As proof that cricket is among one of the fastest growing sports in Botswana today, the national cricket squad has landed an undefeatable and victorious win at an international event.
This event certainly marks history in the growth of the sport in our country.
Recently, the Sir Seretse Khama airport was adorned by smiles from Batswana cricket supporters when they welcomed back their cricket ‘heroes’.
Sunday Standard was among the first to reach the ecstatic boys who were sporting Botswana’s national colours (black, blue and white) while holding a glittering gold championship trophy next to the country’s flag and screaming ‘pula’ to celebrate their victory, much to the amazement and curiosity of the airport revelers.
Their unbeatable energy and quest to win landed them a number one spot on the points table during the finals.
The boys lost none of the matches they took part in.
Led by team captain and man of the match during the game between Mozambique and Botswana, hardworking Abdul Patel, the Botswana national cricket squad had recently dominated and beat five other countries from Africa at the internationally acclaimed tournament, called the Africa World Cricket League Division 2, held in Benoni, South Africa and wholly sponsored by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“We won all the matches we played during the tournament, we knew we could do it,” said Patel.
African countries such as Nigeria, Zambia, Mozambique, Ghana and Swaziland including Botswana were the main cricket playing countries that took part in the 5-day world tournament.
After a solid five days of cricket, the finals saw Botswana leading the charts with 10 points, with the second runner up being Nigeria with 8 points; the third place was awarded to Zambia with 6 points.
Botswana was also the only country that played five games and won all of them, Swaziland lost all five with Ghana losing 4.
Mozambique had no luck either when it lost 3 out of its five games. Third runner up, Zambia, only lost 2 out of its five matches with the second runner up losing only one match.
High placed Mozambique was knocked off the top charts by team Botswana, who ended up winning the game between the two, even though Mozambique had been off to a good start.
The game emphasized Botswana players’ consistency with the ball, with them losing only 4 wickets, notably, it was Tshepho Mhozya’s influence on taking wickets at regular intervals which helped restrict Mozambique 174 all out.
Team captain Patel’s score of 71* not in the run chase earned him man of the match title.
Zambia won its final match against Swaziland, which put up a brave effort but could not defend themselves against the bowling attack of the Zambians. Although Ghana won the toss, Nigeria won the game between the two by 70 runs.