Kenya trumped pre-tournament favourites Namibia on their way to the fourth Kwibuka T20 title thanks to a magnificent spell of spin bowling from Sarah Wetoto.
The Kenyan batters then made light work of the chase with some attacking display after Wetoto’s six-fer helped them bundle Namibia out for just 69 at the Gahanga on Saturday.
Opting to bat first, Namibia were off to a shocking start when they lost their in-form openers early with only 13 runs on the board. Adri van der Merwe was out in the second over for just five and then Lavendah Idambo had Sune Wittmann caught at long-on for six in the next over.
Despite the loss of two early wickets, Yasmeen Khan and Kayleen-Ann Green stuck to Namibia’s attacking game plan and added two boundaries each as they took on Melvin Idambo and Lavendah.
But Khan paid the price for going after the bowling too many times when she was caught at long-off by Queentor Abel off Melvin. Green followed the wicket-keeper when she was dismissed in similar fashion to Abel’s off-spin as Namibia were reduced to 42 for four in the ninth over.
From there, Namibia’s untested middle-order needed to steady the ship to calm the waters and take them to a respectable total. However, the introduction of Wetoto into the attack once again caused mayhem as the slow off-spinner enticed Namibia’s batters into going after her loopy deliveries in pursuit of easy runs.
With her first delivery, Wetoto sent Didi Foerster back as she became yet another Namibian batter caught at long-off.
With the fourth ball, Wetoto had Wilka Mwatile caught behind for a duck before trapping Irene Van Zyl in front with the final ball of the over to have her second three-wicket over of the tournament.
Once they were reduced to 47 for seven, all Namibia could hope for was for the lower-order to play out the 20 overs. Although Sylvia Shihepo and Edelle Van Zyl added another ten runs, Wetoto wasn’t finished as she had Edelle beaten in flight and was bowled. In her final over, Wetoto completed her second five-wicket haul in the tournament when Mezerly Gorases was caught by Esther Wachira.
She dismissed Victoria Hamunyela in the same over to bundle Namibia out for a paltry score of 69.
For Kenya, Wetoto returned with their best individual bowling figures in T20Is with the figures that read 3.5-0-16-6.
Chasing 70 for yet another Kwibuka T20 title, Abel played out a maiden off Shihepo before Green followed it up with another maiden where she snared Veronica Abuga for a five-ball duck.
In the third over, Abel and skipper Margaret Ngoche took on Shihepo as the right-arm pacer erred by bowling too full and was punished for three boundaries.
In the fifth over, Wilka Mwatile had Abel caught by Khan for 10 off 13 balls with the score reading 22 for two. Dismissal of Abel didn’t deter Ngoche and Sharon Juma from taking on the bowlers in pursuit of the moderate target.
Ngoche smashed Green for a couple of boundaries while Juma hit Mwatile for a four. With the score reading 43 for two already from eight overs, Namibia needed to pick wickets in clusters.
Meanwhile, Juma continued her attacking ways and launched into Irene hitting the pacer for a couple of boundaries to take Kenya’s score past the 50-run mark.
Off-spinner Hamunyela was eventually introduced into the attack but it was too much for her to do. She first had Ngoche dropped by Irene before trapping Juma for a quick fire 16 off 14.
However, Ngoche was in a hurry to finish the game off and did it in style with two fours and a huge six over long-off in the 11th over bowled by her opposite number Irene.
Kenya never had beaten Namibia before in T20Is but on the crucial day they brought their A-game to register yet another title in the tournament.
Score in brief:
Namibia 69/10 in 15.5 overs (Sylvia Shihepo 16*; Sarah Wetoto 6/16) lost to Kenya 72/3 in 11 overs (Margaret Ngoche 37*; Victoria Hamunyela 1/4) by seven wickets. POTM: Sarah Wetoto
Rwanda overcome Nigerian challenge to finish third in Kwibuka 2021
The hosts Rwanda on the back of performances of Gisele Ishimwe and Cathia Uwamahoro with the bat and collective bowling effort went past Nigeria to win the third-place in the Kwibuka T20 tournament.
Opting to bat first, Rwanda were off to a bad start when Nigerian captain for the day Agatha Obulor, in the absence of injured Samantha Agazuma, handed the ball to Blessing Etim and she trapped Diane Dusabemungu on the third ball of the day.
Rwanda’s highest run-scorer in the T20s, Marie Bimenyimana, partnered with Gisele to take charge of Rwanda’s batting as they put on a partnership of 30 runs to give a much better start.
Racheal Samson in her first over of the day took out Bimenyimana’s off stump and Rwanda were 37 for two in the seventh over. Gisele, after scoring her career-best score of 39 was run out when she tried to go for a run that wasn’t there.
Uwamahoro remained unbeaten on 35 off just 30 balls and ensured the host nation went past the three-figure mark.
Rwanda eventually finished on 112 for five in their stipulated 20 overs. Their highest score in this edition of the tournament.
For Nigeria, Etim, Mary Desmond bowled some very good lines and lengths to restrict Rwanda’s batters and took one wicket apiece. Favour Eseigbe went wicketless but she was very economical with her spell.
Defending 112 for the third-place, Immaculee Muhawenimana gave Rwanda the perfect start by taking a wicket in her first over with a perfect inswinger to dismiss Omonye Asik. After this initial shock, Kehinde Abdulquadri and Salome Sunday, who was promoted to bat at three, batted well through the power play to take the score to 29.
Once, Sunday was run-out trying to take a needless run for 13, Abdulquadri was joined by Etim, and they batted slowly without losing any more wickets till the 15th over. Dot balls and a climbing required run rate led to the fall of Etim’s wicket as she tried to sweep and lost her off stump after hitting the previous ball beautifully through covers for a boundary. Abdulquadri batted for 50 balls but could only score 31 runs.
From there, Nigeria’s innings stuttered to a tame finish with the batters struggling to find boundaries and they fell short of the target by eight runs.
For Rwanda, Bimenyimana took two wickets while Muhawenimana, Belyse Murekatete, and Henriette Ishimwe took a wicket apiece.
Scores in brief:
Rwanda 112/5 off 20 overs (Gisele Ishimwe 39, Cathia Uwamahoro 35*; Mary Desmond 1/17) beat Nigeria 104/6 off 20 overs (Kehinde Abdulquadri 31, Blessing Etim 25; Marie Bimenyimana 2/21) by 8 runs.