Fatuma Kibasu, Wilka Mwatile star as Tanzania, Namibia register huge wins in Africa Qualifier

Shajin Mohanan S
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Fatuma Kibasu, Wilka Mwatile star as Tanzania, Namibia register huge wins in Africa Qualifier

Tanzania celebrate a wicket © Tanzania Cricket Twitter

Fatuma Kibasu scored an unbeaten century to lead Tanzania to a huge 256-run win against Eswatini in the Group A fixture of T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Gaborone on Tuesday (September 14). In Group B, Namibia registered their fourth win from as many matches as they thumped Cameroon by eight wickets thanks to a five-wicket haul from Wilka Mwatile. In other two fixtures, Uganda beat Sierra Leone on their way to their third win while Rwanda survived some anxious moments to sneak home in a close encounter against Botswana.

In the first match of the day at the Botswana Cricket Association Oval 1 in Gaborone, Tanzania openers Kibasu and Saum Mtae didn’t give Eswatini bowlers any respite right from the start. Mtae started the mayhem hitting a boundary in the first ball she faced and added four more boundaries in the next two overs to take her score to 27 off 13. Kibasu joined Mtae in the fun with her first four in the fourth over and she never looked back from there.

In the eighth over, Mtae brought up the century partnership with another four and both the openers got to their individual fifties in the next over. Kibasu was the first to reach the mark from 27 balls with a single off Mbali Dlamini while Mtae got to the milestone from 25 balls before becoming Mbali’s victim in the same over as their partnership came to an end on 130 runs.

However, the loss of Mtae didn’t stop Kibasu and she found another aggressive partner in Monica Pascal as they kept going after the Eswatini bowlers giving them no room to breathe. The pair sped past landmarks as Tanzania reached the 200-run mark in the 15th over.

Kibasu was already in the 90s by then and reached her second T20I century in the 17th over with a couple off Dumsile Dlamini from just 54 balls. From there, Kibasu batted on while Pascal went past her fifty as well. Eventually Tanzania put up a mammoth 279 runs for two on the board from their 20 overs with Kibasu remaining unbeaten on 127.

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In the chase, young Eswatini side started badly losing the first wicket in the form of a run out in the fifth ball of their innings. At the score of 13, they lost skipper Winile Ginindza for five to Perice Kamunya. From there, they had no answers to Tanzania’s bowling and lost the next seven wickets for just ten runs with five batters not opening their account. Tenele Malinga didn’t come to bat as Eswatini were bundled out for 23 from 11.5 overs giving Tanzania a huge win of 256 runs.

For Tanzania, Sophia Jerome and Mwanamvua Ushanga picked up three wickets each.

Elsewhere in Group B fixture in Oval 2, having been asked to bowl, Uganda restricted Sierra Leone to a score of 86 before chasing the target easily with plenty of overs to spare. Stephani Nampiina struck thrice to help Uganda make early inroads into the Sierra Leone innings as they found themselves reeling at 30 for five in the tenth over.

From there, Fatu Pessima and Linda Bull put on a 31-run partnership for the seventh wicket after Pessima and Janet Kowa took them over the 50-run mark. Sierra Leone eventually ended their innings at 86 for eight from their 20 overs. Pessima top-scored with 22 while Bull remained unbeaten on 15.

For Uganda, Nampiina was the best bowler on display with three wickets to her name while Immaculate Nakisuuyi and Janet Mbabazi took two wickets each.

In reply, even though Ann Marie Kamara accounted for Prosscovia Alako early when she had her trapped in front of the wicket for ten, Kevin Awino and Rita Musamali hit a few boundaries to steady the chase and then finished with a flourish as Musamali hit three fours in the 12th over before a single off Marie Turay to take them to a nine-wicket win with 7.1 overs to spare. Musamali scored 33 off 28 while Awino’s 39 was the top-score of the match.

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In the second Group B fixture of the day at Oval 2, Mwatile ran through Cameroon line up after they opted to bat when she accounted for the first three wickets with the score reading only five. Cameroon’s innings went nowhere as they lost two more wickets inside the power play to reduce themselves to eight for five at the end of six overs.

There was no respite for Cameroon with Mwatile completing her five-wicket haul with two more scalps in her final over. She first dismissed Marguerite Bessala for one before trapping top-scorer Bernadette Mbida in front of the wicket for ten with the final ball of her spell. Cameroon were eventually bowled out for a paltry score of 30 in the 16th over.

For Namibia, apart from Mwatile's five wickets, Sune Wittman and Kayleen Green took two wickets each.

In the chase, Cameroon surprised Namibia with two early wickets in the first over but it was never going to enough as Yasmeen Khan and Green helped Namibia extend their unbeaten run in the tournament as they finished the match in the fourth over.

In the final match of the day at Oval 1, Botswana fought valiantly even as Rwanda snuck home to a three-wicket win in the 19th over. After Rwanda opted to field, Henriette Ishimwe dismissed Olebogeng Batisani in the fifth over and then Margueritte Vumiliya accounted for Florence Samanyika when she was on ten. Laura Mophakedi and Shameelah Mosweu added 25 runs for the third wicket to take the score to 61 runs.

However, four run outs and some indifferent batting saw Botswana innings stutter to 94 for nine in their 20 overs. For Rwanda, Henriette was the best bowler on display with figures of two for 11 while Vumiliya also took two wickets.

Chasing 95 for their third win of the competition, Rwanda started well with Gisele Ishimwe and Sarah Uwera adding 30 runs for the opening wicket. Jacqueline Kgang gave Botswana the breakthrough by castling Gisele in the seventh over. Rwanda soon lost Uwera as well when she fell to Mosweu for 18.

With Kgang striking twice again to remove Alice Ikuzwe and Marie Bimenyimana, Botswana’s hope were rising when Flora Irakoze joined Henriette in the middle. The pair added 29 runs to take Rwanda’s score to 83 and it looked like they will cruise to an easy win.

However, Rwanda went through a wobble as Irakoze was run out for 17 before Samanyika accounted for Henriette with them still needing two runs to a win. Even though they lost one more wicket at the same score to Samanyika, Sifa Ingabire took them home with a single off Botsogo Mpedi in the 19th over.

Brief Scores:

Tanzania 279/2 in 20 overs (Fatuma Kibasu 127*, Monica Pascal 54, Saum Mtae 52) beat Eswatini 23/10 in 11.5 overs (Mwanamvua Ushanga 3/1, Sophia Jerome 3/7) by 256 runs.

Sierra Leone 86/8 in 20 overs (Fatu Pessima 22; Stephani Nampiina 3/18, Janet Mbabazi 2/15) lost to Uganda 87/1 in 12.5 overs (Kevin Awino 39*, Rita Musamali 33*) by nine wickets.

Cameroon 30/10 in 15.5 overs (Bernadette Mbida 10; Wilka Mwatile 5/6, Kayleen Green 2/2) lost to Namibia 31/2 in 3.5 overs (Yasmeen Khan 11*) by eight wickets.

Botswana 94/9 in 20 overs (Shameelah Mosweu 21; Margueritte Vumiliya 2/10, Henriette Ishimwe 2/11) lost to Rwanda 95/7 in 18.4 overs (Henriette Ishimwe 19, Sarah Uwera 18; Jacqueline Kgang 3/22, Florence Samanyika 2/10) by three wickets.