Rude awakening for u19 Capricorn Eagles

Hileni David in action during Namibia u19’s second T20 international against Zimbabwe. Photo: Helge Schütz

With the Namibian Richelieu Eagles’ run at the T20 World Cup having come to an end, a new cycle begins at home with junior squads now preparing for upcoming international tournaments. 

One of them is the national u19 women’s team, which is currently hosting its Zimbabwean u19 counterparts in a five-match T20 series in Windhoek in preparation for the u19 World Cup Africa qualifiers in Rwanda from 19 to 31 August.

Last week, the Capricorn Group further strengthened its commitment to developing women’s cricket in Namibia when it announced a sponsorship for the u19 women’s team, which brings its total sponsorship for women’s cricket to N$1,4 million since its inception in 2021. 

At the sponsorship announcement, Marlize Horn of the Capricorn Group said it was an honour to support the expansion of women’s cricket in Namibia by investing in the u19 team. 

“Our continued support of women’s cricket in Namibia demonstrates the Capricorn Group’s commitment to making a positive impact on our communities. We take pride in our Capricorn Eagles and are excited to be a part of the journey to develop our younger players,” she said. 

Johan Muller, CEO of Cricket Namibia expressed gratitude for their support.  

“Cricket Namibia is extremely grateful for yet another area of support from Capricorn. They are the official partners to our women’s side and have been the reason for us to be able to drive and focus on the women’s game, and they continue that support with the u19 women’s team, which will be known as the u19 Capricorn Eagles,” he said. 

“They will play in the upcoming World Cup qualifier and will hopefully qualify for the u19 World Cup next year,” he added. 

Big wins for Zimbabwe 

On the field of play, though, the u19 Capricorn Eagles had a rude awakening after Zimbabwe piled up two massive victories in the first two matches of their series. 

On Monday, Zimbabwe beat Namibia by 96 runs and even bettered that the next day when they won by 101 runs.

In Monday’s match, Zimbabwe elected to bat after winning the toss and amassed 131 runs for seven wickets off their 20 overs. Opening batter Beloved Biza led the way with 62 runs off 64 balls (4×4,1×6), before being bowled by Unombuiro Kanjosa, while Runyararo Pasipanodya scored 23. 

Kanjosa was Namibia’s most successful bowler, taking three wickets for 15 runs, while Sonja Siepker took 1/27 and Estelle van der Merwe 1/26.

In reply, the Capricorn Eagles were under pressure from the start after Hileni David was bowled for a golden duck in the first over. The Eagles had no answer to Zimbabwe’s bowling attack, led by Chipo Moyo, who cut through the top order, taking three wickets in four balls amongst others, as Namibia crashed to 21/7. 

The tail wagged a bit but in the end no one reached double figures as the whole team was dismissed for a mere 35 runs, with Moyo taking 7/15 off three overs. 

On Tuesday, it was once again one-way traffic as Zimbabwe amassed 146/4 before dismissing Namibia for 43. 

Biza was once again Zimbabwe’s star batter, scoring 73 off 73 balls (6×4, 2×6), while Kelis Ndhlovu scored 21. Leigh-Marie Visser was Namibia’s top bowler, taking 2/14. 

In Namibia’s innings, Visser and Mekelaye Mwatile were the only batters to reach double figures, with 10 runs each, before the whole side was out for 43 runs. 

Ndlovu was Zimbabwe’s top bowler, taking five wickets for four runs off three overs, while Moyo took 2/16. 

Namibia coach Francois vd Merwe said it was a tough learning curve for the team that was playing together for the first time.  

“Yeah its tough, obviously we want to play well, but I dont think we picked a fair fight here. We are playing against a well-oiled team, and we are getting outplayed and outskilled in every department, so all you can do is to come back and try and improve on your skills,” he said. 

“We are playing against a very strong team at the moment ,so it’s tough opposition and it’s a hard learning curve for these girls, but ultimately we just have to learn fast. This is the first time that this unit is playing together, so with more matches we can hopefully still improve a lot,” he added. 

Van der Merwe called on more Windhoek-based girls to take up the sport. 

“Our development pipeline is basically based at Kuisebmond at the coast, so it’s time for us to wake up here in Windhoek and get the schools involved, because you can’t only rely on one part of the country. The stronger your pipeline is, the stronger your national team is going to be, so we need to get those numbers up and we can see here against Zimbabwe that we are way behind,” he said.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News