Saturday, August 13, 2022

Botswana cricket team promoted to Africa’s top division

The Botswana senior men’s Twenty 20 (T20) cricket team has won promotion to the Africa Division 1 Cricket.

The team gained its promotion after emerging as champions during the Pepsi International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Division 2 tournament that was held in Benoni, South Africa, this past week.

The local team won six of their seven games played during the tournament to win the tournament, edging out Tanzania on a net run rate after the two teams, together with Zambia, finished the tournament with twelve points each. However, Botswana, who had registered a better net run rate than the other two closest competitors finished top of the eight teams group while Tanzania had to settle for the second spot.

The result means both Botswana and Tanzania will now ply their trade in the Africa Division 1 while Zambia just missed out. Botswana’s only loss in the tournament came courtesy of their runners up, Tanzania, in Botswana’s fourth match of the tournament. However, the Tanzanians would go on to lose to Zambia in their sixth match of the tournament. With Zambia having lost their first match of the tournament to Botswana during the tournament’s first day, the three teams had it all to fight for in their final matches as a loss to any of the three would have meant failure to qualify for Africa’s top tier division.

For Botswana and Tanzania, who were sitting on first and second position in the log standings respectively, wins would guarantee them promotion as top two finishers while the two did exactly what was expected of them. Botswana’s last outing was against Seychelles and the local lads did not disappoint as they beat their opponents by a massive 67 runs while Tanzania beat Mozambique by 41 runs. The wins effectively ended Zambia’s hopes of promotion despite the Zambians beating Swaziland by five runs in their last tournament.

Powering Botswana’s top table rush in their penultimate match against Seychelles were the duo of Karabo Modise and Faisal Rana Rasheed with the bat while the trio of Nabil Master, Noor Ahmad and Segolame Ramatu did the best with the ball. Modise led Botswana’s run onslaught with 57 runs from 39 balls while Rasheed chipped in with an impressive 41 runs from 25 balls to help Botswana to an impressive finish of 163 runs for the loss of seven wickets in twenty overs.

The local bowlers then did the rest with the ball, bowling Seychelles out for 96 runs in 19.5 overs. Master, Ahmad and Ramatu were Botswana’s standout bowlers, each taking two wickets in the match. Master took two wickets for the loss of 13 runs in his four overs, Ahmad two for the loss of 14 runs in four overs while Ramatu took two wickets for the loss of nine runs in two overs.

The win effectively meant Botswana held off Tanzania’s hopes of winning the tournament while also ensuring that the country will, for the first time, compete in Africa’s top division.

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