The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional Africa B Qualifier started in dramatic fashion on Thursday in Kigali, as Tanzania’s Harsheed Chohan grabbed a hat-trick in the opening match against Sierra Leone.
The teams are battling it out for two spots in the Africa Qualifier for the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, as the game continues to show exceptional growth in Africa.
Chohan’s heroics paved the way for Tanzania to rout out their opponents for just 57, in 13.4 overs. He would end with figures of four for 15, while left-arm orthodox spinner Maurice Yalinde Nkanya was just as devastating with a spell of four wickets for a solitary run conceded.
Despite some showers, Tanzania chased down the revised target in just 7.3 overs, to make a fast start to the competition.
In the other morning match, James Vifah’s 55-ball 63 was the cornerstone for the Black Stars of Ghana prevailing in a tough battle against Eswatini.
Ghana batted first and posted a terrific total of 176 for five. Vifah received support from Samson Awiah (48), as they amassed a challenging total.
Eswatini were not daunted, though. While Adil Butt (53 off 34 balls) was at the crease, bashing boundaries, they had hope. But once he fell, there was too much for Haris Rashid to do alone. Despite his gallant 29 not out, Ghana prevailed by 25 runs.
In afternoon action, Mozambique and Nigeria blooded five debutants apiece, though the West Africans could lean on a rash of their successful junior stars coming into the senior team.
That experience showed, as they kept Mozambique to 86 for eight in their allotted overs. Peter Aho’s tight line and length garnered tidy figures of two for 10, and the energy on the field was a feature of the Eagles’ display.
In the chase, Ademola Onikoyi struck a composed 38 not out to guide his side home. His stand of 54 with Sulaimon Runsewe (22) was just the start needed to get to the small target. Nigeria won with 37 balls to spare.
In the final action of the opening day, Tarun Sandeep’s fine 62 not out saw Eswatini home against a determined Gambia outfit which fielded a whole host of newcomers to this level.
Gambia batted first and notched 122, with their side bowled out off the last ball of their innings. Ismaila Tamba’s belligerent 43 from just 27 balls lifted them beyond 100 and gave them something to bowl at. They were also assisted by 26 extras from the Eswatini attack.
In response, Sandeep carried his bat and struck 10 fours, despite watching wickets fall regularly on the other end. Eswatini eventually romped home with 16 balls to spare, to cap a competitive start to the competition for them.
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