The 20/20 cricket final between Eagles and Gabs United on Friday was a chance to see some of Botswana’s best talents pitted against each other. In the first encounter in the group stages between the two teams, over 400 runs were scored meaning the expectations for the finals were high. The Eagles fielded first with Gabs United sent in to bat.
The game got away to an anticlimax as the first deliver was deemed a wide by the umpire.
Gabs United would lose their first wicket in the second over after a catch was taken by the wicket keeper. Runs were hard to come by with the Gabs United reaching 30 for 1 in the fourth over.
The Gabs United innings failed to gain any real momentum with wickets constantly tumbling, the cheap wickets were accompanied by a farcical run out.
The match seemed to have an ebb and flow, with runs being scored but cancelled out by wickets falling. In perhaps the most bizarre and yet poor moment of cricket in the match, Gabs United offered three catches to Eagles in consecutive deliveries, two were dropped with the third and final chance final being snapped up.
Gabs United wickets continued to fall like dominos and they were eventually bowled out for 123.
In chasing down the target of 124, the Eagles were explosive at the start, scoring 18 off the first over. The second over began with a loss of a wicket spin bowling being the undoing of the Eagles batsman. This did not seem to deter the other opening batsmen, Tarisai Mahunge, who continued to smash the ball to all parts of the ground.
His 89 runs off 50 balls led the Eagles to an eight wicket victory with six overs to spare. The hard hitting left hander scooped the Man of the Match award along with Batsmen of the Tournament.
Karthik Rajeswaran of the Eagles said he felt the Eagles were able to force their opponents into mistakes.
“We pressurised them from the start and as a result we were able to restrict them to a low total.”
The tournament, which was sponsored by MW Packing, began on the 18th of June with eight teams in two groups of four. The tournament has helped incorporate more females into the sport with a number of female supporters in attendance.
The Commissioner of the Gaborone Cricket Club Syed Zia Ahmed expressed his delight and hopes for the future of Botswana cricket. “Today’s game consisted of a number of national players. The junior and senior levels are doing well; we’ll be on the international scene in the years to come. There were also some national team players on display which is good,” he added.