; 18 8 5 5 22 16 29
7 Mwana Africa 19 8 4 7 22 26 28
8 Monomotapa 19 7 7 5 19 15 28
9 Dynamos 19 7 6 6 24 20 27
10 Black Rhinos 19 7 4 8 25 28 25
11 CAPS United 19 7 4 8 19 22 25
12 Buymore 19 6 5 8 15 19 23
13 Shooting Stars 19 5 2 12 26 36 17
14 Railstars 19 4 5 10 21 32 17
15 Shabanie Mine 19 3 7 9 14 22 16
16 Zimbabwe Saints 18 3 1 14 13 32 10
Cricketers to face SA in ODI
HARARE – The Zimbabwe cricket team has been invited to participate in a two-match One Day International series against South Africa in September. The games, sponsored by MTN, will be played in Bloemfontein on September 15 and East London two days later.
The Zimbabweans will play a warm-up day/night Standard Bank Pro20 match against Gestetner Diamond Eagles. Zimbabwe Cricket managing director, Ozias Bvute, welcome the tour saying it would give the Zimbabwean youngsters welcome international exposure as possible.
Meanwhile it is reported that an academy side from Australia will visit Zimbabwe in early September as part of a tour of southern Africa.
The Commonwealth Bank Centre of Excellence will make Zimbabwe the last leg of their three-nation tour, arriving in South Africa on 16 August before touring Namibia and winding-up with the Zimbabwe series.
Observers are appalled at the news, slating the leading cricket nations for ignoring the worsening human rights abuses of the Mugabe regime and the deteriorating playing standard of the national team.
Zimbabwe will also participate in a four-nation qualifying tournament for the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy in India, in October.
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the West Indies and Zimbabwe will play a preliminary tournament starting 7 October, with the winner joining the top five, ODI nations, Australia, England, South Africa, Pakistan and New Zealand in the group stage of the tournament. – Staff reporter
Sables draw with Madagascar
HARARE – The national rugby side, the Sables battled their way from behind to force a 22-22 draw against Madagascar in the African Cup Group A rugby qualifier match in Bulawayo at the weekend.
Three quarters of the side were wearing the Sables colours for the first time, and the home crowd put a lot of pressure on them to win.
The team was down 5-17 at half time, before coming back strongly, but assistant coach Nonsikelelo ‘Sykes’ Sibanda said they should have played as a more coherent unit in order to score full points in the game. He said the players had made some wrong decisions at crucial stages of the game.
They now face the Zambians in Lusaka on September 16, who they need to beat convincingly in order to enhance their chances of winning Group A.
Local rugby has fallen on hard times over recent years, and the Sables’ rankings have been consistently sliding downwards.
Sibanda admitted that there was a lot of work still to be done, but tried to remain up-beat, saying the team had a good foundation as the average age of players was only 25.
“The boys should really work on ball-handling skills and they should also learn to play as a unit right from the outset if we are to have good results at the end of the day,” he said.
Captain Cleopas Makotose touched down twice either side of the break while debutant Gardner Nechironga scored the other try for the home side.
Sibanda also felt that the ninth-minute injury to South Africa-based lock Fortune Chipendo, who had to be rushed to hospital, had affected the Sables’ rhythm. – Sports reporter