NAMIBIA notched up their third consecutive victory at the Women's T20 Africa World Cup Qualifier in Gaborone, Botswana, yesterday with a comprehensive 57-run win against Sierra Leone.
Sent in to bat, Namibia scored 144 for six wickets off their 20 overs and then reduced Sierra Leone to 87 for nine wickets to complete their third victory at the tournament following earlier wins against Nigeria and Uganda.
Namibia's innings got off to a solid start as Adri van der Merwe and Sune Wittmann put on 57 runs off nine overs for the first wicket, before Van der Merwe was dismissed for 24 off 25 balls (3x4).
Wittmann continued to flay the Sierra Leonean bowling, before being dismissed for a top score of 52 off 43 balls (3x6, 4x4).
Namibia had a bit of a middle-order dip with Yasmeen Khan (7) and Wilka Mwatile (5), and to a lesser extent, Kayleen Green (12), going cheaply, but Jurriene Diergaardt led a lower-order revival with a fine knock, scoring 31 not out off 21 balls (3x4), as Namibia reached a competitive 144/6 off their 20 overs.
Zainab Kamara was Sierra Leone's best bowler, taking three wickets for 25 runs.
Sierra Leone got off to a solid start with Marie Turay and Aminata Kamara putting on 26 for the first wicket, before Kamara was trapped lbw by Wittmann for 12, and when Khan dismissed Turay for 18, they were still in the hunt at 48 for two wickets, half way through their innings.
They, however, suffered a middle order collapse, as Sylvia Shihepo struck with two wickets in three balls, while Khan also took two wickets, as Sierra Leone crashed to 50 for seven wickets by the 14th over.
There was a slight revival among the lower order, with Mabinty Sankoh scoring 12, but it was not enough as they fell way short of the target, reaching 87 for nine wickets off their 20 overs.
Khan was Namibia's top wicket taker, taking three wickets for 10 runs, while Shihepo took 2/13.
Namibia now lead Group B with six points from three matches, followed by Uganda on four, Nigeria on two, and Sierra Leone and Cameroon, who are both on zero points.
Zimbabwe, meanwhile, are the team to beat in Group A, after notching up three convincing victories to go to the top of the log.
They beat Tanzania by six wickets, Eswatini by 10 wickets and Botswana by 82 runs to lead Group A with six points from three matches, followed by Rwanda, Tanzania and Botswana who are all on four points, and Mozambique and Eswatini who are both on zero.
Namibia's next match is against Cameroon, starting at 14h30 this afternoon.