Hosts Uganda, Namibia Take Charge Of Group B With Well-Earned Victories

Former Ugandan captain Immaculate Nakisuyi scored the winning runs against Rwanda. INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER

Namibia secured a thrilling victory over Nigeria following a rain delay in game three

Uganda clinches clinical 6-wicket win in East African derby against Rwanda

Tanzania and Zimbabwe will look to seal semifinal spots against Kenya and Botswana respectively

ENTEBBE, Uganda- Namibia and Uganda launched their campaigns with vigor on Matchday Two of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier yesterday.

The morning match faced a momentary threat from rain, creating a brief pause in proceedings. However, no overs were lost, and the play resumed at 10:05 am, 35 minutes later than the scheduled time. On the other hand, the afternoon game proceeded smoothly without any incidents, even though the sun struggled to pierce through the clouds.

Joy for Rwanda as umpire Enesi Habib raises the finger. INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER

Namibia survive scare

After the groundsman toiled tirelessly to make the outfield playable, Namibia found themselves pushed to the limits by Nigeria. However, the former ultimately scraped over the finish line with a narrow 9-run victory. Blessing Etim, the captain of the Female Yellow Greens, won the toss and elected to field, putting Namibia, led by Irene Van Zyl, in to bat.

The opening duo for the Capricorn Eagles, half-centurion Yasmeen Khan (59 off 49) and Sune Wittmann (24 off 27) ignited the innings, racing to 44 runs in seven overs before Wittmann retired hurt. Despite some lackluster moments in the field by the Nigerians, they managed to contain Namibia to 122 for 2 in 20 overs, with Mezerly Gorases’ powerful late-inning hits contributing 26 crucial runs.

Piety Lucky was solid in her knock of 43 that almost got Nigeria over the line. PHOTO/ INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER

As wickets fell in quick succession, Nigeria, driven by a vociferous dugout, kept their hopes alive at 88 for four after 17 overs. The teenage sensation, Lucky Piety, boasting a century in U-19 T20Is, showcased resilience and found solid support from Peculiar Agboya, who departed after contributing 24 runs.

The entrance of Captain Etim proved timely. After showcasing her range in the 18th over with a superb six, a well-executed boundary, and a wide, the required runs were reduced to just 23 from 16 balls. However, in a momentary lapse, Etim, at 20 runs from 11 balls, lost concentration and attempted to heave another of Sylvia Shihepo’s deliveries out of the pack, only to be caught by Naomi Benjamin on the boundary.

Yasmeen Khan scored the first half century of the tournament against Nigeria. PHOTO/ INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER

From 99 for 5 in 17.3 overs, the scoreboard saw minimal progress, finally halting at 113 for 7. Unluckily for Piety, the last recognizable batter for Nigeria, she was run out with three balls to spare, concluding their interest in the match.

The match recap highlighted Nigeria’s commendable effort in running Namibia close, but the lack of game awareness from Captain Etim, who could have opted to rotate the strike instead of going for another ambitious hit in the air, and their subpar fielding, with at least four crucial chances missed, meant that they start this event on the back foot.

Uganda clinical in derby

Lucky Piety’s knock of 43 was full of power and precision. INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER

Much like Namibia, Uganda also exhibited a clear determination to secure one of the two coveted spots in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier in Dubai next year. The East African derby held significant stakes for both nations, with Uganda seeking redemption in front of their passionate fans. This mission stemmed from their previous defeat to Rwanda by 6 wickets in the Kwibuka Women’s T20 International Tournament final at Gahanga Stadium in Kigali last June.

With a significant portion of the host nation’s fans traveling over 40 kilometers from the capital city Kampala to witness the spectacle at the lakeside Entebbe Cricket Oval, Uganda reciprocated their support in full force.

The Victoria Pearls initially faced a slow start, both in the field after Captain Concy Aweko won the toss and elected to bowl, and later in their batting innings. However, they rallied to craft their 6-wicket victory, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Young Ugandan fans turned up in droves to support their team against Rwanda. PHOTO/ INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER

Rwanda’s opening batters, Merveille Uwase (35 off 35) and Gisele Ishimwe (22 off 47), who are also best friends, initially found comfort against Uganda’s pace bowling, reaching 21 for no loss in 3 overs. Aweko took charge, halting the early onslaught with an economical spell of one for 11. The trio of vice-captain Janet Mbabazi (three for 14), off-spinner Lorna Anyait (none for 13), and medium pacer Rita Musamali (none for 18) executed their roles perfectly with tight four-over spells. Rwanda, from a position of strength at 49 without loss in 9.1 overs, were stifled and could only set a target of just 88 runs in their 20 overs.

Nigeria captain Blessing Etim fields questions from ICC Commentator Eli Tawanda. PHOTO/ INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER

Small run chases often bring surprises, and Uganda faced evident jitters in their innings. The openers prioritized safety, scoring cautiously to avoid an early collapse, reaching 18 for no loss after 5 overs. This was after opening batter Proscovia Alako (1) had already retired hurt after a delivery from Immaculate Muhawenimana struck her left foot in the second over. Wicketkeeper Kevin Awino added excitement briefly with two boundaries in her knock of 11 off 19, while Stephanie Nampiina departed for a duck.

However, these dismissals turned out to be a blessing in disguise as runs started flowing for Uganda. Rita Musamali joined Mbabazi, who earned the Player of the Match Award for her controlled chase, amassing 32 runs off 37 balls. Musamali finished unbeaten on 31 from 29 balls, and former Victoria Pearls captain Immaculate Nakisuyi provided the final flourish with five runs from two balls. Uganda clinically clinched victory with 24 balls to spare, ascending to the top of Group B courtesy of Net Run Rate (1.212).

Semifinal spots at stake

Team Uganda acknowledge applause their fans after toppling Rwanda by 6 wickets. PHOTO/ INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER

With the Group B teams taking a well-deserved break, the focus now shifts to Group A matches resuming this morning. Two teams in the group are well aware that victories today will secure their berths in the semifinals.

Tanzania, having comfortably strolled to a 10-wicket win over Botswana on Matchday One, is poised to face Kenya in another East African derby. Any victory margin in this encounter would propel them to the semifinals. The anticipation is high for a clash that promises intense competition and rivalry.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe, after stifling Kenya en route to a commanding 62-run triumph in their first match, are set to face Botswana. The Lady Chevrons, relying on their powerful hitters and a well-drilled bowling unit, are determined to overcome Botswana and secure a spot in the last four.

As the teams step back onto the field, there is a collective drive to improve both as a unit and individually. The day holds the promise of several exciting subplots and key battles.

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Celebrations of relief after Nigeria captain Blessing Etim was dismissed. PHOTO/ INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC) WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER


Game 3 – Namibia v Nigeria

Nigeria won the toss and elected to bowl

Namibia 122 for 2 in 20 overs (Y Khan 59, M Gorases 26*, S Wittmann 24; P Lucky one for 17, A Adekunle one for 22)

Nigeria 113 for 7 in 20 overs (P Lucky 43, P Agboya 24, B Etim 20, S Shihepo two for 26, N Benjamin one for 13, I van Zyl one for 15)

Namibia won by 9 runs

Game 4 – Rwanda v Uganda

Uganda won the toss and elected to bowl

Rwanda 87 for 5 in 20 overs (M Uwase 35, G Ishimwe 22; D.M Bimenyimana 15; J Mbabazi three for 15, C Aweko one for 11)

Uganda 89 for 4 in 16 overs (J Mbabazi 32, R Musamali 31*, K Awino 11; M.J Tumukunde one for 7, I Muhawenimana one for 15)

Uganda won by 6 wickets (with 24 balls remaining)

Day 3 Fixtures – Monday, December 11

Game 5: Kenya v Tanzania (09:30)

Game 6: Botswana v Zimbabwe (01:50)

 Points Table – Group B

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