Monday, January 17, 2022

Under-19 ladies cricket team sparkle at regional competitions

On the heels of an impressive display during the Four Nations tournament early this year, the Botswana Ladies under-19 cricket team continued their sparkling form at the International Cricket Council (ICC) – Africa Cricket Association (ACA) Africa under-19 regional tournament in Uganda.

The local girls won four games out of the total five they played, their only loss coming at the hands of Tanzania. The developmental team, one of the youngest in the tournament, has shown immense character, successfully chasing all the games they played in the tournament.

They started the tournament brightly, comfortably beating hosts Uganda by 6 wickets in their first game. Having won the toss, the local girls elected to field first and restricted Uganda to a mere 59 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in the allotted overs.

Needing only 60 runs to win the game, they then then made light work of Tanzania, achieving the needed runs in 14, 5 overs, and losing only 3 wickets in the process. The scenario repeated itself in their second game of the tournament against Rwanda which the local girls won by 8 wickets.

Having won the toss again and selecting to field first, the local girls were in an uncompromising mood as Rwanda was bowled all out in 16,3 overs, having only managed 41 runs.

The local batters then made short work of Rwanda, racing to the needed 42 runs in 17 overs and losing only two wickets in the process. Botswana’s winning streak continued into their third match against Mozambique, who they beat by 8 wickets.

Having won the toss yet again and selecting to field first once more, Botswana restricted Mozambique to only 81 runs for the loss of two wickets.

The local girls then chased the score and reached the required 82 runs, losing only two wickets in the process. The winning streak was however brought to an abrupt end by Tanzania, who beat the local girls by 12 runs.

After winning the toss, Tanzania opted to bat first and set Botswana a target of 83 runs, with Botswana needing 84 runs to win the match. The Botswana girls however fell short as they managed only 71 runs against the Tanzanians. Botswana however bounced back in their last game of the tournament against Kenya, who they beat by two wickets.

As in the previous matches, the local girls were content with chasing runs and after winning the toss, they put the Kenyans to bat first. The Kenyans managed only 63 runs for the loss of five wickets, leaving Botswana needing only 64 runs to win the game. While the Kenyans put up a great bowling show and took 8 Botswana wickets, the local girls still managed to put 84 runs past the Kenyans to clinch the game.  

Speaking in an interview, Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Girish Ramakrishna expressed joy at the performance of the local ladies, who he says have shown tremendous improvement over the last few years.

“This is a developmental team of young ladies aged only 15 and 16 years and they have shown substantial growth. This is definitely a good starting point for the growth of the cricket locally,” the BCA CEO said.

The performance of the under 19 ladies’ team is a culmination of the commitment put forth by both the players and the BCA administration over the years, Ramakrishna said. “There are neither compromises nor shortcuts to success. It has all been due to the hard work by the players, the administration and the tremendous support from all concerned,” he said.

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