Asked to bat first in the penultimate game of the tournament, the Harare Hurricanes’ openers Robin Uthappa and Evin Lewis were on the hunt for quick runs in the initial phase of the innings. Lewis however was dismissed in the first over, after which Donovan Ferreira and Uthappa looked to go through the gears.
The duo, who had been sensational together in the Eliminator, could only put on 20 runs before Uthappa was caught behind for 17 off the bowling of Brad Evans, who then went on to dismiss Regis Chakabva (0) and Mohammad Nabi (4).
Irfan Pathan joined Donovan Ferreira, and the latter was headed back to the pavilion with the score on 33/5, just before the end of the fourth over. Irfan and Samit Patel thwarted the Qalandars’ bowling for a while. But even the senior Indian all-rounder could not do much and was run-out for 5. Tashinga Musekiwa added 2 more to the cause and so did Luke Jongwe (2), while Patel at the other end chipped away, and managed to push the score to a healthy 82/8.
In response, the Qalandars had Hazratullah Zazai come out of the blocks very quickly, and score fast. But at the other end, Tim Seifert (4) and Andre Fletcher (1) were packed off cheaply by Nandre Burger. The Hurricanes were understandably giving it their all.
Zazai and Nick Welch then came together and steadied the ship, put on a 26-run stand, that had a few exquisite shots in it from both batters. Zazai though could not kick on and was dismissed for 25 in the fifth over.
Welch followed soon after for 18, after which captain Craig Ervine and Asif Ali took charge. Ali was the aggressor, momentarily before Jongwe had him caught at long on for 18 with the score reading 70/5 after 7 overs.
Tinotenda Maposa was brought into the attack in the 8th over and he knocked over the woodwork, sending George Linde back to the hut for a duck, but with Ervine and Azmatullah Omarzai in the middle, the Qalandars were set for the win.
In the 9th over, Omarzai smashed Sreesanth over mid-wicket and into the stands to put the seal on a 4-wicket win. The Qalandars completed the win with more than an over to go.
Harare Hurricanes – 82/8 (Samit Patel – 39*, Robin Uthappa – 17; Brad Evans – 4/16, Daryn Dupavillon – 2/18) lost by 4 wickets against the Joburg Buffaloes – 84/6 (Hazratullah Zazai 25, Asif Ali – 18; Nandre Burger – 2/13, Luke Jongwe – 2/25)