12 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Francise Cricket in Triangle

FOR the first time in the short history of franchise cricket, fans in Triangle will get a rare treat when Mountaineers and Southern Rocks clash in back-to-back Pro50 Championship and Twenty20 matches at the Triangle Sports Club this weekend.

A spokesperson from hosts Southern Rocks yesterday confirmed that the two games will be played in the Lowveld with a Pro50 Championship match starting this morning and then the T20 league tomorrow.

Rocks chief executive, Givemore Makoni, said the venue has not been used for competitive games in years, but after securing sponsorship for this match from sugar manufacturing giant Tongaat Hulett, the two bottom teams will conclude their round robin matches in Triangle.

Makoni yesterday said the move is in line with Zimbabwe Cricket's policy of spreading the game countrywide.

The Lowveld is part of the Southern Rocks cricket franchise and they hope to be playing more games there in the future.

"Triangle Sports Club is a great cricket facility with a beautiful ground, but it hasn't been used for competitive cricket for some time now.

"We are excited to play at the venue and as Southern Rocks we are grateful for Tongaat Hulett's involvement in this game.

"Actually this is part of Zimbabwe Cricket's development initiatives and hopefully many games will be played at the venue in future," said Makoni.

Both teams, however, are out of the reckoning for a final berth in the 50-over competition.

But Dave Houghton's Rocks are hoping to get their only win of the tournament as they have lost all their previous six matches.

Rocks are stuck at the bottom of the table with two points while Mountaineers are fourth in the five-team table with 14 points from three victories.

Although Mountaineers might have complicated their chances of getting a place in the 50-over game, the Mutare outfit still has a big chance of making it in the T20 competition, which makes tomorrow's match more exciting.

Mountaineers will be out for maximum points to cement their place as they are currently second on the log standings with 18 points, five better than nearest rivals Rhinos.

Favourites Mashonaland Eagles are already in the final following their 12-run victory over Tuskers on Thursday to leave Mountaineers and Rhinos in the race for the other ticket.

Rhinos will host Tuskers in Kwekwe today and tomorrow after meeting with mixed fortunes during the mid-week.


Southern Rocks v Mountaineers (Triangle), Rhinos v Tuskers (Kwekwe)

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