By Jejje Muhinde;
For the first time, the Rwandan women’s cricket team made history by lifting their first T20 Invitational Cricket tournament away from home.
In Sunday’s final, the Rwanda women’s cricket team got their immediate revenge by hunting the host Nigeria at the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval in Lagos.
The tournament’s final match was a ‘revenge mission accomplished’ for visitors as they beat host Nigeria by 53 runs to clinch the maiden Nigeria Women T20 trophy.
Rwanda won the toss for the first time in the tournament and captain Marie Diane Bimenyimana elected to bat first.
The decision proved pivotal as the Rwandan ladies scored 129 runs for the loss of five wickets in 20 overs; pilling the pressure on the Nigerian team.
The host team needed to improve on their tournament-high of 116 runs to 130 runs if they were to be crowned champions in their backyard.
The pressure proved too much for Nigeria as they lost 4 wickets in the first 3 overs and scored just 14 runs in the second innings.
Nigeria continued to struggle, and fell all out in 17.1 overs, scoring just 76 runs, while the visitors burst into celebrations with the first T20 trophy won away from home.
Sarah Uwera put up 34 runs off 54 balls, while outstanding and promising player Gisele Ishimwe scored 31 runs off 25 balls. Margueritte Vumiliya was named the Player of the Match.
In the first encounter played by the two sides on Saturday evening, Nigeria defeated hard fighting Rwanda by 3 runs.
The visitors were soaked against Nigeria as favorites, dominating several previous encounters in Africa. Nigeria in the first innings scored 177 and lost 6 wickets.
In the second innings, Rwanda went in to chase 118 but Nigeria fought hard till the last overs limiting their rivals to 114 to win by 3 runs.
Meanwhile, in the other games, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and The Gambia finished third, fourth and fifth respectively in the tournament.
Sierra Leone beat Ghana by two runs, scoring 92 runs for the loss of no wickets in 20 overs.