Zimbabwe Trounce Rwanda To Maintain Perfect Record

Zimbabwe Women – 145-2 in 20 overs (Modester Mupachikwa 62, Sharne Mayers 40, Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 31*; Henriette Ishimwe 1/16)

Tanzania Women – 63-8 in 20 overs (Gisele Ishimwe 19, Henriette Ishimwe 14, Margueritte Vumiliya 7*; Tasmeen Granger 3/11, Nomatter Mutasa 2/7, Anesu Mushangwe 2/10)

Zimbabwe Women won by 82 runs

Modester Mupachikwa played a better innings than ever to ensure that Zimbabwe dominated their crucial ICC Women’s Qualifier Africa 2019 match against Rwanda from start to finish.

Mupachikwa played a superb innings of 62 in a match-winning total of 145 for two wickets, setting Rwanda a target they had no chance of matching at Old Hararians Sports Club yesterday.

The East Africa team struggled to 63 for eight wickets, just one more than Mupachikwa managed by herself, to give the hosts an overwhelming victory by 82 runs. Zimbabwe won the toss and batted first.

Marie Bimenyimana almost began the match with a maiden over, but Mupachikwa clipped the final delivery past midwicket for three, and then hit a square-leg four from the other end.

Sharne Mayers also took an over or two to get going against some accurate bowling, but then the pair settled into another fine opening partnership.

Mayers had an escape on 21, when she skyed a catch that was badly missed by the fielder at mid-off, and immediately afterwards the team’s fifty came up after nine overs.

The score had reached 82 in the 13th over when Mayers, with both batsmen on 40, went for a quick single into the covers and a direct hit from Bimenyimana ran her out at the bowler’s end.

Mupachikwa continued to attack the bowling with confidence and reached her fifty off 48 balls. The team’s  hundred came up in the 15th over.

Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano was soon underway, hitting a six over midwicket, and runs came off almost every ball.

Mupachikwa batted through to the 19th over, when she was finally dismissed for 62 off 58 balls, with six fours; she went for a fierce pull off a ball from Henriette Ishamwe and was bowled at 133 for two.

Mugeri-Tiripano skyed a ball into the covers in the final over, but the catch was dropped.

Running for everything, the batsmen took the score to 145 for two after 20 overs, with Mugeri-Tiripano finishing with 31 off 22 balls and Mary-Anne Musonda on four.

The only Rwanda bowler to avoid a pasting was Bimenyimana, whose four overs cost only 17 runs.

In the second over of the Rwanda innings, Tasmeen Granger struck, as Veronique Ihiro (2) drove a low catch to mid-off; six for one.

Her opening partner Diane Dusabemunga (6), also trying to drive Granger’s accurate deliveries, lobbed a catch to mid-on in the fourth over.

Off the very next ball Bimenyimana also drove a catch to mid-off, and Rwanda were reeling at nine for three wickets.

Henrietta Ishimwe, heroine of the match against Mozambique, was now in, partnered by her sister Gisele.

They settled in with determination, but the required run rate rose to more than 10 an over.

This time, though, Henrietta only managed to score 14, off 20 balls, before she skied a ball from Audrey Mazvishaya into the covers to be caught; 39 for four in the 11th over, and Rwanda’s task was now virtually impossible.

Sarah Uwera made four before she drove a catch to mid-on off Anesu Mushangwe to make it 45 for five in the 14th over.

Gisele Ishimwe’s fighting innings of 19 came to an end as she went for a big hit and was bowled by Nomatter Mutasa; 48 for six.

Delphine Mukaruranga was bowled by Mushangwe for two, and Antoinette Uwimbabazi by Mutasa for four; 58 for eight in the 19th over.

Margueritte Vimiliya scored seven not out to become Rwanda’s third-highest scorer and avoid the indignity of being bowled out in 20 overs.

Only the most remarkable happenings can now prevent Zimbabwe, after three outstanding victories, from contesting the final with Namibia at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

They do have a final group match to play on Saturday, though, when they meet Nigeria at  Old Hararians.