Nomvelo Sibanda's phenomenal hat-trick helps Zimbabwe win Capricorn Tri-Series
Zimbabwe © Cricket Namibia
A terrific hat-trick from left-arm seamer Nomvelo Sibanda saw Zimbabwe trounce Namibia in the final of the Capricorn Tri-Series by seven wickets on Tuesday (April 26).
After winning the toss, Zimbabwe skipper Mary Anne-Musonda asked Namibia to set a score on the board. After her heroics with the bat that steered Namibia to a hard-fought win in the last game, Namibia promoted Edelle van Zyl to open the batting with Jurriene Diergaardt thinking that the duo will get them off to a bright start. But it wasn't to be.
Left-arm seamer Nomvelo Sibanda wreaked havoc in her very first over and picked up a phenomenal hat-trick to obliterate Namibia's top order. Firstly, she cleaned up Diergaardt as her feet didn't go to the pitch of what would have been a fuller delivery had she not been standing deep in her crease.
The hosts also promoted Kayleen Green, who had also played a crucial hand with the bat in winning her side the last game, but it didn't turn out to be her day either. Green decided to bat outside of her crease to negate the inswing but Sibanda pulled her length back slightly to outwit her. The delivery swung in, a lot more than what Green anticipated, and disturbed the timber.
The fall of the second wicket brought Sune Wittmann to the crease. And what followed was another ace tactic from Sibanda. Anticipating that Wittmann will expect an inswinging delivery, Sibanda angled it away from her slightly and the ball kissed the outside edge of Wittmann's bat and was safely pouched by the wicket-keeper Modester Mupachikwa as Sibanda completed her hat-trick.
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Before the Capricorn Eagles could even recover from such a fiery spell of swing bowling, the spin duo of Anesu Mushangwe and Precious Marange landed more deadly blows on the hosts to pick up two wickets apiece. Sibanda came back for another spell and dismissed wicket-keeper batter Yasmeen Khan and Sylvia Shihepo to bag a fantastic fifer. She merely conceded 14 runs in 3.3 overs to bag her five-wicket haul. Her majestic spell didn't even allow the hosts to play out the entire 20 overs as they folded for 70 runs in just 13.3 overs.
Chasing just 71 to win the summit clash, Zimbabwe lost Sharne Mayers in the very first over. Mayers was dismissed for just one. But an early setback didn't affect Kelis Ndlovu, who came into bat at number three. Ndlovu made her intentions very clear right from the start of her innings. She latched on to every scoring opportunity that was presented by the Namibia bowlers and took a lot of pressure off Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano, who was struggling a bit to put bat to ball.
Ndlovu (33 runs off 21 balls) propelled Zimbabwe within touching distance of the win before mistiming a flick shot which was safely grabbed by Yasmeen in the seventh over. Captain Musonda finished the game in fine style as she hit a six on the first ball of the tenth over to help Zimbabwe bag the silverware by seven wickets.
Brief Scores: Namibia 70 all out in 13.3 overs (Edelle van Zyl 24; Nomvelo Sibanda 5/14) lost to Zimbabwe 76/3 in 9.1 overs (Kelis Ndlovu 33; Sylvia Shihepo 2/18) by seven wickets. POTM: Nomvelo Sibanda