Magnificent Sune Wittmann headlines Namibia’s thumping of Botswana on day 3 of Kwibuka T20

Namibia batters in action © Rwanda Cricket Association

Sune Wittmann played arguably the innings of the Kwibuka T20 tournament so far as she headlined Namibia’s big win against Botswana by 65 runs at the Gahanga International Stadium in Kigali on Tuesday (June 8). Namibia are on top of the table with three wins from as many matches while Botswana remain winless.

Batting first, Wittmann got Namibia out of the blocks quickly despite Adri van der Merwe seemed to be struggling at the other end. In the third over, Wittmann smashed Onneile Keitsemang through deep-backward square-leg for a boundary before launching her over long-off for a six. She hit Amantle Mokgotlhe for back-to-back boundaries in the next over while van der Merwe was taking her time scoring only eight from the 22 balls she faced in the power play.

Even though Tuelo Shadrack bowled a maiden to van der Merwe in the sixth over, Namibia looked comfortably placed at 39 without any loss at the end of the power play. Wittmann and van der Merwe brought up their fifty-run stand when Botsogo Mpedi overstepped in the first ball of the ninth over. 15 runs came of that over as Wittmann raced to 40 off 24 balls.

However, in the next over, Botswana struck against the run of play when Botho Freeman caught van der Merwe short of the crease with a direct hit. Meanwhile, Wittmann continued her aggressive ways and brought up her maiden T20I fifty from just 35 balls in the 13th over, the first fifty across teams in this edition of the tournament.

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Once she went past fifty, Wittmann upped the ante taking on all the bowlers with Yasmeen Khan giving her company. While Yasmeen hit Shameelah Mosweu and Freeman for a boundary each, Wittmann cleared the boundary with ease as she launched Mosweu for a couple of sixes in the 17th over. Florence Samanyika, bowling her first over in the 19th over, wasn’t spared either as Wittmann smashed three fours in it.

Wittmann and Yasmeen added 91 runs during their unbeaten partnership as Namibia finished on a formidable score of 155 for 1. Wittmann’s 93 off 60 included nine fours and three hits over the fence while Yasmeen scored 31 from 29 balls.

Chasing almost eight runs an over, Botswana had a good start as openers Samanyika and Laura Mophakedi got going scoring three boundaries in the first three overs to take the score to 24. But they struggled to rotate the strike and couldn’t find enough boundaries in the power play. Although Mophakedi managed to hit one more for four, Botswana lost Samanyika in the sixth over and were 34 for one at the end of the over.

In the next over, Victoria Hamunyela was introduced into the attack and she started with a maiden over that saw Mophakedi walking back to the pavilion for 15. Mosweu played a few aggressive strokes even as Jacqueline Kgang struggled at the other end. Kgang’s laborious six off 17 balls came to an end when she chipped one straight to extra-cover.

Meanwhile, Mosweu added two more boundaries at the other end when Reehana Khan erred in the line and bowled down the leg-side. But Reehana had the last laugh as she got the line right and sent back Mosweu for a well-made 29 off 22 balls in the next ball.

Once Mosweu walked back, fight seemed to have deserted Botswana at the face of a rapidly climbing required run rate with them needing 79 runs from the last six overs. Only nine runs came from the next four overs with Kayleen-Ann Green getting Mokgotlhe out to a return catch in the 15th over. Botswana’s innings came to a tame close as the batters struggled to get the scorecard moving and were just happy to play out the remaining overs. Their innings eventually ended at 90 for seven in their 20 overs.

For Namibia, Hamunyela and Green picked up two wickets each while Irene van Zyl and Reehana had one wicket apiece.

Brief Scores: Namibia 155/1 (Sune Wittmann 93*, Yasmeen Khan 31*) beat Botswana (Shameelah Mosweu 29; Victoria Hamunyela 2/11, Kayleen-Ann Green 2/16) by 65 runs POTM: Sune Wittmann