Robin Uthappa's sensational show sees Harare Hurricanes bagging Eliminator against Cape Town Samp Army
Uthappa played a sublime knock for his side, leading them to a comprehensive 9-wicket win against the Cape Town Samp Army.
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Harare, 28th July 2023: The ace Indian batter and Harare Hurricanes captain Robin Uthappa took everyone for a ride on a time machine, as played a sublime knock for his side, leading them to a comprehensive 9-wicket win against the Cape Town Samp Army in the Eliminator, at the Harare Sports Club in the inaugural edition of the Zim Afro T10.
Having been asked to bat first, the Cape Town Samp Army started off at a good pace with Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Bhanuka Rajapaksa scoring at more than 10 runs an over. While Rajapaksa departed for a quick 25 from 11 deliveries in the third over, Gurbaz was going great guns at the other end.
Tadiwanashe Marumani was the next to depart for a duck, becoming Nandre Burger’s second wicket of the game. That brought Karim Janat, who has been in good nick to the middle, along with Gurbaz, and they put on a solid 49-run stand. Gurbaz was doing a serious amount of damage to the bowlers’ economy rate while Janat had been keeping him good company.
Janat though would be picked off by Mohammad Nabi in the 6th over, and then Gurbaz and Sean Williams took charge. The duo piled on the runs and showed no mercy towards the bowlers, scoring at breakneck speed. They put on 68 runs with Gurbaz completing his half-century, as the Cape Town Samp Army went on to break the record for the highest total posted in the tournament. The Samp Army finished with the score of 145/3 in 10 overs, with Gurbaz scoring 62 off 26 deliveries, having smashed 6 sixers and four boundaries.
In response, the Harare Hurricanes, who were aiming to break the record for the highest total in an innings for the fourth time in the day, came out of the blocks quickly with the experienced duo of Robin Uthappa and Evin Lewis striking it very cleanly.
While Lewis looked good and then failed to convert his start and departed for 12, Uthappa was joined by Donovan Ferreira after that and continued to make merry, under the floodlights. Both the batters drove, cut, and pulled with panache, to keep the Hurricanes in the race at the halfway stage, with the score at 82/1. It was in the fifth over too, that Uthappa brought up his half-century, the second of the tournament for him.
Uthappa and Ferreira had very soon brought up the half-century stand for the second wicket and were motoring along, finding the gaps with ease and clearing the boundary with regularity. In the final two overs, the Hurricanes needed 26, and the veteran Indian batter was in a ferocious mood.
The experienced Englishman Tom Curran was handed over the ball for the penultimate over, and Uthappa made it count, smashing two sixes and a boundary, in what was a 22-run over. In the final over, Uthappa finished it off with 4 balls to spare and 9 wickets in hand, remaining unbeaten on 88. The result meant the Hurricanes had scored the highest total in an innings in the tournament so far, a record that was broken for the fourth time in the day.
Cape Town Samp Army – 145/3 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz – 62*, Sean Williams – 28*; Nandre Burger – 2/18, Mohammad Nabi – 1/24) lost by 9 wickets against the Harare Hurricanes – 146/1 (Robin Uthappa – 88*, Donovan Ferreira – 35*; Richard Ngarava – 1/21)