The Zimbabwe Women’s Team this week clearly showed their experience as the young Botswana girls were not any match for their experienced counterparts.
The Zimbabweans were convincing winners in their matches during their four-day tour.
The matches against Botswana and the Zimbabwe Women’s team included two T20 matches and two 40 Over matches.
The Botswana Cricket Association was hoping to use this opportunity for their young Botswana team to gain experience before the ICC Africa Women’s Tournament to be held in Uganda in late December. Botswana were put in to bat and there were no surprises as a young and awestruck Botswana team were skittled out for only 15 runs on the board by a very experienced bowling attack.
The Zimbabweans wasted no time in making their runs in two overs and earning themselves a nine-wicket victory.
The second match was a 40 over match and it was decided before the tour that in this format, the option to bat first was with the Zimbabweans.
The Zimbabwean ladies took full use of this opportunity to get some batting time in the middle and amassed a total of 322 runs for the loss of 4 wickets.
Stand in captain, Sharne Mayers, top scored with 81 while opener Ashley Ndiriya scored 79.
Jacqueline Kgang took 2-56 and leg spinner Botho Freeman took 1-54 for Botswana. Botswana went in to bat and the young girls seemed to have recovered from their sensational collapse in the T20 and put in a gutsy effort to bat out 37 overs before being bowled out for 78.
Ponalo Rapinyana top scored with 12 while Laura Mophakedi made 6. Privilege Charumbira took 3-6 and Sharne Mayers removed the gloves and bowled her off spinners to claim 2-6.
The third match played was also a 40 over format and batting first in stifling heat, Zimbabwe made 277- 3 before being called in at the 33 over for lunch because of the heat taking its toll on batters, fielders and also one of the umpires who had to be replaced momentarily. Christabel Chatonzwa made full use of her time out in the middle scoring 101 and young Modester Mupachikwa did her chances of selection for the national team no harm by scoring 55.
Botswana skipper Shameelah Mosweu took 1-69 while Katlego Busa also took 1-55.
Botswana, going into bat after lunch, mustered up 63 before being skittled out in the 28 over. Katlego Busi hung around till the end with 16 not out and Shameelah Mosweu looked good hitting two fours through the covers before being bowled for nine.
The final match was a reduced match of 15 overs. Botswana batted first and put on 48 runs for the loss of 5 wickets with all in the batting order chipping in.
Things started shakily for Zimbabwe when a wicket was lost in the first over but the girls soon passed the score in the 5th over securing a 9-wicket victory.
Reading this, it must look like this was a series of mismatches. It should be mentioned though that the oldest girl in the Botswana team was sixteen and the BCA has earmarked a group of twenty girls aged- 13-16 to get them training together for the next few years and providing them with as much playing exposure as possible.
This was more about the little victories for the Botswana girls as a team and as individuals, instances such as getting a chance to play against a test-playing nation so early in their cricketing careers, batting out 37 overs against a good bowling attack.
“The experience gained by the Botswana team from their Zimbabwe counterparts was immense,” said the BCA Public Relations Officer, Sumod Damodar.
Damodar also thanked the Zimbabwe team for their participation in the four friendlies.
“We would like to thank the Zimbabwe team for making the effort to get here and impart some important knowledge and skills,” he said.