Rwanda overcome Nigerian challenge to finish third in Kwibuka T20 tournament

The hosts Rwanda on the back of performances Gisele Ishimwe and Cathia Uwamahoro with the bat and collective bowling effort went past Nigeria to win the third-place in the Kwibuka T20 tournament at the Gahanga International Cricket Stadium in Kigali on Saturday (June 12).

Opting bat first, Rwanda were off to a bad start when Nigerian captain for the day Agatha Obulor, in the absence of injured Samantha Agazuma, handed the ball Blessing Etim and she trapped Diane Dusabemungu on the third ball of the day. Rwanda’s highest run-scorer in the T20s, Marie Bimenyimana, partnered with Gisele to take charge of Rwanda’s batting as they put on a partnership of 30 runs to give a much better start of them.

Racheal Samson in her first over of the day took out Bimenyimana’s off stump and Rwanda were 37 for two in the seventh over. Gisele, after scoring her career-best score of 39 was run out when she tried to go for a run that wasn’t there. Uwamahoro remained unbeaten on 35 off just 30 balls and made sure the host nation went pas the three-figure mark. Rwanda eventually finished on 112 for five in their stipulated 20 overs. Their highest score in this edition of the tournament.

For Nigeria, Etim, Mary Desmond bowled some very good lines and lengths to restrict Rwanda’s batters and took one wicket apiece. Favour Eseigbe could not take a wicket but she was very economical with her spell.

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Defending 112 for the third-place, Immaculee Muhawenimana gave Rwanda the perfect start by taking a wicket in her first over with a perfect inswinger to dismiss Omonye Asik. After this initial shock, Kehinde Abdulquadri and Salome Sunday, who was promoted to bat at three,  batted very well through power play to take the score to 29.

Once, Sunday was run-out trying to take a needless run for 13, Abdulquadri was joined by Etim, and they batted slowly without losing any more wickets till the 15th over. Dot balls and climbing required run rate led to the fall of Etim’s wicket as she tried to sweep and lost her off stump after hitting the previous ball beautifully through covers for a boundary. Abdulquadri batted for 50 balls but could only score 31 runs.

From there, Nigeria’s innings stuttered to a tame finish with the batters struggling to find boundaries and they fell short of the target by eight runs.

For Rwanda, Bimenyimana took two wickets while Muhawenimana, Belyse Murekatete, and Henriette Ishimwe took a wicket apiece.

Brief Scores: Rwanda 112/5 off 20 overs (Gisele Ishimwe 39, Cathia Uwamahoro 35*; Mary Desmond 1/17) beat Nigeria 104/6 off 20 overs (Kehinde Abdulquadri 31, Blessing Etim 25; Marie Bimenyimana 2/21) by 8 runs.