Zimbabwe Women – 114-5 in 20 overs (Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 36, Sharne Mayers 36, Josephine Nkomo 14; Kayleen Green 2/22, Sune Wittmann 1/15, Irene van Zyl 1/25)
Namibia Women – 64-9 in 20 overs (Sune Wittmann 18, Yasmeen Khan 11, Adri van der Merwe 10; Anesu Mushangwe 3/6, Josephine Nkomo 3/12, Tasmeen Granger 2/7)
ZIMBABWE’s ladies cricket team yesterday (Sunday) clinched the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Qualifiers Africa after defeating Namibia by 50 runs recording an unbeaten record throughout the tournament.
A second-wicket partnership of 66 between Sharne Mayers and Manicalands cricket ace Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano rescued the ladies Chevrons from a difficult start to secure a 50-run victory over Namibia in the final played at Harare Sports Club.
As expected, Namibia provided a sterner challenge for the Zimbabweans than they had encountered in other matches throughout the tournament, but in the end their superior play proved too much for their gallant opponents, who made the fatal mistake of allowing the required run rate to get on top of them as they chased their target of 115.
Namibia won the toss and decided to put Zimbabwe in to bat first. Zimbabwe’s star opening batter Modester Mupachikwa seemed perhaps a little nervous, as she drove her first ball, from Sune Wittman, uppishly and mid-on just failed to hold a difficult chance as she took two runs. Mayers also got off the mark with an uppish stroke through the covers off her third ball, but it travelled for four.
Wittman kept Mupachikwa quiet by bowling just wide of the off stump, and the batter found difficulty in getting her bat to them. The left-arm spinner Maryke Short also bowled well from the other end and the batters found it difficult to score with the tight field placing. Eventually Mupachikwa went for a big hit against Wittman and dragged the ball on to her stumps. She had managed just four runs off 16 balls and the score was 14 for one off five overs.
The bowlers’ policy was clearly to bowl most deliveries as far outside the off stump as was permitted, and Mayers and Mugeri-Tiripano had to do a lot of chasing the ball. The batters finally began to work out how to play the bowling and gained in confidence, and an occasional error in the field helped them. After 10 overs the score had reached 47 for one, and the fifty came up in the following over.
The pair took the score to 80 in the 15th over before Mugeri-Tiripano, watching the ball instead of her partner as Mayers drove to mid-off, was run out for 36, a disappointing end for a fine innings off 28 balls. Mayers also left in the following over, driving a catch to long-on off the bowling of Kayleen Green. She scored 36 off 44 balls and the score was now 86 for three.
This victory, however, does not mean the Zimbabwe Women will go straight to the ICC Women’s World Cup. There is another qualifying tournament, the ICC Women’s Qualifier Global competition against other continental regional winners that they will have to go through first. (ZimCricket)