Zimbabwe to face Namibia in final of T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier
Zimbabwe will face Namibia in the final of the T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier after the former beat Uganda in the first semi-final at the Botswana Cricket Association Oval 1 in Gaborone on Friday (September 17) while the later got the better of Tanzania by two wickets in a thriller. Precious Marange helped Zimbabwe recover from a precarious position to post a competitive total and the bowlers defended it in a close match. In the second semi-final Namibia survived a few anxious moments to eventually sneak home with a ball to spare.
Opting to bat first against Uganda, Zimbabwe got off to a terrible start losing the big wickets of Chiedza Dhururu and skipper Mary-Anne Musonda in consecutive deliveries off Irene Alumo in the fourth over with only ten runs on the board. With Stephani Nampiina striking twice to remove Pellagia Mujaji and Ashley Ndiraya before Josephine Nkomo’s run out for 12, they found themselves reeling at 44 for five in the 14th over.
Walking in at number seven, Marange, in the company of Loreen Tshuma, looked to be aggressive from the start as she hit Immaculate Nakisuuyi over cover for a six in the second ball she faced. She repeated the feat in the next over to launch Janet Mbabazi over mid-wicket for a maximum.
From there, Marange didn’t spare Nampiina either and smashed her four a couple of boundaries in the 17th over before going after Rita Musamali to take 16 runs in the next over. Even though Concy Aweko eventually dismissed her for 40 off 25 balls to end the 61-run partnership, Zimbabwe went on to post 108 for six in their 20 overs.
For Uganda, Alumo was the most successful bowler with two wickets for 13, while Nampiina finished with figures for two for 22.
In reply, Uganda lost three early wickets with only 25 runs on the board in the seventh over with Esther Mbofana sending Esther Iloku back for four and Josephine Nkomo removing Musamali for a duck. Immaculate Nakisuuyi and Racheal Ntono added 30 runs to take the score to 55 in the 12th over, but they lost two wickets in the space of three deliveries with Marange removing the dangerous Nakisuuyi for 18.
Although, lower-order tried to keep Uganda in the game, they struggled to maintain the required run rate and eventually finished 14-run short of Zimbabwe to be dismissed for 94 in the final ball of the match.
For Zimbabwe, Mbofana finished with figures of three for 16 and Tasmeen Granger took two wickets from her three overs.
In the second semi-final, Namibia had to face stiff challenge from Tanzania as they pursued 90 runs to make it to the final of the tournament. They had a steady start in the chase with Adri van der Merwe and Sune Wittmann adding 25 runs for the opening wicket.
Once van der Merwe fell to Perice Kamunya for 12, they lost a flurry of wickets in quick succession to leave themselves reeling at 39 for five in the ninth over. It looked like Tanzania were in for an upset win with middle-order of Yasmeen Khan, Kayleen Green and Jurriene Diergaardt succumbing with only six runs between them.
However, Namibia found saviours in Irene van Zyl and Edelle van Zyl as they added 37 runs for the sixth wicket to take them to 76 in the 17th over. They needed only 14 runs at this stage to progress to the final but Tanzania fought valiantly with Nasra Saidi striking to remove both the set batters and Sylvia Shihepo with Namibia still needing seven runs to win.
Wilka Mwatile and Merczerly Gorases ran hard to take a couple of threes in the final over before a single by Mwatile helped Namibia sneak home to a narrow win and a spot in the final against Zimbabwe with a ball to spare. For Tanzania, Saidi and Sophia Jerome picked up three wickets each.
Earlier, opting to bat first, Tanzania lost in-form Fatuma Kibasu early for just seven runs with Victoria Hamunyela accounting her for in the second over. Saum Mtae and Monica Pascal took them to 37 before the later added another 34 runs with skipper Hudaa Omary.
From there, Tanzania needed a final flourish to post a challenging total on the board, but post the dismissal of Pascal in the 15th over, they struggled to get a move on and could add only 18 runs in the last five overs as they stuttered to their eventual score of 89 for seven from the stipulated 20 overs.
For Namibia, Green was the most frugal bowler giving away only nine runs from her three overs to pick up two wickets while Mwatile finished with figures of two for 15.
Zimbabwe 108/6 in 20 overs (Precious Marange 40, Loreen Tshuma 22; Irene Alumo 2/13, Stephani Nampiina 2/22) beat Uganda 94/10 in 20 overs (Immaculate Nakisuuyi 18; Esther Mbofana 3/16, Tasmeen Granger 2/16) by 14 runs.
Tanzania 89/7 in 20 overs (Monica Pascal 30; Kayleen Green 2/9, Wilka Mwatile 2/15) lost to Namibia 90/8 in 19.5 overs (Irene van Zyl 22, Sune Wittman 20; Sophia Jerome 3/18, Nasra Saidi 3/20) by two wickets