ROUND One of the Mashonaland Vigne Cup gets into full swing this Sunday. All the four leagues will be involved as it is a full-fixture programme. All the clubs are raring to go although there
may be some player transfers ahead of the season. Fans should therefore expect fun-filled weekends of cricket on the domestic scene.
Top of the bill this weekend in the First League is the encounter between Alexandra 1 and Old Georgians 1 at Alexandra Sports Club’s pitch A. Outwardly, this could be a close affair if both sides retain their form of last season.
Old Georgians (OGs) are however still missing the services of pace bowler Campbell McMillan, at one time regarded the quickest bowler in Zimbabwe. McMillan was injured last season when he was beginning to claw his way into national recognition.
But OGs still have in their armoury the likes of long-serving captain Lance Malloch-Brown, swing bowlers Ryan Bennett and brothers Allan and Waddington Mwayenga. The younger Mwayenga recently received his maiden Test cap for Zimbabwe in the second Royal Stag Test match against India at Harare Sports Club.
Alex always put up a good fight, and with men like pace bowler Daniel Robb and brothers Douglas and Stephen Marillier, they can really play some inspiring cricket on a good day.
Defending champions Old Hararians 1 will be the team to beat again this season. OH’s cohesion and tough type of cricket had them almost bullying everyone into submission last season. They come up against newboys Old Malvernians 1 at OH on Sunday.
Again OH will look up to accurate seamer Bryan Strang, skipper Ryan Butterworth, all-rounder Piet Rinke and batsman Raymond Kaschula.
Old Malvernians, formerly known as Lords, are confident that they will not find life with the big boys in the First League more than what they bargained for, and in players like skipper Tererai Mubwandarikwa and all-rounder Kevin Gwesere, the Waterfalls-based clubs have the manpower to impress.
Harare Sports Club 1 are at home to Universals. Sports Club hope that men like veteran player-coach Robin Brown, pace bowler David Mutendera and wrist spinner Graeme Cremer will be in form on the day.
But this is one game whose verdict is not easy. “Varsals” can also count on their national team pace bowler Blessing Mahwire, youngsters Chamunorwa Chibhabha and Tafadzwa Mufambisi and the hard-hitting Faisal Godiwala.
In the other fixture, Takashinga 1 take on Uprising 1 at Takashinga. The hosts lost quite a number of key players during the off-season, but even so, with the largest player-base in the country, no one can afford to rule out Takas.
That national team skipper Tatenda Taibu might be playing against them on Sunday for Uprising represents a new lease of life at the Highfield club.
Vigne Cup second league fixtures:
Old Hararians 2 vs Alexandra 2 (Old Hararians B), Uprising 2 vs Harare Sports Club 2 (Prince Edward A), Millennium vs Takasinga 2 (Churchill A), Universals 2 vs Glenshire (Churchill B).