Come rain or sunshine, cricket continues. This was the reality this past weekend as Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) started its 50 over league.
Following a rain threat, the 50 Over matches between Kobe Trading Cc and Elands Cc as well as Impalas Cc and Aquapro Cc were reduced to 32 Over Limited Over matches.
In one of the two first matches of the league this past Sunday, AquaPro Warriors made lightwork of Impalas Cc to take the first lead of the league log.
After winning the toss and electing to field first, AquaPro Cc, led by the brilliance of Dimpho Kegasitswe, started the game well, bowling Impalas Cc all out for a mere 48 runs in 15.3 overs.
Taking to bat theafter, AquaPro were just as ruthless with the bat in had as they scored a quick 50 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in just 5 overs for a 5 wicket win.
In the other fiercely played contest on the same day, Elands CC had to dig a little hard as they beat Kobe Trading Cc by 4 wickets.
Batting first, Kobe set the tone as they registered 124 runs before they were all bowled out in 30.5 overs. The run rate would however not prove enough as Elands managed to claw back and score 129 runs for the loss of 6 wickets to claim a hard-fought victory.
Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph Sport, BCA spokesperson Sumod Damodar said the ongoing games are the continuation of national team preparations for future matches.
Damodar said the main intention of the games is ‘to identify potential national players for both the man’s senior and junior national teams.’
The BCA spokesperson said as such, the five teams competing in the 50 over league includes an U-19 team, U-23 team and three (3) Men’s teams.
“Our intention is still the same as it was with the recent T20 over league, to keep our players fit and active for national duty. You must remember that we have some upcoming international tournaments and this is part of our preparations,” he explained.
Some on the international matches on the horizon for Botswana include ACA T20 Cup Finals, ICC U-19 Girls/Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifiers as well as the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Sub-Regional Qualifiers at the end of the year.
Damodar said the games and preparations for such are done under the watchful eyes of the national team coach, who is expected ‘to identify potential talent, for future selection to national teams.’
The BCA spokesperson and vice president went on to add that for this league, all games will be played on Sundays, with only two games scheduled a day for 8 weeks.
He said the games will first be played in a round robin system, with the winner expected to go straight to the finals. The second half of the games will see the remaining four teams battle it out for a final slot in a knock out competition.
The first match of the knockouts will see the second placed team face off against the fifth and last placed team, while third and fourth will battle each other. The winners of the knockouts will then face off to decide which team proceeds to the finals to face the winner of the round robin group matches.