Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE international Craig Ervine will go into the final of the domestic Pro50 Championship this Friday in the form of his life following back-to-back List A centuries in his last two games for Tuskers.
The 33-year-old left hander was in devastating touch at the weekend when he plundered his career best 168 not out in a losing cause to the Eagles, the same team they face again this week in the final at a venue to be advised.
Ervine should have left the park disappointed last Friday when they lost to Eagles by four wickets despite his heroics with the bat.
His previous best score in List A cricket was 130 runs.
But last Friday, he needed 131 balls to overhaul his previous milestone with 13 fours and eight sixes in that majestic innings as Tuskers raked 283 /5 in their 50 overs. Eagles, however, reached the target with five balls to spare thanks to quality half tons from Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Richmond Mutumbami and Regis Chakabva.
But two days later, Ervine was outstanding again in what turned out to be a virtual knockout match against Mountaineers.
The left hander helped his team secure their place in this year’s final after beating the Logan Cup champions by eight wickets.
Ervine put on a match-winning performance after scoring an unbeaten 111 runs.
Opener Brian Chari also came in handy with his 104 runs, chasing Mountaineers’ 235 /9.
This was a perfect response by the side to their poor outing in the Logan Cup where Tuskers finished bottom of the table and winless in six games.
Douglas Hondo’s men could salvage some pride by lifting the limited overs title which they have only won once in 2017.
Tuskers are scheduled to warm up for the final when they complete the round robin matches with a dead rubber against Mountaineers in Harare today.
Eagles, who are the most successful side in this limited overs competition since the franchise era, will be waiting for them in Friday’s final.
The Harare franchise are fancying themselves for an unprecedented fifth Pro50 Championship title after finishing top in the pool games.
Stuart Matsikenyeri’s men have had a perfect run stretching six games without defeat.
Fast bowler Daniel Jakiel could turn out to be the find of the season, having shown big promise in the three games he has played so far.
Jakiel took six wickets for only 26 runs in the six-wicket win over Rhinos on Sunday.
The 28-year made a late debut in List A cricket a fortnight ago at 28 years and he immediately impressed his coach Matsikenyeri after taking three wickets in his first match.