KWEKWE -Mountaineers successfully defended their Pro50 Cup title after beating Rhinos by one run in the final played at Kwekwe Sports Club on Saturday.
Mountaineers scored 277/7 in 50 overs and Rhinos managed 276/8 overs.
It was Mountaineers fourth title in the competition after winning the prestigious cup in the 2009-10, 2013-14 and 2021-22 seasons.
Rhinos were the overwhelming favourites heading into the final as they finish first on the log table with 55 points from 8 matches, ahead of Mountain Goats as Mountaineers are fondly known who had 49 points.
However, the final was not as one-sided as Mountaineers put up a spirited performance .Player of the match Definate Mawadzi top-scored for Mountaineers with 72 runs off 90 deliveries which included four fours and three sixes.
Mountaineers youthful gaffer Njabulo Ncube who guided Mountain Goats to their fourth title said he was happy to carry on from where the former coaches Shephard Makunura and Dave Houghton left.
Makunura won the cup twice and Houghton won it once before he was appointed national team coach.
It was Ncube’s first silverware as head coach and he said he was greatly inspired by Makunura and Houghton who is now the national team coach.
“Makunura was my U-19 coach in the 2008 U-19 world cup and Dave was my Matabeleland Tuskers Coach in 2011/2013.So to work with them now is a blessing for me.
The two inspire me a lot and I have learnt a lot from them.Im looking forward to keep learning from them and hopefully we will win more trophies,” he said.
Ncube was happy by his charges performance and heeped praises on the youthful batter Mawadzi.
“ Mawadzi won man of the match for top scoring with 72 but it felt like a 100. It was great for a youngster who was only playing his third 50 -over game.The way he controlled the game and the positive intent he showed rubbed on to the rest of the team,” he said.
Ncube and his charges have now shifted focus to the Logan that will then get underway on November 22.
Mountaineers will meet with Rhinos again at Harare Sports Club.
“ We will ill take it game by game and we still got a long way to go,” he said.