By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE women’s cricket team captain Mary-Anne Musonda was the star of the show after her brilliant half-century inspired the Lady Chevrons to a six-wicket win over Tanzania in their first match at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier Africa regional tournament in Botswana Friday.
After Tanzania won the toss and elected to bat first, Zimbabwe’s bowling department put on a good show to dismiss their opponents for 103 in 19,4 overs.
In reply, Zimbabwe were given a scare against the East African minnow before they reached the winning target of 104, with six balls remaining.
Lady Chevrons’ skipper Musonda led from the front after scoring an unbeaten 52 runs.
After Zimbabwe lost two early wickets, Musonda shared a crucial third-wicket partnership stand of 80 runs with Modester Mupachikwa, who chipped in with 42 runs.
Zimbabwe had got off to a nervy start in their run chase badly after losing opening batter Precious Marange for a golden duck, from the very first ball of the innings, while Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano managed just nine runs, with a single-digit score on the board for the team.
Earlier on, Loryn Phiri was in devastating form, with a four-wicket haul that helped Zimbabwe bowl out their opponents. Nomvelo Sibanda had bowling figures of 2/11 while there was a wicket each for Josephine Nkomo, Audrey Mazvishaya, and Marange.
Monica Pascal was the highest scorer for Tanzania, with 42 runs while Saum Mtae contributed 20. The rest of the batters were dismissed for single-digit scores.
Zimbabwe and Tanzania are in Group A together with the hosts Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Rwanda.
Cameroon, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda make up Group B.
Only the winners of the 11-team regional competition will progress to the global qualifying contest for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 proper set to be played in South Africa.
Next up, Zimbabwe will face Eswatini, Botswana, Mozambique, and Rwanda in the other group matches scheduled for 11, 12, 13, and 16 September respectively.
The semi-finals involving the top two teams from each group are set for 17 September, with the third-place playoff and final pencilled in for 19 September.