Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. It is not how one starts but its their finish that matters, so goes an old English adage that many athletes and sports teams refer to when their respective campaigns at tournaments hit an early bump.
Team Uganda didn’t operate like a well-oiled machine in the opening clash of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Gaborone as they went down to Namibia by 50 runs at the Botswana Cricket Oval Ground B on Thursday morning.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, Uganda’s bowling seemed to be in sync with two early wickets as the Capricorn Eagles struggled at 2 wickets for 1 run after 1.1 overs.
But things fell apart thereafter as the bowlers lost their lines with several short balls that Kayleen-Ann Green capitalised on to stroke an unbeaten 49-ball half century of 54 that ensured the southern Africans set 105 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in the allotted 20 overs.
Ray of hope
As much as things looked a bit dysfunctional, it wasn’t too bad and Uganda can continue to make amends with a resounding victory against ‘troubled’ Cameroon in today’s clash against ICC debutants Cameroon.
Cameroon are competing at an ICC women’s event for the very first time this week as the Africa Qualifier to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 scheduled for South Africa begins. But a spanner was thrown in the West Africans’ works after one of their players returned a positive Covid-19 test on return in Gaborone, on arrival, on Wednesday.
The whole squad was placed in isolation at a different hotel and they successfully re-tested yesterday – just in time for their rescheduled opener against the Victoria Pearls today.
“We are going to go hard at them,” said Uganda’s coach Suraj Karavadra, without mincing his words.
“We have to get the processes right going forward. It is about picking three wins from the remaining three matches and winning them all. The goal remains simple – to first reach the semifinals, storm the final and then notch that lone spot to the Global Qualifier.”
Immaculate Nakisuyi, the Victoria Pearls captain, who top scored with 36 runs in Game One will be looking to get support from her openers; Rachael Ntono and Proscovia Alako, who both put up no-shows against Namibia’s Capricorn Eagles.
Two other matches; Botswana versus. Zimbabwe and Swaziland versus Rwanda will be on card on what promises to be a beautiful Sunday of cricket.