Metropolitan Bank Twenty20

May 13, 2009 - May 16, 2009

Champions: Westerns
Runner-up: Northerns

After two disappointing Logan Cup and Faithwear campaigns, Westerns came to life in the Metropolitan Bank Twenty20 tournament for 2008-09. This season all of the matches were played in Bulawayo, split between Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club. The home ground advantage worked in Westerns favour - they won the title in a gripping four run win over Northerns in the final.

Mark Vermeulen was the player of the tournament, and playing in all seven matches he was comfortably the leading run scorer. His 108 for Westerns against Centrals was the highest of the series. Elton Chigumbura, the Northerns captain, was the only other century maker, his average boosting 103 not out also came against Centrals.

The big name bowlers didn't make an impact in this tournament. The biggest name of all - Ray Price - did not play a single match. The domesitc fast bowlers were the most successful, with Trevor Garwe leading the way with 13 wickets at 9.15. Njabulo Ncube and Michael Chinouya took 10 wickets each. For economy rate, leg spinner Graeme Cremer was in a league of his own. His 6 wickets came at 21.16, but he conceded just 4.53 runs per over. Nobody else conceded under 5 an over, Prosper Utseya was the second most economical with an average of 5.52 runs coming from his overs.

It was widely agreed that Bulawayo did a fine job hosting the tournament. The crowd came alive and ran on to the field when Westerns completed their victory in the final. As a result of this and ZC's plan to take cricket to other parts of the country, Bulawayo was named host for the entire Bangladesh tour of Zimbabwe in August 2009.


Northerns, Easterns, Westerns, Centrals

Star Players

Mark Vermeulen

Vermeulen was the man of the tournament after scoring 311 runs at 44.42. He was the leading run scorer, but more impressively he scored at a strike rate of 175.70. The performance put him back in national team contention. He scored one century.

Elton Chigumbura

Not many people would have thought Mark Vermeulen would edge out Elton Chigumbura in the strike rate department before this series, but it indeed happened. Chigumbura's performances were also very good, he scored 162 runs at 81.00. He only played 4 matches though, and was unbeaten twice. He had a strike rate of 154.28.

Chigumbura didn't bowl a lot in this tournament - just the 7 overs. It did bring him 4 wickets at 14.25 though, to ensure his Twenty20 bowling average to date remained just under 16.

Graeme Cremer and Elton Chigumbura shared the captaining duties for Northerns - Cremer captained on 3 occasions, while Chigumbura captained on 4 including the final.

Trevor Garwe

After a disappointing Logan Cup, Garwe can take heart in a good Metro Bank series which saw him leading the wicket taking leaderboard. His 13 wickets came at just 915 apiece, and his economy of 5.95 was acceptable for this form of the game.

Match results

Game 1: Centrals def. Northerns by 6 wickets
Game 2: Westerns def. Easterns by 4 wickets
Game 3: Centrals tied with Westerns
Game 4: Northerns def. Easterns by 43 runs
Game 5: Centrals def. Easterns by 11 runs
Game 6: Westerns tied with Northerns
Game 7: Northerns def. Centrals by 48 runs
Game 8: Easterns def. Westerns by 2 wickets
Game 9: Westerns def. Centrals by 31 runs
Game 10: Northerns def. Easterns by 7 wickets
Game 11: Easterns def. Centrals by 10 runs
Game 12: Westerns def. Northerns by 6 wickets

Points table:

    | #  Team                    Pl  W   L  T   Pts  Net RR   |
    | 1. Northerns               6   3   2  1   17   +0.899   |
    | 2. Westerns                6   3   1  2   16   +0.393   |
    | 3. Centrals                6   2   3  1   10   -0.548   |
    | 4. Easterns                6   2   4  0   8    -0.727   |

Remarkably, two of the matches were tied. Both involved Westerns.

Third place playoff: Easterns def. Centrals by 70 runs

Final: Northerns def. Westerns by 4 runs

It was a thrilling final at Queens Sports Club. Westerns batted first and made 116 all out, Mark Vermeulen top scored with 22, and looked set to be defeated. Trevor Garwe took 4/23. Despite getting off to a reasonable start - Regis Chakabva scored 28, Prince Masvaure 19 and Garwe at number three 10 - of 3/67 after 10.5 overs, there came a big crash. At 7/85 after 16.1 overs the game was in the balance, but Tatenda Taibu tried hard with 28 not out. Eventually Northerns fell 5 runs short, ending on 9/112 after 20 overs. Mark Mabuza took 5/14.


Northerns: E Chigumbura, G Cremer, P Charumbira, R Chakabva, C Zhuwawo, T Garwe, D Mazhawidza, P Masvaure, T Taibu, A Manyumwa, T Mufambisi, S Mwakyeni, K Huni, C Mutombodzi

Easterns: H Masakadza, P Utseya, S Masakadza, B Mlambo, S Nyamuzinga, S Matsikenyeri, D Hondo, T Maruma, T Mawoyo, F Mutizwa, S Musoso, J Marumisa, D Tiripano, N Mushangwe

Westerns: M Vermeulen, C Mpofu, C Coventry, K Dabengwa, M Mabuza, S Williams, T Mupariwa, T Mboyi, J Nyumbu, T Mhora, N Ncube, T Ngulube, T Chipare, S Ndlovu

Centrals: T Chisoro, C Chibhabha, M Waller, B Chapungu, R Mutumbami, T Mahlunge, F Kasteni, T Chitongo, E Rainsford, R Nyathi, B Mugochi, T Kamungozi, M Chinouya, T Muzarabani, E Chauluka