Mehluli Sibanda in Harare
Zimbabwe Women 114 in 20 overs (Tiripano 36, Mayers 36, Green 2/22)
beat Namibia Women 64-9 in 20 overs (Whittmann 18, Mushangwe 3/6, Nkomo 3/12, Granger 2/7) by 50 runs
ZIMBABWE were crowned champions of the International Cricket Council Women’s Qualifier Africa following a 50-run win over Namibia in the final at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
With the win, the Lady Chevrons booked a ticket to the ICC Women’s Qualifier to be held in Scotland from August 31 to September 7. Other teams that have already qualified for that tournament are Bangladesh, Ireland, Thailand, Papua New Guinea and the host nation while one representative will come from the Americas and Europe.
The victorious Lady Chevrons, who won all their five matches in the ICCWQA, were presented their trophy by Patricia Kambarami, the ICC Africa regional development manager and Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani.
Opener Sharne Mayers and former skipper Chipo Tiripano top scored for Zimbabwe with 36 runs each as the Lady Chevrons posted 114 in 20 overs after losing the toss and being sent in to bat.
Mayers and player of the match Tiripano put on 66 runs for the second-wicket, a crucial stand for Zimbabwe, who had been one down with just 14 runs on the board.
The Zimbabwean bowlers had some excellent bowling thereby giving Namibia no chance.
Leg-spinner Anesu Mushangwe had three wickets for just six runs in the four overs she bowled. Seamer Josephine Nkomo also had three wickets while leg break bowler Tasmeen Granger got two.
Yesterday’s win saw Zimbabwe make up for losing to Uganda in the final of the same tournament in 2017 where they went down by three wickets to the East Africans in Namibia.
An excited Lady Chevrons captain Mary-Anne Musonda spoke of how eager they were to get over the pain of losing to Uganda two years ago.
“I am really happy, coming from 2017 when we lost, it was very painful; people cried and it was very emotional for the whole team. Coming here we knew that we had to work on every single aspect of the game and also the mental aspect of saying we have won all the games against weaker teams probably and not let complacency kick in,” Musonda said.
“Definitely all we need is more game time; the more games we play the more positive we will be, the more we will also understand ourselves and the more we will also try different plans and strategies. All we are asking for are more games, game time is what’s going to get us through,” she said.
Musonda expressed her appreciation to the World Cup headed Zimbabwe national netball team who came to support their cricket counterparts.
“It was very important for them to be supporting us and as women in sports in Zimbabwe, we always want to be together. For them to be here the girls are really happy, we are going to support each other, we hope that one day all the women sports in Zimbabwe are going to be in the top tier in the world.”
Coach Adam Chifo was thrilled that his team had secured a ticket to Scotland with the months of fine tuning paying off.
“We are more than excited to have qualified. We have been preparing for this for a long time, mentally, physically and tactically so I am happy it came out right,” said Chifo.
The Lady Chevrons will tour Ireland in July before heading to Netherlands as they prepare for the Global Qualifier where the top two teams will proceed to next year’s ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Australia. — @Mdawini_29