Botswana ladies cricket team has failed to qualify for the women’s T20 world cup.
The hosts finished in 4th position in Group A which featured Eswatini, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
From a total of five games played in group stages, the local lasses only managed to register two wins and three losses. The hosts started the competition well as they beat Eswatini and Mozambique by 195 runs and 110 respectively in their first outing.
It was all as good as it got for Botswana as they then went on to lose their next three consecutive games against Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Tanzania. While Botswana would have not been grudged for not doing so well considering difficulties in preparations, it is how they easily lost that would be a source of bother.
In the team’s third match against Zimbabwe, only team captain Laura Mophakedi went beyond double digits as she registered 14 runs. There was no fight in the other batters as none of them registered anything above three runs. Four players scored 2 runs, another 1 run while the other four went out for ducks (no runs).
There was however some semblance of fighting back in the fourth game against Rwanda. Batting first, Botswana registered 94 runs for the loss of nine wickets. The score was however not enough as Rwanda reached their much needed 95 runs for loss of 7 wickets in 18.4 overs to win the match by 3 wickets.
Any hopes of Botswana ending the tournament in flourish were dashed in the final game against Tanzania as Botswana lost by seven wickets. Batting first, Botswana ladies were all bowled out in 19.3 overs having scored just 82 runs. Chasing the score, Tanzania made light work of the work as they reached the 83 runs required to win the match in just 10.5 overs, having lost a mere 3 wickets.
Commenting on the local ladies’ showing, Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) Vice chairman and PR Sumod Damodar said the team has learnt several lessons, adding that their performance in this tournament showed some slight improvement from the one they played a month ago in Rwanda.
“We might have been the weakest team in our group, we have two wins out of 5, this did not end as how we had anticipated,” Damodar observed.
“The team has learnt something from this shortcoming, they sure have taken it as a food for thought. They know that they need to increase their focus, as well as execute the plan that has been laid down. In cricket, you always have to think fast and make good decisions based on the circumstances at hand,” he added.
Damodar highlighted that this has also been great exposure for the ladies’ team, saying ‘the girls have learned that batting and bowling have to work together, be able to defend their win.’
“There is a lot of potential in the team, they just need to prioritize and work hard, as they also focus on their academics because they are building their careers whilst doing sports too,” opined Damodar. He further added that their passion and hunger to play is something that can take them to greater heights in the next tournaments, adding that he is pretty sure the sporting code has grown so much.
“Despite so many events being cancelled and postponed, hosting such an event is a good thing as it puts the country name out there. It shows we have the facilities, we meet new friends, establishing and expanding the brand hence getting more people to be aware of women cricket,” concluded Damodar.