The Sunday News
Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket women’s senior national team got off their 2023 International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Regional Qualifier off to a flying start with a convincing 64 runs win over Kenya at Entebbe Cricket Oval in Uganda yesterday.
It was Zimbabwe’s opening match of the eight team-tournament and the Lady Chevrons showed dominance, especially with ball in hand. The Lady Chevrons are in Group A of the tournament. After they were sent in to bat first, the Lady Chevrons were restricted to 111/9 in 20 overs and went on to fight back with the ball to bowl out their opponents for just 49 runs in 15,4 overs.
It was Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano who top scored for the Lady Chevrons with a well batted 31 runs off just 17 deliveries while all rounder, Josephine Nkomo chipped in with 26 runs off 28 balls. Their third leading run scorer was Ashley Ndiraya with 16 runs after facing 20 balls.
The trio were the only ones who managed to cross double figures for the Gary Brent-coached Lady Chevrons team as the other batters failed to put up decent scores on the board. Melvin Khagoitsa, Queentor Abel and Esther Wachira took two wickets apiece for Kenya.
In their defence, Zimbabwean bowlers proved a class above the Kenyans, striking as early as the first over through fast bowler Nomvelo Sibanda who had Abel caught for just two runs. In the ninth over, Kenya found themselves struggling on 23/8 with the Lady Chevrons bowlers showing no mercy at all.
Loreen Tshuma had the best bowling figure for the Lady Chevrons, taking three scalps for just 14 runs in her four over spell while Precious Marange and Sibanda took two each for nine and 15 runs in three and four overs respectively. In just 1,4 overs, Lindokuhle Mabhera took one wicket and conceded a single run while Nkomo also took one wicket for just eight runs in her three over spell.
Only one Kenyan batter managed to reach double figures. It was Charity Muthoni who fell for 10 runs off 26 balls Mercy Sifuna and Kreeshna Mehta scored nine and eight runs respectively. It was the best possible start to the tournament for the Lady Chevrons who are eyeing a spot in next year’s T20 World Cup. Only two teams from the ongoing qualifier will proceed to the global qualifier, the Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier which will be the last hurdle to the World Cup.
Zimbabwe’s group consists of Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana and a top spot finish will help the Lady Chevrons avoid Group B table toppers. Group B is made up of the hosts, Uganda, Namibia, Nigeria and Rwanda. The top two teams from both groups will progress to the semi-finals, with the winners of each semi-final securing their global qualifier spot. The Lady Chevrons will return to action tomorrow where they will face Botswana. – @brandon_malvin