was the Southerns second innings against Northerns at Harare, with Southerns bowled all out for just 42 runs. Gary Brent finished as man of the match, taking 3/23 in the first innings and 5/21 in the second. The 32 year old Brent bowed out of international and First Class cricket afterwards, finishing his career on a high.
Northerns didn't take the foot off the pedal at all, scoring a massive 7/493 declared against Centrals. Alois Tichana and Ishmael Senzere combined to add 193 runs for the first wicket, with Senzere scoring his maiden First Class century - also on his First Class debut. Brendan Taylor scored an unbeaten 150 in his 259 minutes at the crease. Elton Chigumbura added 58 to the tally, while some big hitting at the end of the innings by Ray Price, 52 from 46 balls, allowed Northerns to go on to win the match by an innings and 98 runs.
Easterns came second overall, thanks to some powerful batting by Hamilton Masakadza, whose top score of 117 came against Centrals, Stuart Matsikenyeri, who scored 201 against Southerns and Forster Mutizwa, the wicket keeper who scored his second First Class ton with 102 not out against Centrals. Hamilton's brother, Shingirai, was a revelation, snaring 21 wickets and becoming the most effective fast bowler of the tournament, with only spinners Ray Price (22) and Brighton Mugochi (24) taking more wickets.
Northerns, Southerns, Easterns, Westerns, Centrals
None of the 2006-07 star players, Keith Dabengwa, Timycen Maruma, Tino Mawoyo and Graeme Cremer, achieved the same achievements in the 2007-08 season. In fact, of the 4 players only Cremer had a reasonable series, taking 12 wickets despite teammate Ray Price "stealing" wickets off him.
Mugochi took the mantle of leading wicket taker in the Logan Cup, taking 24 wickets at 19.87 apiece with an economy of a touch over 3. Perhaps he was a little lucky, as Ray Price was without doubt the leading bowler overall. Mugochi was the only bright light in an otherwise forgettable series for Centrals.
Price took 22 wickets at just 9.13 runs apiece at the amazing economy of 1.75 and was the most effective bowler in the tournament, bowling just 114.5 overs for his wickets, compared to Brighton Mugochi's 156 overs. He was captain for one of Northerns matches.
With 21 wickets from 90 overs, Shingirai Masakadza could be a surprise selection in the national team later this year. His batting proved to be decent too, with a top score of 68 not out and 104 runs overall for the series.
The elder of the two Masakadza's was comfortably the leading run scorer in the Logan Cup, with 371 rims at 74.20. Consistency was the key for Masakadza, with 1 century and 4 half centuries. From 5 innings, this meant he didn't fail to pass 50 at all. The only other batsman to score 300 runs for the tournament was Stuart Matsikenyeri, thanks to a 201 run knock.
Gary Brent said goodbye to Zimbabwean cricket in the best way possible - as one of the star players. Turning out for Northerns in his farewall tournament, Brent scored 51 in his only innings, and took 13 wickets at 7.46 runs apiece. He only played 2 of the 4 games, but he demonstrated to the community that he is a true class act.
Bradley Staddon didn't make any centuries, nor did he take any 5 wicket hauls, but he was Westerns most consistent player, and was often turned to to make the breakthrough. His 5 wickets came at less than 20 runs apiece, and 3/46 were his best bowling figures. It was his batting which came in most handy for Westerns though, often the only performance giving their scores any respectability.
Staddon was the 6th highest run scorer of the tournament, with 273 runs at a modest 34.12. His highest score was just 64, but on some poor Bulawayo pitches, it was often him that was left to do the scoring when the other batsmen simply could not.
After missing te 2006-07 season, Brendan Taylor was consistent throughout the Logan Cup, making several starts. It was in the final game that Taylor's series went from a decent one to a very impressive one though, scoring a breathtaking 150 not out as Northerns went on to trounce Centrals. Finishing with a series average of 72.00, statistically this was Taylor's best Logan Cup to date, although he did score 642 runs at 64.20 from 6 matches in 2004-05, and 322 runs at 32.20 from 5 matches in 2001-02.
With 14 dismissals behind the stumps, 10 catches and 4 stumpings, only Eastern's wicket keeper Forster Mutizwa achieved better stats, with 21 dismissals including 18 catches and 3 stumpings.
Tatenda Taibu was supposed to play for Northerns, but Zimbabwe Cricket allowed him to instead play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, going against their official stance of not releasing players while the Zimbabwe domestic season is in progress in order to increase the quality of competition.
By Zimbabwean standards, this was overall a controversy-free tournament.
Game 1: Centrals def. Westerns by 7 wickets
Game 2: Northerns def. Easterns by 65 runs
Game 3: Northerns def. Westerns by an innings and 83 runs
Game 4: Easterns def. Southerns by an innings and 7 runs
Game 5: Easterns def. Centrals by 385 runs
Game 6: Northerns def. Southerns by an innings and 92 runs
Game 7: Northerns def. Centrals by an innings and 98 runs
Game 8: Southerns def. Westerns by 9 wickets
Game 9: Southerns drew with Centrals
Game 10: Easterns def. Westerns by 7 wickets
Note: Northerns won 3 of their 4 matches by an innings, while 9 of the 10 matches had an outright winner.
|------------------------------------------------| | # Team Pl W L D Pts | |------------------------------------------------| | 1. Northerns 4 4 0 0 75 | | 2. Easterns 4 3 1 0 60 | | 3. Southerns 4 1 2 1 42 | | 4. Centrals 4 1 2 1 38 | | 5. Westerns 4 0 4 0 18 | |------------------------------------------------|
Northerns comfortably won the tournament, thanks largely to their Test contingent of Ray Price, Elton Chigumbura, Brendan Taylor and Graeme Cremer.
Northerns: GB Brent, N Chari, E Chigumbura (c), T Chimbambo, AG Cremer, TN Garwe, K Kondo, AM Manyumwa, P Masvaure, A Mlambo, S Mwakayeni, RW Price (c), I Senzere, BRM Taylor, A Tichana.
Southerns: P Charumbira, CJ Chibhabha (c), J Chinyengetere, R Chinyengetere, IM Chinyoka, TS Chisoro, M Chiturumani, T Kamungozi, T Machiri, NB Mahwire (c), H Matanga, R Mutumbami, C Rizhibowa, BV Vitori.
Easterns: P Kadziche, T Maruma, J Marumisa, H Masakadza (c), SW Masakadza, S Matsika, S Matsikenyeri (c), TMK Mawoyo, B Mlambo, S Mujaji, S Musoso, F Mutizwa, SK Nyamuzinga, P Utseya.
Westerns: KM Dabengwa (c), MM Dube, RT Kasawaya, S Kusano, MM Mabuza, T Madhiri, TM Mboyi, CB Mpofu, B Mujuru, B Mukondiwa, T Mupariwa, C Ncube, T Ngulube, K Ntuli, J Nyumbu, B Staddon, F Takarusenga, ML Williams.
Centrals: E Chauluka (c), BM Chapungu, I Chikunya, MT Chinouya, T Chitongo, SP Gupo, F Kasteni, T Mahlunge, J Matigonda, SF Mire, B Mugochi, LK Mutyambizi, T Muzarabani, R Nyathi, EC Rainsford (c), M Waller.