Friday, December 3, 2021

Botswana Under 19 ladies cricket team off to good start

The Botswana Under 19 ladies cricket team got off to a quick start in the four nations’ girls cricket festival as they overwhelmingly beat Swaziland by 290 runs on Friday.

The local young ladies team, which batted first, had posted an insurmountable 327 runs for the loss of eight wickets in 25 overs against their jittery opponents before play was stopped.

The local ladies run rate was also helped by the defective Swaziland bowlers who bowled at least fifty wide balls to give Botswana as many free runs. Against their Swaziland counterparts, the local girls played with poise and maturity as they amassed runs, hitting as many boundaries against their less fancied opponents. After what looked like a sluggish start to the game, with the team’s top order batsladies failing to post any meaningful individual runs, the team soon picked their game as the middle order batsladies stamped their authority and won the game for the ladies.

Spearheading Botswana’s batting attack was the duo of Ponalo Rapinyana and Jacqueline Kgang, who between them scored an impressive 108 runs. It was the duo’s partnership in the middle order that lifted the local girls’ game, with Rapinyana hitting a remarkable 64 runs while Kgang made 44 runs. After the latter’s exit from the crease, Rapinyana continued to haunt the Swazi’s with the bat, something which she would later do with the ball in her hand.

The latter’s impact was evident after she was caught out for the Swazi’s sixth wicket of the day as Botswana’s tail end started to crumble and lose two wickets. However, with Botswana having already posted an incredible number of runs, the game was declared with only 25 out of the intended 35 wickets played.

When the Swazi’s took to the crease, it was again the local ladies fast bowlers who showed great determination and ruthlessness as they bowled the Swazis all out for 38 runs in 12.3 overs.
The writing was on the wall for the Swazis as early as in the first over as they lost two overs for four runs, all courtesy of fast bowler Rapinyana.

The teenager showed she can be as ruthless with the ball in her hand as she could with the bat as she cleaned up the Swaziland top order.

Combining good length with speed, the youngster tormented the Swazis as she took four wickets in four overs and losing only eleven runs, registering an impressive 2.75 economy rate in the process.
She was ably assisted by Shameelah Mosweu who also claimed two wickets as she gave the Swazi tail end a torrid time. The local fast bowlers were very ruthless, at times bowling good bouncers that proved very difficult for their opponents to deal with, resulting with one Swazi batslady getting a cut below the eye.

The fielding by the local girls was also top notch as they restricted the Swazi’s run rate and ran after every ball. Botswana will now play their toughest and last match of the tournament today (Sunday) against Namibia after playing another yesterday against Mozambique. The three-day four nations girls’ cricket festival comes to an end today.

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