Uganda fall to Zimbabwe to end qualification hopes

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Zimbabwe 161/2 Uganda 102/6 (Zim win by 59 runs)

THE Lady Cricket Cranes were stopped in their tracks from directly progressing to the ICC Africa Women’s World Cup Qualifiers following a 59-run loss to favourites Zimbabwe yesterday at the Wanderers Oval.

The loss comes against the backdrop of a perfect start to the campaign where they won three in three against Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya.

Zimbabwe’s Chipo Mugeri, batting at number three, proved a thorn in Uganda’s side, hitting an unbeaten 56 runs from 36 balls as they posted 161 in 20 overs batting first.

Kevin Awino and company stumbled chasing a target of 162, with openers Rachael Ntono and Saidat Kemigisha combining for 32 runs before the formerwas caught on 12, denying Uganda a solid foundation from which to build the chase.

Evergreen Gertrude Chandiru posted a team high 26 runs off 31 balls as Uganda fell way short of the target.

Loreen Tshuma picked two wickets for Zimbabwe, who have dominated this event in recent years. They finish the round robin phase top of the table with 8 points, two above second-placed Uganda.

Uganda’s fate will be determined tomorrow when they face Kenya in the play-off between second and third team where the winner faces Zimbabwe in Saturday’s final.

Zimbabwe had earlier beaten Kenya by 45 runs to lead the group on net run rate on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe posted a formidable 139/3 off their 20 overs, while Kenya could only muster 94/9 in reply.

Kenya won the toss and elected to field, but were punished as Zimbabwe got off to a solid start.

Openers Ashley Ndiraya and Modester Mupachikwa attacked Kenya’s bowling from the start, as they shared an opening stand of 45 runs before Ndiraya was out for 24 off 25 balls (3×4).

Chipo Mugeri continued her fine form with another superb knock as she shared a 70-run second wicket partnership with Ndiraya.

Mupachikwa was eventually out for 35 off 40 balls, with the total on 115, but Mugeri continued the onslaught before she was dismissed off the last ball of the innings for 59, which came off 48 balls and included five fours.

In Kenya’s innings, Zimbabwe got an early breakthrough when Josephine Nkomo trapped Mary Mwangi LBW for a duck in the first over, and things got worse when Esther Wachira was also out for a duck with only one run on the scoreboard.

Veronica Abuga revived Kenya’s innings with a valiant knock, but Zimbabwe struck with three wickets in six balls. Spinner Precious Marange dismissed Silvia Kinyua (9) and Queentor Abel (0), and when Tasmeen Granger dismissed Margaret Ngoche for a duck, the game was effectively over with Kenya at 53/5.

Abuga soon followed for a top score of 35 off 37 balls (6×4), while Sarah Wetoto added 10 and Ruth Achando 14 further down the order as Kenya were restricted to 94 for nine wickets to hand Zimbabwe a comfortable victory. — Online.

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