Ruthless Namibia thrash Nigeria on their way to Kwibuka T20 final

Kalyani Mangale
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Ruthless Namibia thrash Nigeria on their way to Kwibuka T20 final
Namibia thrashed a hapless Nigeria by 91 runs the first semi-final on their way to the final  of the Kwibuka T20 Tournament.  Namibian side which finished on the top of the table by winning all four of their league matches beat Nigeria comprehensively as Nigeria first lost their captain to injury and later lost track of their batting innings at the Gahanga International Cricket Stadium at Kigali on Friday (June 11).

Powered with the tournament’s highest run-scorer at the top in Sune Wittmann, Namibia won the toss and decided to bat first. Wittmann and Adri van der Merwe started cautiously and before she could go on her attacking ways, Wittmann dragged on and lost her off stump.

In came Yasmeen Khan, Namibian wicket-keeper who was not in the best of form during this tournament, but she found her rhythm in the semi-final. Khan started her innings with a lovely cover drive and looked comfortable throughout the inning.

van der Merwe, who has been playing the role of second fiddle to perfection in the tournament so far, did that again and scored 28 runs off 35 balls and formed a partnership of 59 runs with Khan. She was eventually dismissed by a Mary Desmond delivery that went through van der Merwe’s legs and hit leg stump.

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For the next eight overs, Kayleen Green partnered with Khan and put together an unbeaten partnership of 82. Khan brought up the second half-century of her T20I career with a six over the head off Favour Eseigbe in the 17th over . Namibia scored a whopping 54 runs in the last four overs and ended their inning with two for 156.

For Nigeria, this chase was always going to be a tough task and it was tougher with their captain Samantha Agazuma injured in the first innings didn't come out to open the innings. Namibia bowled some decent lines upfront to restrict Nigeria as they could score only 12 runs during the power play. A perfect throw by Dietlind Foerster from point ended the opener’s misery as Eseigbe was run out in the seventh over.

Namibia tightened their grip over the semi-final by sharp fielding, dot-balls pressure, and wickets in regular intervals. Victoria Hamunyela, the highest wicket-taker of the tournament so far, struck in her first over to remove Nigerian wicket-keeper Omonye Asika. Sylvia Shihepo also chipped in with two wickets. Throughout their innings, Nigeria looked exactly like a team that has lost three of their four league matches.

The Nigerian inning crawled to a finish at 65 for eight from their stipulated 20 overs giving Namibia the largest run margin of this edition of the tournament as they cruised to the final.

Brief Scores: Namibia 156/2 in 20 overs (Yasmeen Khan 78*, Kayleen Green 29*; Mary Desmond 1/20) beat Nigeria 65/8 in 20 overs (Joy Efosa 13, Esther Sandy 13; Sylvia Shihepo 2/12) by 91 runs POTM: Yasmeen Khan