Put into bat, although Delphine Mukarurangwa started with a boundary off Blessing Etim in the first over, Rwanda openers couldn’t take advantage of the power play and struggled to find the fence anymore. They reached only 24 at the end of the sixth over.
Post power play, Rwanda batters continued to struggle to get the scorecard moving as Mukarurangwa played out a maiden against Favour Eseigbe in the seventh over. Eventually Mukarurangwa’s innings came to an end when she was caught by Etim off Mary Desmond in the next over for 16 off 27 balls.
Batting at three, Henriette started positively and broke the stalemate with a boundary even as Sifa Ingabire’s innings was going nowhere as she crawled her way to 12 off 25 at the end of the tenth over. Henriette didn’t hit anymore boundaries but she took singles and doubles and went at run-a-ball to take the hosts’ score to 71 at the end of 14th over.
However, Henriette’s innings came to an end when she tried to take on Etim in the 15th over and was caught on the boundary for a well-made 24 off 23 balls. In the next over, Rwanda lost Ingabire too as she was dismissed by Joy Efosa for a 40-ball 24.
From 78 for three in the 16th over, Cathia Uwamahoro and Marie Diane Bimenyimana tried to play a few aggressive shots to take Rwanda over the three-figure mark in the 19th over before Bimenyimana became Etim’s second wicket. Although they lost a flurry of wickets towards the end in pursuit of some quick runs, Rwanda finished with 108 for seven from the stipulated 20 overs.
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For Nigeria, Etim was the best bowler with figures of two for 27 from her four overs while Desmond, Efosa and Agatha Obulor took one wicket each.
In reply, Nigeria innings seemed to follow a similar path to that of the hosts with openers Eseigbe and Omonye Asika taking their time to settle. But with Rwanda bowlers guilty of erring their line on both sides of the stumps and providing them with extras, Nigeria were better placed at 28 without any loss at the end of the power play.
However, Nigeria lost Asika and Etim in quick succession with Margueritte Vumiliya accounting for them. She had Asika hit one straight to Gisele Ishimwe to be dismissed for 16 off 27. Etim started with a boundary but Vumiliya had her revenge when she castled her next ball with Nigeria’s score reading 40 for two in the eighth over.
Introduction of Henriette into the attack saw Nigeria plummet further as Eseigbe’s painstaking stay at the crease ended with her stumps going for a toss. She could only score nine runs from 26 balls. Henriette struck again in her second over to sent Esther Sandy back for just five.
From 58 for four, a combination of poor balls and mis-fields saw Salome Sunday and skipper Samantha Agazuma gather 14 runs from the 13th over bowled by Alice Ikuzwe. The duo added 20 runs before Sunday was dismissed by Josiane Nyirankundineza for a run-a-ball 17.
Needing 27 from the last four overs, Agazuma and Obulor couldn’t find boundaries and Agazuma ran herself out while trying to steal a single to extra-cover in the 18th over. It came down to 17 from 12 balls and Abigail Igbobie played three dot balls before taking a single to give the strike back to Obulor. Although Obulor found a boundary from the fifth ball, she couldn’t retain the strike for the last over.
Once Obulor was run out in the first ball of the final over, lower-order couldn’t find any boundaries and Nigeria finished six runs short.
For Rwanda, Henriette was the most successful bowler with impressive figures of two for five from her three overs while Vumiliya picked up two wickets for 20 runs.
Brief Scores: Rwanda 108 for 7 in 20 overs (Henriette Ishimwe 24, Sifa Ingabire 24; Blessing Etim 2/28) beat Nigeria in 102/8 in 20 overs (Salome Sunday 17; Henriette Ishimwe 2/5) by six runs POTM: Henriette Ishimwe