Zimbabwe, Uganda book tickets for global qualifier

Zimbabwe celebrate after qualifying for the T20 World Cup global qualifier. Photo: icc-cricket

Pre-tournament favourites Zimbabwe and hosts Uganda emerged from different scenarios to book their tickets to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier scheduled for Dubai, United Arab Emirates early next year.

On a day of the most important matches of the 10-day Africa Qualifier held at the lakeside Entebbe Cricket Oval, Zimbabwe showed their ruthless side as they shifted into second gear to convincingly defeat Namibia by 86 runs.

For Uganda, they had to dig very deep to outlast a very much interested Tanzania by 10 runs in an epic thriller that had fans on their toes throughout.

Zimbabwe boss Namibia in derby

In a thrilling Southern Africa derby, Zimbabwe secured their place at the Global Qualifier, marking their fourth appearance at this event.

Despite the initial setback of losing the toss and being asked to bat first, the Lady Chevrons, true to their favourites’ tag, seized control of the first semifinal on Matchday 7.

With both teams ranked at 12 (Zimbabwe) and 17 (Namibia) respectively, Zimbabwe dominated the early exchanges. Namibia found themselves off the pace and unable to match the intensity of their opponents.

Despite challenging overcast conditions for batting, Zimbabwe rose to the occasion as they dictated the game’s rhythm from start to finish. Instead of pursuing personal glory, every batter contributed with industrious cameos, weaving together a formidable score of 150 for 6.

Modester Mupachikwa, moved her tally at the top of batting charts to 138 runs after her knock of 33. Left-hander Ashley Ndiraya’s lusty hitting yielded 24, while Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano controlled the innings with 21 runs, complementing captain Mary-Anne Musonda’s quick-fire 22.

Namibia’s chase never got going and the sun set on their hopes as early as the seventh over with four of their wickets down for just 17 runs. The wickets continued to tumble in quick succession at 36 for 6 with Zimbabwe’s bowlers running riot.

The Eagles never recovered and managed only 64 runs in 16.2 overs, a stark contrast to Zimbabwe’s earlier stellar performance with the bat.

The leading bowler of the tournament, Precious Marange, extended her tally to 8 scalps with miserly figures of 3 for 9 in 4 overs. Josephine Nkomo (2/4), Nomvelo Sibanda (2/8), Kelis Ndhlovu (1/9), and Ndiraya (1/1) showcased their bowling prowess, ensuring Namibia never got close.

In the end, Zimbabwe sealed a resounding victory with 22 balls remaining, maintaining an unbeaten streak in a campaign marked by skillful batting, disciplined bowling, and a collective team spirit that sets them apart as true contenders on the road to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Uganda snatch victory

The second semifinal of the day was epic, serving up a nerve-wrecking spectacle witnessed by a passionate crowd in Entebbe. Uganda’s captain Concy Aweko lost her first toss of the tournament and was asked to bat as Tanzania looked to restrict the hosts.

Tanzania started like a house on fire while Uganda struggled at 2 for 2 in 2 overs and later at 5 for 3 in 5 overs. Perice Zakayo Kamunya (2/10 in 4 overs) and Agnes Joseph Qwele (1/4 in 3 overs) posed formidable challenges, restricting Uganda to just 6 runs in the powerplay.

The Ugandan response came in the form of Stephanie Nampiina and Rita Musamali, who steered the team away from the early setbacks, reaching 24 for 3 in 10 overs. Nampiina’s resilient knock led her to a career high score of 51 runs – the second half century of the tournament, and Musamali remained unbeaten at 35 as Uganda recovered from a slow start, accumulating a fourth wicket partnership of 90 runs to set a target of 100.

The Victoria Pearls scored 75 runs in the last 10 overs and an impressive 69 runs in the last 8 at a healthy scoring rate of 8.6 per over to reignite their interest in the match.

Despite their commendable effort with the bat, Uganda faced the risk of missing out on the final as Tanzania chased determinedly. Saum Godfrey Mtae’s innings of 23 and the veteran ace pair of Monical Pascal Iddi (15) and Fatuma Omary Kibasu (12) had Uganda searching for wickets in vain as Tanzania reached 65 for 2 in 14 overs.

In what seemed to be smooth sailing turned into a rollercoaster of events. Tanzania went from needing 35 runs from 36 balls to losing five wickets for 12 runs, finding themselves at 77 for 7 after 16 overs. Uganda’s late bowling and fielding heroics fuelled by home support ensured they eventually got home.

Rita Musamali’s impeccable bowling earned her three prize scalps as she bagged the Player of the Match award presented by National Council of Sports Assistant General Secretary, David Katende Ssemakula. Baby of the team Lorna Anyait (1/18 in 4) and experienced Janet Mbabazi (3 for 14 in 4) took as much credit for their special spells as well as their dismissals in the field.

In the end, Uganda snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by 10 runs with four balls left in the match, thanks to the extraordinary capitulation from Tanzania, who lost eight wickets for 24 runs in a tight, pressure-filled contest.

The home fans celebrated as the Victoria Pearls secured Africa’s second ticket to the Global Qualifiers, singing themselves hoarse during the match and erupting into a frenzy at the end.

Tourney climax

Uganda are set to face Zimbabwe in the final today, marking the end of another exciting tournament in Africa. – icc-cricket.com

Follow all the action live through icc.tv


Game 13 – Zimbabwe v Namibia

Namibia won the toss and elected to bowl

Zimbabwe 150 for 6 in 20 overs (M Mupachikwa 33, C.M Tiripano 25, A Ndiraya 24*, M.A Musonda 22; M Mwatile three for 17, J Diergaardt two for 23, K Green one for 23)

Namibia 64 all out in 16.2 overs (E van Zyl 23, J Diergaardt 10; P Marange three for 9, J Nkomo two for 4, N Sibanda two for 8, K Ndhlovu one for 9, A Ndiraya one for 1)

Zimbabwe won by 86 runs (with 22 balls remaining)

Game 14 – Uganda v Tanzania

Tanzania won the toss and elected to bowl

Uganda 99 for 4 in 20 overs (S Nampiina 51, R Musamali 35*, I Nakisuyi 4*; P.Z Kamunya two for 10, A.J Qwele one for 4)

Tanzania 89 all out in 19.2 overs (S.G Mtae 23, M.P Iddi 15, F.O Kibasu 12; R Musamali three for 11, J Mbabazi three for 14, L Anyait one for 18)

Uganda won by 10 runs (with 4 balls remaining)

Matchday 8 Fixtures – Sunday, December 17

Game 15 – 3rd/4th Place Playoff: Namibia v Tanzania (09:30)

Game 16 – Final: Uganda v Zimbabwe (01:50)

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