Tough task lies ahead for Amakhosi
Brandon Moyo, [email protected]
A TOUGH task lies ahead for Bulawayo cricket giants, Amakhosi Cricket Club who are set to face in-form Gladiators Cricket Club in a National Premier League (NPL) T20 encounter scheduled for Kwekwe Sports Club today.
Amakhosi will be looking at causing an upset as their opponents have enjoyed a good run building up to the T20 Blast and also managed to win their opener over the weekend.
The NPL T20 Blast began on Saturday after the completion of the 50-over version of the country’s premier club cricket competition. The Kings of Cricket, as Amakhosi are known, suffered a six-wicket defeat in their opener against Westside Cricket Club and will be hoping to get back to winning ways.
After a poor display with the bat in their last encounter, Amakhosi batters will have to be at their level best against Gladiators.
Amakhosi lost two early wickets and only two of their batters managed to cross double figures as they were bowled out for just 106 runs in 18,3 overs.
Their batting has been poor and is one aspect that should be worked on going into today’s encounter. Amakhosi’s middle order failed to step up on Saturday.
Senior and experienced players such as Nkosana Mpofu at the top of the order will be key in helping the side with the bat and can also come in handy as a bowler. The experience of Ainsley Ndlovu and captain, Ernest Masuku will also be crucial in helping the Bulawayo-based side collect maximum points against a strong Gladiators team that boasts of players such as Milton Shumba, Wessly Madhevere and Tony Munyonga.
In Saturday’s encounter, Amakhosi were bowled out for 106 runs in 18,3 overs before their opponents chased down the target in 11,5 overs, finishing on 112/4. After the heavy defeat, Amakhosi are sitting at the bottom of the standings with a poor net run rate of -4,165 while number seven on the standings, Takashinga Patriots 1 have a net run rate of -1,850.
Their opponents, Gladiators proved strong for Takashinga Patriots 1 with a 37 runs win. Batting first, Gladiators finished their innings on 147/7 and they went on to bowl out Takashinga Patriots 1 for just 110 runs in 16,3 overs.
Gladiators are sitting in second place in the eight team standings with two points and are separated by net run rate with log leaders, Westside Cricket Club. The table toppers have a net run rate of 4,165 while Gladiators are at 1,850.
Today’s clash between Amakhosi and Gladiators will not be the only game that will take place. West Side Club will do duty against Rainbow Cricket Club at old Hararians.
Mutare Sports Club will play host to Takashing Patriots 2 at Mutare Sports Club while Takashinga Sports Club 1 fights it out against UPRISING Cricket Club at Takashinga Cricket Club
Teams that finished in the top eight in the 50-over edition of the NPL are the ones competing in the T20 Blast. The 50-over version was won by Takashinga Patriots 1 after a dramatic final day which saw them collect the coveted silverware on net-run rate ahead of Gladiators and Uprising Cricket Club.
The three teams were both tied on 110 points and net run rate had to come into play.
NPL matches today
Amakhosi Cricket Club vs Gladiators Cricket Club (Kwekwe Sports Club), Westside Cricket Club vs Rainbow Cricket Club (Old Hararians Cricket Club), Mutare Sports Club vs Takashinga Patriots 2 (Mutare Sports Club), Takashinga Patriots 1 vs Uprising Cricket Club (Takashinga Cricket Club). — @brandon_malvin.