Namibia off to great start

Tangeni Lungameni in action for Namibia. Photo: Helge Schütz

Namibia got off to a great start at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier Final with a seven-wicket victory against Zimbabwe at the Wanderers field yesterday. 

There were also comfortable wins for Uganda and Kenya, who beat Tanzania by eight wickets and Rwanda by 17 runs respectively. 

After winning the toss, Namibia sent Zimbabwe in to bat and the visitors were soon in trouble when Bernard Scholtz bowled Tadiwanashe Marumani for 6, and when JJ Smit dismissed Nick Welch (8) and Sean Williams (0) off successive balls, they slumped to 18/3. 

Zimbabwe captain Sikandar Raza and Craig Ervine revived Zimbabwe’s hopes with a 55-run partnership, but Tangeni Lungameni got the breakthrough with two wickets in quick succession. 

He first dismissed Ervine, caught in the deep for 36 and when Raza went in similar fashion for 20, they were struggling at 79/5.

Ryan Burl maintained their challenge with a rapid 27 not out off 25 balls, while Wellington Masakadza added 11 not out as they reached a reasonable total of 132/8. 

JJ Smit was Namibia’s most successful bowler, taking three wickets for 24 runs, while Lungameni took 2/21. 

In reply, Niko Davin and Michael van Lingen put Namibia in charge with a rapid 88-run partnership, with Davin being the chief destroyer. Scoring at more than 10 runs an over, they reached 55 after only five overs, while Davin reached his 50 off only 22 balls shortly after.  

Van Lingen was the first to go, bowled by Masakadza for 30 off 20 balls, while Jan Frylinck followed shortly after for one, but Davin continued his onslaught before he was bowled by Blessing Muzarabani for 89 off only 45 balls (10×4, 4×6). 

Gerhard Erasmus and JJ Smit, who both scored five not out, took Namibia to a comfortable victory, reaching 134/3 with more than five overs in hand. 

Uganda, Kenya win 

Earlier yesterday, Uganda and Kenya got off to winning starts as they both registered comfortable victories. 

Uganda beat Tanzania by eight wickets after restricting Tanzania to 99 for seven wickets and then reaching the target for the loss of two wickets with just under five overs to spare. 

After being sent in to bat, Tanzania were soon in trouble as they struggled against some accurate bowling, with wickets falling at regular intervals.

Ivan Selemani was the first to go, bowled by Bilal Hassun for 2, and when captain Abhik Patwa was out for 20, Omary Kitunda for 15, and Amal Rajeevan for 7, they had slumped to 48 for four wickets at the halfway stage of their innings.

Sanjaykumar Thakor with 22 not out and Akhil Anil with 16, launched alate revival, but it didn’t help much as they reached a modest total of 99/7 off their 20 overs. 

Alpesh Ramjani was Uganda’s best bowler, taking three wickets for 26 runs, while Riazat Ali Shah took 2/14. 

In reply, Uganda lost the wickets of Ronak Patel for 15 and Roger Mukasa for 9, but Simon Ssesazi (31 not out) and Ali Shah (47 not out off 27 balls) took them to a comfortable victory with an unbroken 74-run partnership. 

At the United field, Kenya also posted a comfortable 17-run victory against Rwanda. 

After being sent in to bat, Kenya reached a formidable total of 154 for two wickets off their 20 overs and then restricted Rwanda to 137/4.

In Kenya’s innings, Rushabhvardhan Patel was dismissed for 21, but Collins Obuya and Irfan Karim put them in charge with a 61-run partnership. Obuya was dismissed for 50, which came off 47 balls (4×4, 3×6), while Karim remained not out on 63 off 43 balls (5×4, 1×6), as they reached 154/2.

In reply, Rwanda got off to a solid start with a 69-run partnership for the opening wicket between Orchide Tuyisenge (56) and Eric Dusingizimana (23), but they dropped behind the required run rate while Kenya increased the pressure with more wickets. 

Martin Akayezu gave them hope with a swashbuckling 30 off only nine balls, including six fours, but he received little support as they could only reach 137/4 off their 20 overs.

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