Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter

AMAKHOSI started off the National Premier League with a wicket one triumph over fellow Bulawayo side Queens Sports Club in a low scoring yet pulsating 45-over cricket match at Queens on Sunday.

Zimbabwe national team limited overs skipper, Chamunorwa Chibhabha top scored with 24 runs off 32 deliveries as Queens were bowled out for a partly 97 in 26 overs. Man of the match, left arm spinner Ainsley Ndlovu and pace bowler Ernest Masuku were brilliant with ball in hand as picked up four wickets apiece, a display which sent a clear message to the national selectors that if they were fair in choosing the Zimbabwe team, the two should be in the squad preparing for the tour of Pakistan.

Amakhosi’s run chase started off on a disastrous note when their star batsman Brian Chari was run out for a duck without facing any delivery.

Allen Chigoma was the highest run contributor for Amakhosi with 20 coming in to at number three. Left arm spinners, Sean Williams and Tanatswa Bechani caused havoc with ball in hand to dry up the runs for Amakhosi. Williams had two wickets for 11 runs in nine overs, four of those overs being maidens while Bechani had 3/19 in nine overs. Thabo Mboyi had to be patient enough to guide his team over the line and finished unbeaten on 15 off 33 deliveries.

Amakhosi senior player, John Nyumbu said the pitch was sluggish, hence the batsmen had to really work hard to get the runs.

“The wicket was bit of the slow side so it made scoring a bit difficult, it was one of those wickets where as a batter you are never in and you need to graft as much as possible,’’ Nyumbu said.

He was pleased with the way they bowled but dissatisfied with the way they batted with the responsibility on the team to seek improvement with bat in hand come the next fixture.

“I know we didn’t bat well, happy with the way we bowled, at the end of the day we got the result that we wanted, the onus is on us as a batting group and the team to be able to make sure that next time we play, we put in a much better effort.”

Next up for Amakhosi is a trip to Kwekwe to face Harare Kings at Kwekwe Sports Club on Wednesday, on the same day that Queens are at home to the Great Zimbabwe Patriots.

In other matches played across the country yesterday, Harare Kings hammered Great Zimbabwe Patriots by 114 runs, Rainbow Sharks defeated Gladiators by four wickets while Takashinga won by five wickets over Midwest.