The Zimbabwe women’s cricket team Thursday afternoon returned from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, where they had gone to play in the Pepsi International Cricket Council Africa Regional Twenty20 World Cricket Qualifiers.
Zimbabwe finished second behind South Africa on run-rate in the regional qualifier, where the top team was proceeding to the ICC Twenty20 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers to be held in Ireland next August, to choose the teams that will play in the women’s section of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 tournament.
However, because South Africa had already qualified, Zimbabwe therefore made it to Ireland.
Other countries that participated in the regional qualifiers which ran from the 16th to the 19th of December are Kenya, Namibia, Uganda and the hosts Tanzania.
At the Annadil Burhani Ground, South Africa won the toss and elected to bat. They finished with 115 runs for three wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Their top-scorer was Cordes Thandile Savanna with 51 not out. Lee Liezel added 21 runs and Yolando Potgieter 21.
Rain interrupted play after the South Africa innings and the game was called off. The two sides shared the points.
Back at the Annadil Burhani Ground, this time against Tanzania, Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat. They posted 80 runs for the loss of nine wickets. Their top scorer was Josephine Nkomo with 19 runs off 32 balls. For Tanzania, Swedi Mwanaiddi took three wickets for 11 runs in three overs.
In response, Tanzania finished on 75 for nine in 20 overs with Hamisi Saida the only batter crossing double figures. She posted 28 runs off 40 balls. Zimbabwe’s Pellagia Mujaji took two wickets for 12 runs in three overs.
Zimbabwe won by five runs.
At the University of Dar-es-Salaam against Uganda, Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat.
They scored 102 for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs. Top scorer for Zimbabwe was Mary Musonda with an unbeaten 24 runs from 15 balls.
Uganda managed to score 69 all out in 19.3 overs. Caroline Namugeni and Flavia Laker were joint top-scorers with 13 runs each.
Zimbabwe won by 33 runs.
In the afternoon, at the Annadil Burhani Ground, Zimbabwe won the toss against Kenya and scored 95 runs in 20 overs. Pellagia Mujaji crafted 27 runs off 29 balls.
Mercyline Adhiambo was the highlight of the Kenyan bowlers, taking four wickets for 14 runs in her four overs.
In response, Kenya collapsed to 70 for the loss of eight wickets in their 20 overs. Pealyne Omamo top scoring for Kenya with 14 runs off 32 deliveries. Tasmeen Granger and Christabel Chatonzwa took two wickets each in four overs for seven and six runs respectively.
Zimbabwe won by 25 runs.
On the final day of the Pepsi ICC Africa Regional T20 Senior Women’s World Cup Qualifier, overnight rain delayed starts on both grounds and forced a reduction in overs.
Namibia faced Zimbabwe at University of Dar-es-Salaam in a match reduced to 15 overs.
Namibia batters were unable to get into double figures and could only manage 43 runs for the loss of seven wickets in 15 overs. Zimbabwe’s Sharyce Saili took two wickets for six runs in three overs and Christabell Chatonzwa achieved figures of two for 12 in three overs.
In reply, Zimbabwe comfortably chased the target and scored 44 runs for the loss of two wickets in 12.4 overs. The opening pair of Ashley Burdett and Ashley Ndiraya scored 12 and 16 respectively.
Zimbabwe won by eight wickets.
Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman Peter Chingoka congratulated the women’s team, saying their success was the product of the hard work that the organisation and the players themselves have put into developing the women’s game around the country.
“Our objective is to take the game to all without regard to gender, race or creed and over the years we have worked hard to ensure that our development programme is all-inclusive. We are beginning to harvest the fruits now,” he said.