Kenya was the big mover on Sunday after building momentum in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Sub Regional A Qualifier in Kigali, Rwanda.
After being frustrated by rain, the East Africans are finding form at the right. They made quick work of Mali in the morning, before getting the better of the hosts Rwanda in their afternoon game.
Mali was ripped out for just 30, with Peter Langat snaring six for 17 in his unchanged spell of four overs. Kenya then needed just 2.3 overs to reach their target.
In their afternoon game, Kenya met a confident home side Rwanda, but the experience and variety of the Kenyan attack was too much, as Rwanda was restricted to just 87 for nine in their 20 overs. Shem Ngoche (three for 16) led the attack, but it was a workmanlike team display on the field from Kenya.
In the chase, Obuya (37 not out) continued his fine day with the bat, as he added 82 with fellow opener Rushabhvardhan Patel (45 from 32 balls). While the latter fell with the end in sight, it was another clinical display from a Kenyan outfit determined to make it to the next stage.
In other action, Sami Sohail’s stunning 84 not out from just 55 balls led Malawi to a famous upset over Botswana on Sunday morning.
Botswana might have figured they had enough after posting 143 for eight, with in-form skipper Karabo Motlhanka (48) again in the runs. Vino Balakrishnan (33) also helped lay the foundation, but the Botswana middle-order capitulated badly.
They ended on 143 but would still have been confident of containing Malawi. But they hadn’t reckoned on Sohail’s assault, which was laced with four sixes and five boundaries.
That Sohail managed to stay to the end was critical for Malawi, and they just about got home, with a ball to spare. He was given a life when he was dropped before reaching his half-century. That was one of several lapses in the field by Botswana, who also conceded a crucial overthrow in the final over.
There was also drama on the penultimate delivery of the match, as Daniel Jakiel was dismissed by a ‘Mankad’. Thatayaone Tshose was the bowler, with Sohail on strike, as the match reached a tense conclusion.
The fourth and final match of Sunday’s action saw Lesotho hold off the ever-improving Seychelles. The islanders had batted confidently to notch 152 for five, after an excellent opening stand of 86 between Mazharul Islam (46) and Thiwanka Rajapaksa (42).
But no one else really got going beyond them, save for Rashen De Silva’s 27 not out. In the chase, Mohammad Khan (68 not out) and Chachole Tlali (42) summed up the conditions quickly to rack up a century partnership for the fourth wicket.
Despite their best efforts, Seychelles simply couldn’t get the clutch of wickets they needed, and Lesotho cruised to the finish line.
In this morning’s action, Malawi made light work of Mali to bag their second win of the competition. They take on hosts Rwanda in the crucial afternoon fixture which could decide who joins Kenya in the next round.
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