Gisele Ishimwe, Loryn Phiri headline day 3 of Africa Qualifier as Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda register big wins

Rwanda in action against Nigeria © Rwanda Cricket Association

A magnificent century from Gisele Ishimwe and an incredible five-wicket haul from Loryn Phiri headlined day three of the T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier as the day saw three one-sided games with Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Uganda registering big wins on Sunday (September 12) in Gaborone. Zimbabwe now lead Group A with three wins from as many matches while Rwanda are just behind them with their two wins in two matches. In Group B, Uganda now have two wins from three games.

In the first match of the day at the Botswana Cricket Association Oval 1 in Gaborone, Rwanda found themselves in early trouble against Eswatini after opting to bat as they lost Sarah Uwera in the third ball of the innings. Even though Gisele was aggressive from the start finding boundaries at regular intervals, they kept losing wickets at the other end. She was already on 41 off 25 balls when Rwanda lost their fifth wicket with the score reading 69.

From there, Gisele found a good partner in Alice Ikuzwe and they shared a record unbeaten partnership of 135 to take Rwanda to a mammoth total. Gisele brought up her fifty from 32 balls while Ikuzwe gave her company with some sedate batting. Gisele kept going for her shots and eventually reached her century from 59 balls. Rwanda finished on 205 for five from their 20 overs with Gisele remaining unbeaten on 114 off 69 balls. For Eswatini, Ntombizonke MKhatshwa and Winile Ginindza took two wickets each.

In the chase, Eswatini had no answers as seven batters returned to the pavilion without troubling the scorers. The bowling line-up of Ikuzwe, Josiane Nyirankundineza, Henriette Ishimwe and Margueritte Vumiliya ran through their batting order causing mayhem for nine overs.

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Vumiliya was the wrecker-in-chief as she picked up four wickets in the only over she bowled to finish the Eswatini innings off for just 19 runs. Henriette picked up three wickets for two runs while Ikuzwe finished with two for three from her two overs.

In the second match, Botswana did well to restrict Zimbabwe to 113 for five from their 20 overs after having been asked to bowl. Zimbabwe recovered from 26 for two with the help of 40s from Modester Mupachikwa and Ashley Ndiraya as they shared a 63-run stand for the third wicket.

For Zimbabwe, Ndiraya top-scorred with 44 while Mupachikwa made 40 from 47 balls.

In reply, Botswana batters first struggled against the pace bowling of Esther Mbofana as she accounted for the first three wickets to leave them at 19 for three. There was no respite for Botswana with Phiri spinning a web around their middle order as they succumbed to 24 for eight when they lost skipper Laura Mophakedi – the only batter to score more than ten runs for Botswana – for 14.

In her last over, Phiri castled Thandiwe Legabile and Onneile Keitsemang on the way to her maiden five-wicket haul in the format as Botswana were bundled out for 31 in 13 overs.

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In the final fixture of the day at the Botswana Cricket Association Oval 2, opting to bat, Uganda put up a huge total in front of Cameroon with consistent contributions from their top four batters. While Rita Musamali top-scored with a fifty, Kevin Awino made 34 and Prosscovia Alako chipped in with 31.

The chase was always going to be tough for Cameroon but they struggled to put up any resistence with only Madaleine Sissako going past the ten-run mark among the batters. She remained unbeaten on 17 while seven batters couldn’t open their account. At one stage Cameroon were 14 for six in 6.4 overs before Sissako’s knock helped them add another 21 runs to the team total.

Eventually Cameroon were bowled out for 35 runs in 14.3 overs. For Uganda, Consylate Aweko bowled three maiden overs picking up three wickets before conceding her first run only in her final over. She eventually finished with figures of three for four from her four overs while four other bowlers picked up one wicket each.

Brief Scores:

Rwanda 204/5 in 20 overs (Gisele Ishimwe 114*, Alice Ikuzwe 38*; Winile Ginindza 2/24) beat Eswatini 19/10 in 9 overs (Margueritte Vumiliya 0/4, Henriette Ishimwe 3/2, Alice Ikuzwe 2/3) by 185 runs

Zimbabwe 113/5 in 20 overs (Ashley Ndiraya 44, Modester Mupachikwa 40) beat Botswana 31/10 in 13 overs (Loryn Phiri 5/6, Esther Mbofana 3/6) by 82 runs

Uganda 190/6 in 20 overs (Rita Musamali 59, Kevin Awino 34) beat Cameroon 35/10 in 14.3 overs (Consylate Aweko 3/4) by 155 runs