All-round Zimbabwe beat Namibia to win T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier

Zimbabwe. © Cricket Uganda

Zimbabwe won the T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier with a 13-run win against Namibia in the final at the Botswana Cricket Association Oval 1 in Gaborone on Sunday (September 19). In the third-place play-off match Tanzania got the better of Uganda by nine wickets.

Defending 133 to win the title, Zimbabwe didn’t let Namibia to get off to a fast start and they eventually got the reward in the sixth over with Sune Wittmann falling for just four off 15. In the eighth over, Nomvelo Sibanda struck again to sent Yasmeen Khan back for seven.

Meanwhile, Adri van der Merwe was batting well at the other end even though she couldn’t find boundaries. In her second over, Loreen Tshuma accounted for van der Merwe and it looked like Namibia were almost out of the game with eight overs still left.

However, Kayleen Green and Wilka Mwatile attacked the Zimbabwe bowlers in an enterprising partnership of 33 from just 21 balls to take the score to 80 in 15 overs. With 54 required from the last five overs, Namibia needed these two batters to carry on, but Green fell to Loryn Phiri for 21. Mwatile played a few shots before she was dismissed by Precious Marange and with that all hopes of Namibia went downhill.

Although Jurriene Diergaardt tried to keep Namibia in the chase with a 12-ball 18, it was too little too late as they fell 13 runs short of Zimbabwe’s score. Van der Merwe top-scored with 29 as Namibia finished on 120 for nine from the 20 overs.

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Earlier, opting to bat, Zimbabwe openers started really well with Modester Mupachikwa attacking the Namibian bowlers while Chiedza Dhururu played the second fiddle. Mupachikwa was severe on Wittmann in the fifth over as Zimbabwe plundered 19 runs from it. They finished the power play on 37 with Victoria Hamunyela bowling a maiden in the final over of the fielding restrictions.

From there, Dhururu started slowly opening up and Mupachikwa continued with her attacking ways as the pair put on 76 runs. However, Green brought Namibia back in the game with twin strikes in the 12th over. She first accounted for Mupachikwa for 34 and then castled Zimbabwe skipper Mary-Anne Musonda for a duck in the next ball.

Post Dhururu’s dismissal for 44, Josephine Nkomo played some aggressive shots to take Zimbabwe to 133 for four from the stipulated 20 overs, which was eventually enough for them to win the competition. For Namibia, Green was the best bowler with figures of two for 22.

In the third-place play-off at Oval 2, Tanzania restricted Uganda to 79 runs before hunting down the target down inside 14 overs with both openers scoring 30s to guide the chase.

Opting to bat, Uganda didn’t have the greatest of starts as they lost two early wickets with Tanzania’s opening bowlers Nasra Saidi and Perice Kamunya striking to remove the openers. Once skipper Rita Musamali was out to a run out for 16, Uganda suffered a collapse to find themselves reeling at 49 for six in 12.3 overs.

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From there, Prosscovia Alako took the score to 71 in the company of Patricia Malemikia, but they couldn’t add more to the team total as Uganda had another collapse on their way to 79 all out in 18.4 overs.

In the chase, Fatuma Kibasu started aggressively finding a boundary early in the second over. Saum Mtae also joined the fun hitting Stephani Nampiina for three boundaries as the duo brought up the fifty partnership in the seventh over.

Uganda bowled a few frugal overs, but couldn’t find the breakthrough they required to stay in the match. By the time they got Mtae out for 36 off 40, the match was long gone and Kibasu took Tanzania home with two consecutive boundaries off Evelyn Anyipo in the 14th over. She remained not out on 34.

Brief Scores:

Zimbabwe 133/4 in 20 overs (Chiedza Dhururu 44, Modester Mupachikwa 34; Kayleen Green 2/22) beat Namibia 120/9 in 20 overs (Adri van der Merwe 29, Wilka Mwatile 26; Nomvelo Sibanda 2/7, Precious Marange 2/20) by 13 runs.

Uganda 79/10 in 18.4 overs (Prosscovia Alako 20; Fatuma Kibasu 2/3, Sophia Jerome 2/11) lost to Tanzania 82/1 in 13.2 overs (Saum Mtae 36, Fatuma Kibasu 34*) by nine wickets.