Kenya stun Namibia as South Africa dismiss hosts Tanzania in women’s cricket

By Oscar Pilipili

National women’s cricket team celebrate the fall of a wicket during a past match at the Nairobi Gymkhana grounds. The team is in Dar es Salaam for the ICC Africa Senior Women’s Championship. [PHOTO: OSCAR PILIPILI/STANDARD]

Kenya yesterday recovered from their loss to Uganda on Monday to beat Namibia by 55 runs in the ongoing ICC Africa Senior Women Championship in Dar es Salaam.

Kenya had started the tournament on a losing note going down to Uganda by nine runs in their opening match.

In yesterday’s encounter, despite winning the match, Kenya’s batting line-up was not at its best as no one achieved over 15 runs.

Pearlyne Omamo was the top scorer with 13 runs off 25 balls. Sarah Bhakita, Margaret Banja, Quinta Aoko and Belle made 10 runs while Captain Emily Ruto was was sent back to the pavilion on just one ball, bringing her first ball dismissal record in the tournament to two in a row.

A 21-run stand for the second wicket between Omamo and Banja was the highest for the Kenyans. Maryka Short was Namibia’s top bowler with three wickets for 14 runs.

Bowling prowess

In second innings, debutant Edith Wanjiru starred in Kenya’s bowling claiming two wickets for two runs, a performance that disoriented Namibia batting order.

Wanjiru bowling skills were instrumental in restricting Namibia to 35 all out in 13.1 overs, a mark that fell far from Kenya’s winning target of 90.

Wanjiru earned a place in the senior team following her exemplary performance in the just concluded Africa Junior Girls’ Championships. The 13-year-old cricketer, who replaced Beryl Oyugi, displayed great bowling skills as she conceded just two runs of 13 balls.

Wanjiru bowled out Kayleen Green (five) and Ineth Tjazirapi (one). Green was bowled after facing 13 balls while Tjazirapi was caught after only three balls.

Third victory

In other match played at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana, South Africa beat Tanzania by four wickets to register their third straight win and enhance their chances of winning the tournament.

Tanzania were the first to bat and South African bowlers played well to restrict them to manageable target of 59 runs.

South Africa reached the target with four wickets in hand in 17.1 overs despite early scares from the hosts who had put them at 36 for five at some stage.

Ruto told FeverPitch on Social Media that they hope to perform better in remaining matches and finish in respectable position.

“Our performance is improving as the tournament progresses and we hope to win more matches and, if not winning the tournament, finish in good position,” she said.

Meanwhile, Steve Tikolo, the former Kenya allrounder, has been named as Kenya’s interim head coach, replacing Robin Brown, who stood down after the side’s failure to qualify for the 2014 World Twenty20.

Brown had tendered his resignation on Monday, along with team captain Collins Obuya. Rakep Patel will take over the squad.  —

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