By Munyaradzi Madzokere
THE Zimbabwe national women’s cricket team inched closer to a maiden T20 Women World Cup appearance after beating Namibia by 50 runs in the regional qualifiers final at Harare Sports Club yesterday, to progress to the final qualification hurdle.
Batting first, Zimbabwe managed to put up a low 114 runs on the board to give their opponents hope, but Anesu Mushangwe and Josephine Nkomo starred with the ball as Namibia were restricted to 64 for 9.
Maintaining a 100% win record in the tournament, Zimbabwe’s convincing win over Namibia means that they progress to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup global qualifier to be hosted by Scotland in August and September.
Six countries – Bangladesh and Ireland – who had automatic qualification, hosts Scotland, Thailand (Asia qualifiers winner), Papua New Guinea (East Asia Pacific) and Zimbabwe, as Africa champions, have already qualified for the global qualifiers set August and September 2019 in Scotland.
Regional winners from the Americas and Europe are yet to be decided to complete the eight teams for the Scotland event, where the top teams from two groups will book a ticket to the
The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, will take place in Australia from February 21 to March 8 next year.
Zimbabwe coach Adam Chifo was delighted with the victory.
“Obviously, it’s a good feeling, we are more than excited to have qualified,” Chifo said after the match.
“We’ve come a long way. We’ve been preparing for this for some time, mentally, physically and tactically and I’m delighted it came out right. We are very happy for this win.”
After winning the toss, Namibia sent Zimbabwe to bat before limiting the hosts to a modest 114 for five in their allotted 20 overs – Zimbabwe’s lowest in the tournament.
Former national team captain Sharne Mayers and Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano, top-scored for Zimbabwe with identical scores of 36 although the latter needed just 28 balls compared to the former
who reached her score at a slower rate from 36 balls.
Namibia, who had batted solidly during the group stages of the tournament would have fancied their chances of easily chasing down the hosts’ target and cause another upset after
upstaging defending champions Uganda, earlier in the tournament.
Mushangwe and Nkomo claimed three wickets apiece to hand Zimbabwe victory in front of the home crowd.