Harare, 27th July, 2023: The Joburg Buffaloes were in superb touch in what was the final game of the league stage of the inaugural edition of the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10, defeating the Harare Hurricanes by 9 wickets, and 22 deliveries to spare. Will Smeed top scored in the game with an unbeaten 44 as Joburg jumped into the second spot on the points table behind the Durban Qalandars. The Cape Town Samp Army and Harare Hurricanes came in third and fourth, with the Bulawayo Braves rounding up the table.

Batting first, the Harare Hurricanes had a slow start, as they lost the Indian batter Robin Uthappa for 6 early on. Evin Lewis was the next to depart for 1, as the Joburg Buffaloes had the advantage in the early exchanges. Right after, Regis Chakabva (10) could not convert his start, after which the in-form Donovan Ferreira and Mohammad Nabi took charge.

The duo put on 19 runs as they looked to steady the ship, but, in the 7th over, the Buffaloes struck again through Blessing Muzarabani. In a spot of bother at this point, Nabi, who was joined by Irfan Pathan, took charge. The partnership added 20 runs to the cause before Nabi was dismissed for 19, and Luke Jongwe was packed off right after for a duck.

Samit Patel could not keep Irfan company and was knocked over for 2 by Junior Dala, and then it was up to Irfan and Tashinga Musekiwa to finish things up. They finished with a flurry, with Irfan (10*) closing out the innings with a 6 over extra-cover.

In response, the Joburg Buffaloes started off brilliantly, despite losing the wicket of the experienced captain Mohammad Hafeez (7), who was dismissed by the Indian pacer S Sreesanth. After that, Tom Banton and Will Smeed were in the middle, and they went on the attack from the get-go.

Banton and Smeed settled in very quickly and then began dealing in boundaries and started to race away with the game. The duo were looking unstoppable, and by the half-way stage, the score read 63/1. The Buffaloes were firmly in control of the contest.

Smeed overtook Banton in no time, and both batters were hitting it cleanly, as the Buffaloes headed towards a comprehensive win. Eventually, the Buffaloes chased down the target with more than three overs to spare.
Brief Scores:

Harare Hurricanes – 81/7 (Mohammad Nabi – 19, Donovan Ferreira – 15; Noor Ahmad – 2/7, Mohammad Hafeez – 2/21) lost by 9 wickets against Joburg Buffaloes – 82/1 (Will Smeed – 44*, Tom Banton – 28*; Sreesanth – 1/6)


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