Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter

NATIONAL Premier League log leaders Takashinga failed to make good use of home advantage when they lost by 86 runs to the Gladiators in the 45-over club cricket competition on Sunday.

It was the second defeat for Takashinga, with the first loss inflicted upon them by Easterns.

The loss saw Takashinga fail to cement their spot on top of the log as they remained on 50 points, the same as second placed Midwest.

Gladiators posted 182 in 43 overs and then went on to wipe out Takashinga for 96 in 24.1 overs. Man of the match Malcolm Chikuwa starred with bat and ball as he scored 37 off 53 deliveries and went on to pick up 4/15.

Midwest won by four wickets against Queens Sports Club in Kwekwe, Amakhosi returned to winning ways after back to back defeats with a six-wicket triumph over Easterns in Masvingo while Harare Kings finally remembered how to win when they defeated Rainbow Sharks by 52 runs at Old Hararians.

Sunday’s results saw Takashinga and Midwest being joint leaders of the nine-team competition, with the top two teams left with just one more fixture each  before the end of the NPL.

Amakhosi clash with Takashinga in Kwekwe on Wednesday and if the Bulawayo team wins, they have a great opportunity to win the NPL if they are also victorious in their last match when they return to the Midlands for a clash with the Gladiators on Sunday. Should Amakhosi win their remaining two matches and the top two lose their last fixtures, the big prize could be heading to Bulawayo.

Even if Amakhosi win their last two fixtures, Midwest could still land the ultimate prize of US$10 000 if they beat Great Zimbabwe Patriots in Harare on the last day of the action.

In the event that there is an unlikely tie on top of the log when the action concludes on 1 November, Takashinga will be declared winners as they have a much more superior net run rate.

@Mdawini_29