The first African U-19 Women Cricket World Cup qualifiers, which completed on Monday in Gaborone, Botswana, saw Lucky Piety lead the batsmen’s standings with 106 runs off 42 balls.
After losing their first two games against Rwanda (by nine runs) and Tanzania (by 115 runs), Nigeria found their footing against Mozambique (whom they defeated by nine wickets) and Malawi (won by 115 runs).
Emeka Igwilo, General Manager of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), said that although the event may have been better for the ladies, it took them some time to adjust to the competition since, as you know, adolescents’ emotions can run wild.
“These are schoolchildren that had little exposure to it, and many of them were seeing it for the first time. They were so overwhelmed that by the time they recovered and got into the competition, they had missed their opportunity to finish in the top four.
In Nigeria’s most recent match against Malawi, Piety made a fantastic run after replacing Oseyande Omonkhobhio after the first two wickets fell. As her team’s total reached 191/7 at the conclusion of their 20 overs in the game that Nigeria won by 117 runs, she went on to score the quickest half-ton of the competition and ultimately the fastest of the competition.
On September 11, 2022, the squad made its way back to the nation under the direction of Coach Onome Ogbenekevwe.
In the meanwhile, Rwanda won the final game with ease against Tanzania to earn their first-ever World Cup ticket as well as the first one for the U-19 Women’s World Cup.
Tanzania choose to bat first once again in the championship after defeating Rwanda in their group match. Rahima Kibwana’s 33 off 39 balls gave Tanzania a start, but Rwanda’s outstanding and controlled bowling ensured the pace never picked up. They were excellent in the field, causing two run-outs, one of which resulted in the dangerous Agnes Qwele being removed at the non-end striker’s without even facing a ball.
Belise Murekatete, the tournament’s bowler of the year, then returned and smashed three wickets in the 18th over, finishing out the Tanzanians’ tail. With two overs left, they were dismissed for only 84 runs. They would be haunted by that squandering in the future.
Rwanda was cool and assured when given a goal of 85 to secure a dream ticket. Together with Merveille Uwase (25 from 30 balls), who was eventually crowned Player of the Tournament, Gisele Ishimwe contributed 47 runs for the first wicket. That quickly reduced the stress, and it was left to Henriette Ishimwe, who was conveniently there at the conclusion, to score the winning point and start her teammates’ joyful and sentimental celebrations.