ZIMBABWE produced a superb bowling display on home soil to beat Namibia in the final of the ICC Women’s Qualifier Africa 2019 and move another step closer to the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 and Cricket World Cups.
This followed Papua New Guinea, who clinched victory in a winner-takes-all clash against Samoa on the same weekend to finish top of the table at the ICC Women’s Qualifier EAP 2019.
ICC Women’s Qualifier Africa 2019
Zimbabwe topped Group A with a 100 percent record, while Namibia did likewise in Group B to set up a fascinating showpiece in Harare.
The hosts batted first and set a competitive total of 114 for five from their 20 overs, thanks largely to a 66-run second-wicket stand between player of the tournament Sharne Mayers (36 from 44 balls) and Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano (36 from 28 balls).
And the Zimbabwean bowlers then turned the screw in response, as Anesu Mushangwe (3-6), Josephine Nkomo (3-12) and Tasmeen Granger (2-7) made hay to limit Namibia to 64-9 from 20 overs, sealing a 50-run victory.
That means Zimbabwe have qualified for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in Scotland and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2020, putting them just one step away from both World Cups.
Zimbabwe had beaten Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria and Mozambique to top Group A, with Tanzania finishing second with three wins from four.
Meanwhile, in Group B, Namibia’s 14-run victory over Uganda proved decisive as both teams beat Kenya and Sierra Leone, setting up the entertaining final.
ICC Women’s Qualifier EAP 2019
In the round-robin tournament with Vanuatu, Indonesia, Japan and Fiji, both PNG and Samoa won their first four games to set up the decisive clash in Port Vila, where PNG successfully chased down their target of 83.
That means the Pacific Island nation qualifies to represent its region at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2020.
PNG captain Kaia Arua, who took the most wickets in the competition with 12, was incredibly proud to reach the next stage of the qualification pathway.
“I would like to thank all of PNG for their support. It’s very emotional. It’s a dream come true. We always wanted to win here because it’s the next step in qualifying for the T20 and 50-over World Cups, so I thought we did well. It didn’t happen with just one person — it was the whole team working together and I am very proud of them.
“It means a lot to the team. It’s the first time for a lot of them coming to a tournament like this and I know that they’re very happy that we won these games. I just want to thank them, even if they weren’t playing, they were giving all their support. I also want to thank the coaches and everyone that is behind our success. We wouldn’t have made it without them. I am very grateful.”
Hosts Vanuatu finished third on the table with three wins from five games, with Indonesia fourth, Japan fifth and Fiji rounding off the table.
Zimbabwe and PNG can now turn their attention to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier taking place in Scotland between August 31 and September 7, 2019, where they will join Bangladesh, Ireland, Scotland and Thailand in the latest stop on the road to Australia.
Then next year, they will be eyeing a spot in the 50-over World Cup in New Zealand at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2020, alongside confirmed teams Bangladesh, Ireland and Thailand.
All teams at both events were also competing to climb the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings.
Women’s T20I Rankings
Weighted matches Points Rating
1 Australia 28 7 937 283
2 England 30 8 332 278
3 New Zealand 32 8 837 276
4 West Indies 27 7 044 261
5 India 38 9 504 250
6 South Africa 28 6 824 244
7 Pakistan 34 7 713 227
8 Sri Lanka 32 6 569 205
9 Bangladesh 31 5 913 191
10 Ireland 17 3 153 185
11 Zimbabwe 28 4 337 155
12 Thailand 40 6 044 151
13 Scotland 8 1 199 150
14 Nepal 19 2 425 128
15 Papua New Guinea 15 1 899 127