Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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Chitungwiza-based Gladiators clinch NPL championship

Gladiators are the 2021/22 National Premier League (NPL) champions, the Chitungwiza-based side secured the coveted silverware after their decisive match against title rivals Westside was washed out at Mutare Sports Club on Sunday.

 

In a race that went all the way to the wire, a win for Westside would have given them the championship, provided Takashinga Patriots 1 failed to get maximum points elsewhere.

And if Takashinga Patriots 1 themselves were to successfully defend their NPL title, they also needed an outright victory and a defeat for Gladiators.

But in an anti-climax end to the season, the Gladiators-Westside match was abandoned, while Takashinga Patriots 1 suffered a 56-run loss at the hands of Lions at Old Hararians on Sunday.

This saw Gladiators finishing at the top of the standings with 81 points, followed by Westside in second place with 75 points and Takashinga Patriots 1 third with 70 points.

In the end, it was a well-deserved championship for Gladiators, the only side not to lose a match in the NPL this season – they won seven, tied one and shared the spoils in the last of their nine fixtures which could not be played due to rain.

Yet the battle was not just about the title.

With the top six teams securing their places in the NPL T20 Blast and the top eight qualifying for the Zim Domestic T10, there was everything to play for elsewhere in the final round of matches over the weekend.

Harare Kings beat Amakhosi by 36 runs at Kwekwe Sports Club, Takashinga Patriots 2 thumped Great Zimbabwe Patriots by 66 runs at Old Hararians, while Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) defeated Nortonians by 58 runs at BAC.

There is only one more match to be played in the NPL, between Amakhosi and Nortonians, but the top eight places in the elite club competition are already decided after Sunday’s games.

Gladiators, Westside, Takashinga Patriots 1, Lions, BAC and Takashinga Patriots 2 will feature in the NPL T20 Blast scheduled to start next week.

They will then be joined in the Zim Domestic T10 tournament by Great Zimbabwe Patriots and Harare Kings.

2021/22 NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE POINTS TABLE

TEAM

M

W

L

T

N/R

PT

NRR

Gladiators

9

7

0

1

1

81

1.937

Westside

9

7

1

0

1

75

2.132

Takashinga Patriots 1

9

7

2

0

0

70

1.987

Lions

9

6

3

0

0

60

0.706

Bulawayo Athletic Club

9

4

4

1

0

46

-0.179

Takashinga Patriots 2

9

3

6

0

0

30

-0.793

Great Zimbabwe

9

3

6

0

0

30

-0.808

Harare Kings

9

3

6

0

0

30

-1.044

Amakhosi

8

1

7

0

0

10

-0.954

Nortonians

8

1

7

0

0

10

-2.070

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