10 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Mangongo Optimistic

Mashonaland Eagles coach Steven Mangongo is banking on underrated Nathan Waller and Tino Mutombodzi as match winners in this afternoon's Castle Lager Twenty-20 final against Mountaineers at Harare Sports Club.

Mutare-based Mountaineers are seeking to defend their T-20 title and claim the game's shortest version's third title.

Today's game is under spotlight to surpass the 7 500 record crowd that witnessed the 2009-10 final at Harare Sports Club between the two sides.

With captain Stuart Matsikinyeri and Chamu Chibhabha escaping Mangongo's mention, it is the unheralded who are likely to steal the show banking on recent form.

"I am tipping Tino and Nathan as match winners. It is these unknown guys who could make the difference judging on the way they have been playing recently," said Mangongo.

While Waller and Mutombodzi, who are both former Zimbabwe youth internationals, are carrying Mangongo's hopes, Eagles are also guarding against complacency after winning all their seven round-robin matches including against Mountaineers.

"Preparations have gone very well and we have no injury worries in camp. We played warm-up matches against Takashinga.

What could carry the day is that we are well-balanced in both batting and bowling which is a plus for us. But we have to guard against this mentality that we are in top form," Mangongo said.

But Mountaineers are no pushovers with captain Tino Mawoyo in fair form while offspiner Tapiwa Mufudza has been terrific in recent games.

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