Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
HARARE Kings lead the way in the National Premier League with 12 points collected from one win as well as an abandoned match in the 45-over club cricket competition.
With two matches played by all the clubs in the nine-team competition, the Kings have same number of points as second placed Amakhosi but the boys from the capital city are on top of the log because of a superior net run rate.
Just to show how wide open is the race for the top prize, there are a number of teams on 10 points, these being Rainbow Sharks, Queens Sports Club, Midwest, Takashinga and Easterns. Gladiators Cricket Club and Great Zimbabwe Patriots are both on zero points.
Captained by national team all-rounder Sikandar Raza, the Kings started off with a 114-run triumph over the Great Zimbabwe Patriots at Mutare Sports Club last Sunday. On Wednesday, the Kings and Amakhosi saw their eagerly anticipated clash abandoned because of rain at Kwekwe Sports Club, which saw the two teams being awarded two points apiece. The match had been reduced to an 18-over affair but only 5.2 overs were played, with Amakhosi on 30/1 at that stage before the contest ended prematurely since the outfield was deemed too dangerous for the match to continue.
Midwest captain Tarisai Musakanda is the leading run scorer in the NPL with 142 runs, with all those scored in his team’s 148 run victory over Gladiators at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday. Last Sunday, Musakanda was dismissed for a three-ball duck when his team lost by five wickets to Takashinga at Kwekwe Sports Club.
Wesley Madhevere who turns out for the Gladiators is the NPL’s second leading run scorer with 86, followed by the Takashinga duo of Roy Kaia and Elton Chigumbura on 81.
Queens Sports Club left arm spinners, Tanatswa Bechani and Sean Williams are the joint leading wicket takers in the NPL with six wickets apiece. Bechani has been outstanding in the competition and on Wednesday, he picked up three wickets for just two runs in three overs to lead Queens to a 44-run win against the Great Zimbabwe Patriots on a day when Williams took 4/22.
Pace bowlers Blessing Muzarabani (Takashinga) and Tendai Chatara (Easterns) have five wickets each, with those collected when their teams clashed in Harare on Wednesday.