Namibia women emerged as the victors of the tournament, triumphing over Sierra Leone in a one-sided final, after remaining undefeated in their six group stage matches as well.
In the final, Namibia restricted Sierra Leone to just 80-4 from their allotted 20 overs. They then chased down the total in 11.1 overs, winning by nine wickets.
Batting first in the final, opener Mabinty Sankoh top-scored for her side, Sierra Leone, with a sedate 23 off 40 deliveries. Only two other players reached double figures. In fact, the third highest contributor to Sierra Leone’s effort was the 19 extras that Namibia gave. None of the batters were really able to fire, with all of them going at a strike rate below 60.00. As a result, Sierra Leone finished their innings on 80-4, a low total.
For Namibia, Shiomwenyo Namusha was particularly brilliant with the ball. Though she did not take any wickets, she leaked just six runs from her four overs at a miserly economy rate of 1.50 runs per over. With the bat, skipper Yasmeen Khan steered her team to victory in her Player-of-the-Match award-winning knock of 37 off 38 deliveries. She was dismissed in the 11th over, her wicket being the only one to fall as fellow opener Adri van der Merwe (26* off 28) then guided Namibia to a nine-wicket win, to be crowned the tournament champions.
Hosts’ Botswana finished third on the points table, winning three of their matches. They were followed by Mozambique, who registered two wins to finish fourth. Malawi and Lesotho both had an equal number of points but, the latter found themselves at the bottom of the ladder due to an inferior run-rate.
van der Merwe was adjudged Player-of-the-Tournament for finishing as the second highest run-scorer of the competition. She amassed 189 runs at an impressive average of 94.50 and a strike rate of 101.07. Her highest score of the competition was 57.
Ahead of her, by 10 runs, on the batting charts was Sierra Leone’s Ann Marie Kamara, who scored 199 runs at an average of 39.80 and a strike rate of 96.60. Her highest score of the tournament was 84.
Surprisingly, in the bowling charts, out of the top three leading wicket-takers, none of them were from either of the two finalists’. Botswana’s Botsogo Mpedi took the most wickets in the tournament. In six matches, she took 14 wickets, including a six-wicket haul against Lesotho.
This tournament was a brilliant initiative taken by the Botswana Cricket Council to help the women’s game grow in their country as well as in their neighbouring nations.