Kenya set up the title clash against Namibia with a dominant win the semi-final
Kenya showed why they have had the success in the Kwibuka T20 tournament over the years when they romped past the hosts Rwanda with a dominant win at the Gahanga International Stadium in Kigali on Friday (June 11) to set up the final clash against Namibia.
Opting to bat, Queentor Abel started in her usual aggressive fashion for Kenya smashing a boundary in the second ball she faced. Abel lost her opening partner when Gisele Ishimwe ran Veronica Abuga out for just three runs.
Margaret Ngoche, at number three, didn’t waste any time as she hit the first ball she faced for a four through backward-point off Henriette Ishimwe before following it up with a boundary to long-off. In the fifth over, Margueritte Vumiliya sent Abel back when she castled her for 14. With Sharon Juma also hitting an early boundary, Kenya reached a healthy 37 for two at the end of the power play.
Post the power play, Ngoche upped the ante and added three more boundaries in no time to take the score to 64 for two at the end of the tenth over. Even though Kenya lost Juma in the 12th over, an enterprising knock from Sarah Wetoto and her 28-run partnership with Ngoche moved Kenya score along as they reached 94 for three in the 16th over.
However, the dismissal of Wetoto for a breezy 15-ball 20 by Alice Ikuzwe brought Kenya innings to a halt. Soon they lost the set Ngoche for 38 in the 17th over allowing Rwanda to make a comeback of sorts in the match. From there, their innings petered to a finish with only 15 runs coming in the last three overs.
Kenya finished on 117 for six from their stipulated 20 overs with Vumiliya taking two wickets for the hosts.
Chasing 118 for a place in the final, Rwanda struggled to get going as Kenya predominantly used spinners in the power play to slow the hosts down. Rwanda could score only 24 runs in the first six overs while losing two wickets in the process.
In the third over, pacer Lavendah Idambo accounted for Gisele Ishimwe when she had her trapped in front for six. Henriette, promoted to number three, was the next one to go when she hit Melvin Idambo straight to Flavia Odhiambo.
From 24 for two, Kenya continued to tie down Rwanda with Delphine Mukarurangwa getting stuck at the crease not able to rotate the strike or hit boundaries. None of the Rwanda batters used their feet, allowing Kenyan bowlers to settle into a rhythm. Mukarurangwa’s innings put pressure on Marie Diane Bimenyimana as she hit one straight back to Abel in the ninth over to walk back to the pavilion.
At the halfway stage, Rwanda were reeling at 40 for three needing 78 runs from the last ten overs. Mukarurangwa’s innings eventually came to an end when she was run out at the non-striking end in the 11th over for a 30-ball 16. By the end of the 11th over, Abel and Melvin Idambo finished their spells giving away only 23 runs from eight overs between them while also picking up two wickets.
Although Cathia Uwamahoro started with two boundaries, It went from bad to worse for Rwanda as two more run outs followed with more miscommunication between the wickets that saw Vumiliya and Sarah Uwera being short of the crease. Once Esther Wachira beat Uwamahoro with a well-flighted delivery to leave Rwanda in dire straits at 56 for seven, the hosts’ hope of an improbable win went down with it.
More run outs ensued and Rwanda were eventually skittled out for just 65 in 16.5 overs. For Kenya, Wetoto picked up two wickets while four bowlers picked up one wicket apiece.
Brief scores: Kenya 117/6 in 20 overs (Margaret Ngoche 38; Margueritte Vumiliya 2/15) beat Rwanda 65/10 in 16.5 overs (Delphine Mukarurangwa 16; Sarah Wetoto 2/5) by 52 runs.