Zim Afro T10: Dominant Joburg Buffaloes register easy win against Cape Town Samp Army

Harare, July 27 (IANS) Skipper Mohammad Hafeez starred with an unbeaten 40 as the Joburg Buffaloes put on a fantastic performance against the Cape Town Samp Army, defeating the table-toppers by 9 wickets in the inaugural edition of the Zim Afro T10 at the Harare Sports Club.

The Buffaloes put on a fine performance to lift themselves off the bottom of the points table and throw the battle for the top four spots wide open.

Batting first, the Cape Town Samp Army had a slow start as they lost the early wickets of Tadiwanashe Marumani (0) and Matthew Breetzke (3). Meanwhile, Rahmanullah Gurbaz at the other end was scoring at a brisk pace.

Gurbaz, who has been in fine form through the course of the tournament, though could not kick on after getting a start, and was dismissed for 27 off 12 balls. The in-form Karim Janat was also in the middle, and doing his best to help his side get a move along.

However, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (0) was dismissed next, which saw Janat and Sean Williams come together. Janat too could not capitalise on a start and was packed off for 20 off 13 deliveries, after which Tom Curran (7) and John Campbell (9*) added a few quick runs, to push the Samp Army to a fighting total of 89/6.

In response, the Joburg Buffaloes began well as the openers put on a quick-fire 30-run stand. Mohammad Hafeez and Tom Banton played some exquisite shots to help the Buffaloes get a good start before Curran (7) was dismissed.

The captain Hafeez though was fighting on with Ravi Bopara, who came in next.

The duo used all their experience and first absorbed the pressure, before putting the foot on the accelerator. Both decided to attack from their respective ends and were dealing in big hits.

Hafeez was looking superb, pulling and driving with power and panache, while Bopara was bringing out the sublime shots in his armoury as well. The duo were making batting look easy under the lights.

Bopara tied the game with a massive six and then knocked it down to fine leg to finish up the contest. This was the second consecutive win for the Buffaloes who moved up to fourth on the points table.

Brief Scores

Cape Town Samp Army 89/6 in 10 overs (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 27, Karim Janat 20; Blessing Muzarabani 3-7, Victor Nyauchi 2-11) lost to Joburg Buffaloes 90/1 in 6.5 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 40*, Ravi Bopara 30*; Tom Curran 1-10) by 9 wickets.

–IANS

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