ZIMBABWE defeated Kenya by 45 runs on Tuesday to lead their group on nett run rate at the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20, Africa Qualifier in Windhoek.
The Zimbabwe women’s’ cricket team enhanced their chances of qualifying for the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 tournament as they put in an accomplished performance to beat Kenya by 45 runs in an Africa Qualifier played in Windhoek on Tuesday.
The tournament, which will be played in the West Indies, will feature ten teams from across the world and will be played from the 2nd to the 25th of November next year.
Zimbabwe posted a formidable 139/3 off their 20 overs, while Kenya could only muster 94/9 in reply as the former ultimately proved too powerful a side to overcome.
The win sends Zimbabwe to the top of their group which comprises of Uganda, Kenya, Namibia and Tanzania having won all of their three games so far.
Kenya won the toss and elected to field but they were punished as Zimbabwe got off to a solid start with openers Ashley Ndiraya and Modester Mupachikwa attacking Kenya’s bowling from the start as they shared an opening stand of 45 runs before Ndiraya was out for 24 off 25 balls (3×4).
Chipo Mugeri was the pick of the batsmen as she put in an excellent shift at the crease, sharing a 70-run second wicket partnership with Ndiraya.
Mupachikwa was eventually out for 35 off 40 balls, with the total on 115, but Mugeri continued the onslaught before she was dismissed off the last ball of the innings for 59 which came off 48 balls and included five fours as Zimbabwe posted 139/3 in their innings.
In response, Kenya never really got kicking with Zimbabwe getting an early breakthrough when Josephine Nkomo trapped Mary Mwangi LBW for a duck in the first over.
From then on things went downhill for Kenya when Esther Wachira was also out for a duck with only one run on the scoreboard.
Veronica Abuga managed to somewhat steady the ship for the Kenyans with a valiant knock, but Zimbabwe were already beginning to smell blood as they struck with three wickets in six balls. Spinner Precious Marange dismissed Silvia Kinyua (9) and Queentor Abel (0), and when Tasmeen Granger dismissed Margaret Ngoche for a duck, the game was effectively over with Kenya at 53/5.
Abuga soldiered on for the Kenyans as she top scored with 35 off 37 balls (6×4), while Sarah Wetoto added 10 and Ruth Achando 14 further down the order as they were eventually restricted to 94 for nine wickets to hand Zimbabwe a comfortable victory.
Zimbabwe and Uganda are now both on six points and will meet on Wednesday afternoon to decide who finishes on top of the log at the end of the group stage for automatic qualification to the final in an encounter that promises to be a hotly contested one. – sportbrief.co.zw