Rwanda crush Sierra Leone to unseat Nigeria in 2nd position

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*Nigeria failed its second attempt to topple highly-rated Tanzania 

Captain Marie Diane of Rwanda promised to return her side closer to the summit of the NCF Women’s T20i after her defeat to Tanzania on Thursday.

Saturday morning’s game against Sierra Leone was an opportunity Diane did not handle with kid gloves, her team whooped the West African at an incredibly fast time. 

Sierra Leone won the toss and opened the batting against vicious Rwanda. Unfortunately, Sierra Leone batters were all dismissed at 16.4 overs while their runs tally was a paltry 43 runs. It was obvious Rwanda was going to have a stroll in the park as the second inning resumed. I

Gisele Ishimwe became the star girl of the second inning after scoring 19 runs off 11 balls. Marseille Uwase and Henriette Ishimwe added 13 and 10 runs to make 44 runs losing 2 wickets. They won by 8 wickets under 43 minutes. 

However, the Rwandan Player of the Match was made in the 1st inning. Josiane Nyirankundineza took 3 wickets from Sierra Leone to win the Player of the Match award. Rwanda now sits comfortably on the table with a game away from the tournament trophy.

Meanwhile, Yellow Greens lost the second game woefully to top-ranked and high-scoring Tanzanian Girls. 

Tanzania won the toss and scored 147 runs for a loss of 4 wickets (147/4). Hudaa Omary distinguished herself again as the series’ top batter by scoring 54 runs off 36 balls. Tanzania therefore set a mountain task for Nigeria to overcome.

Nigerians prayed and hoped that their birthday girl Salome Sunday would come to the party. Salome was given LBW after Sophia Jerome wrapped the ball on her pad after scoring only 2 runs for Nigeria.

Nigeria’s assistant captain Favour Eseigbe, Esther Sandy, Victory Igbinedion, and wicketkeeper, Sarah Etim all scored double digits in an attempt to reach the target of 148 runs.

That dream was cut short by merciless and thorough Tanzanian bowlers. Sophia Jerome dismissed 4 Nigerian wickets, Tabu Omary took 3 while Aisha Mohammed banished 2 Nigerian batters. Nigeria’s total runs was 82 runs all out in 19.2 overs.

While Neema Pius was proud of her teammates for maintaining the winning tempo, she expressed her respect for the Nigerians and promised better performance in the 13th African Games in Ghana.

Blessing Etim on her part thanked her teammates for an initial field setting that gave them a chance to take the fight to Tanzanians but blamed Nigeria’s loss on poor batting inning.

While former NCF Technical Director, Okon Ukpong consistently pinpoints the batting skill set as Nigeria’s Achilles heel, the ex-Nigerian cricket international suggests the introduction of expert coaches at age grade level to instill the basic side batting skills and more.

However, renowned Nigerian umpire, Adekoya Olawale praised the Yellow Female Greens’ struggle against the highly-rated Tanzanian and blamed late camping and the distance between the players as a setback. 

Nigeria will play on Sunday’s second game against rival, Rwanda before the podium ceremony to mark the end of NCF Women’s T20i 2024 edition. This year’s series winners will be determined by the team on the apex of the round-robin table.

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