Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter

QUEENS Sports Club recorded their second win in the National Premier when they defeated Gladiators by seven wickets in a 45-over club cricket contest played at Kwekwe Sports Club on Wednesday.

Opening batsmen Tinashe Chimbambo top scored with an unbeaten 68 runs off 76, an innings made up of nine fours and two sixes, with his effort enough for him to take home the man of the match award as Queens made 138/3 in 26.4 overs. This was after Gladiators, who won the toss and chose to bat had been cleaned up for 137 in 37.3 overs. Malcom Chikuwa top scored for the Gladiators with 39 runs and Tony Munyonga was second best with 31.

The Gladiators struggled to get going as the Queens bowlers tightened screws. Queens skipper Christopher Mpofu led the way with four wickets for 22 runs in 7.3 overs, left arm spinner Tanatswa Bechani had three wickets for 20 runs in nine overs while Jeffrey Mhuriyengwe had two wickets. Bechani took his wickets tally to 13 in the NPL and is still the leading wicket taker in the NPL.

Queens did not have much of a challenge with their run chase and while they did lose three wickets, victory for the Bulawayo club was never in doubt. Chimbambo put on an unbeaten 34 for the fourth wicket with Bechani. It was Bechani who displayed his batting prowess with a rapid 26 not out off 24 balls and put away four fours.

Great Zimbabwe Patriots recorded their win in the NPL with a shock 37-run triumph over Easterns at Mutare Sports Club, which means the Gladiators remain the only team yet to taste how it is like to win a match in the NPL.

Takashinga made good use of home advantage to overcome Rainbow Sharks by seven wickets, a win that saw them climb to the top of the log with 30 points while Midwest beat Harare Kings by five wickets at Old Hararians to move to second. Midwest captain Tarisai Musakanda scored 60 to extend his lead at the top of the batting charts as he now has 250 runs in the [email protected]_29