Botswana: Namibia Set the Pace in Gaborone

12 September 2021

NAMIBIA's national women's cricket team, the Capricorn Eagles, went to the top of Group B at the Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier in Gaborone when they beat Nigeria by 59 runs on Friday.

After a shaky start to the competition when they scraped home by four runs against Uganda on Thursday, they were much more dominant against Nigeria.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Namibia got off to a quick start as Adri van der Merwe and Sune Wittmann put on 21 runs off only three overs.

Van der Merwe dominated the partnership, scoring 18 off only 12 balls (3x4), but Nigeria struck back, dismissing her and Wittmann (2) within five balls to reduce Namibia to 23 for two wickets.

Yasmeen Khan and Kayleen Green, however, revived the innings with a 50-run partnership off six overs, before Green was bowled for 29 off 21 balls (4x4), and with the total at 73 for three wickets at the halfway stage, Namibia were well set for a big score.

Their middle and lower order, however, could not build on that as the wickets started to fall at regular intervals.

Edelle van Zyl was dismissed for two and Khan for 29 off 33 balls (2x4), taking the score to 95 for five wickets with five overs to go.

Further down the order, Wilka Mwatile added 9 and Irene van Zyl 6, while Jurriene Diergaardt contributed 15 not out as Namibia reached a total of 125 for seven wickets off their 20 overs.

For Nigeria, Taiwo Abdulquadri took two wickets for 19 runs and Joy Efosa 2/22.

It wasn't a great total, but Nigeria never got close as Namibia's bowlers soon gained the upper hand.

Nigeria got off to a steady start, but two wickets in two balls put them on the back foot.

Sune Wittmann bowled Esther Sandy for 9 and Victoria Hamunyuela bowled Kehinde Abdulquadrio for 7 to reduce Nigeria to 21 for two wickets and from then on Namibia's bowlers gradually took control as the wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.

The only batter to reach double figures was Omonye Asika with 14 runs, but their batting was way to slow and by the end of their 20 overs they had only reached 66 for seven wickets, still 59 runs short of the target to hand Namibia a comfortable victory.

For Namibia Sylvia Shihepo and Kayleen Green both took two wickets for 12 runs, with Green also winning the player of the match award.

Namibia now lead Group B with four points from two matches, followed by Uganda and Nigeria on two points each and Sierra Leone on zero points.

On current form Namibia should be favoured to extend their lead with a victory against Sierra Leone on Monday.

Botswana and Zimbabwe, meanwhile, are the joint leaders of Group A with four points each, followed by Rwanda and Tanzania on two each, and Mozambique and Eswatini on zero points each.

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