The Zimbabwe women cricket team’s hopes of winning a ticket to the ICC Global Women’s World Twenty20 qualifier are intact after their impressive opening two wins in the continental qualifier, currently underway at the Wanderers Cricket Club in , Namibia.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Chipo Mugeri-captained side are competing with four other nations, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and hosts Namibia, for a chance to represent Africa at the global qualifier in December.
Zimbabwe opened their campaign on Saturday with a comfortable win over Namibia, beating the hosts by eight wickets, after reaching the target with half their overs to spare.
Namibia won the toss and elected to bat, but could only score 71/7, which was no problem for Zimbabwe as they scored 72/2 off only 10,2 overs.
In Namibia’s innings, Anneri van Schoor (5) and Irene van Zyl (0) went cheaply, but Petro Enright gave them hope with a solid innings. It was slow going though and when she was out for 19, the total stood at 33/3 nearly halfway through their innings.
Yasmeen Khan went cheaply for 1, but Kayleen Green (9) and Adri van der Merwe (16) put on 25 for the fifth wicket, but it was hardly enough as they reached 71/7 off their 20 overs.
Josephine Nkomo was Zimbabwe’s best bowler with 3/9 off 4 overs.
Zimbabwe wasted little time in their run chase as Modester Mupachikwa and Ashley Ndiraya put on 26 off 2,5 overs before Mupachikwa was run out for 16.
Mugeri was bowled for a golden duck by Petro Enright, but Precious Marange joined Ndiraya to take Zimbabwe to the winning target. Marange was not out on 19 off 21 balls, while Ndiraya was not out on 18, as Zimbabwe reached 72/2 off 10,2 overs.
After a disappointing show on Saturday, Mugeri was the star of the show in Zimbabwe’s second match on Sunday against Tanzania, the skipper – who elected to bat first – top-scoring with 57, sharing in a 75 run partnership for the second wicket with Ndiraya, the only other Zimbabwean to reach double figures in their total of 125-8.
Tanzania found runs difficult to come by in their innings as they crawled to 53-5 from their 20 overs, losing by 72 runs.
Zimbabwe are currently on second position on the log standings, behind Uganda who have won their opening three matches, and Mugeri and her crew will be looking to share the top spot when they play Kenya today before facing Uganda tomorrow in what promises to be the group decider.
The tournament concludes with the playoffs on Friday followed by the final on Saturday with the winning team earning a place in the global qualifier.