The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
OFF spin bowler, Loryn Phiri continued with her brilliant exploits at the ongoing International Cricket Council Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier when she picked up five wickets for just six runs to guide Zimbabwe to victory by 82 runs over Botswana in a match played at the Botswana Cricket Association Oval in Gaborone on Sunday.
It the third win for Zimbabwe after victories over Tanzania and Eswatini, which saw the Adam Chifo coached lasses go on top of the group with six points and relegated Botswana into third place.
Fireworks had been expected in this encounter between the neighbouring countries since Botswana were on top of the log while Zimbabwe were second heading into the match. However, the Mary-Anne Musonda captained Lady Chevrons proved to be too strong for the Batswana.
Zimbabwe posted 113/ 5 in 20 overs before they blew away the host nation for 31 in 13 overs.
Ashley Ndiraya top scored for Zimbabwe with 44 from 39 deliveries while opener Modester Mupachikwa was second best with a 47-ball 40 after skipper for the day Josephine Nkomo had won the toss and opted to bat first.
Botswana in their run chase never got going as they lost their first wicket without any runs on the board when Shameelah Mosweu was bowled for a four-ball duck by pace bowler Esther Mbofana. It was a disastrous run chase for the Botswana whose highest run scorer was their skipper Laura Mophakedi who chipped in with 14 runs coming in to bat at number three while the eight extras given away by the Zimbabwean bowlers was the second-best contributor to the home team’s score.
Phiri, who walked away with the Player of the Match had brilliant figures of five wickets for six runs in her four overs with a brilliant economy rate of 1.5 per over, with two of her overs being maidens. She now has 12 wickets from three matches in the tournament.
Mbofana finished with three wickets for six runs in three overs while off spinner Tasmeen Granger had two wickets for four runs.
Next up for Zimbabwe is a clash with Mozambique on Monday before they take on Rwanda three days later. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday and the final on Sunday.
Zimbabwe are the defending champions in the tournament after they defeated Namibia by 50 runs in the final played at Harare Sports Club in May 2019.
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