Leg-spinning all-rounder Stephanie Nampiina helped Uganda get out of jail against Nigeria on Matchday Three of the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Gaborone on Saturday to leave coach Suraj Karavadra demanding for more decisive inputs from the rest of her teammates.
The Victoria Pearls scripted a 43-run victory over the Green & Yellow Girls from West Africa but the result only tells half the story on what really happened in real time at the Botswana Cricket Association oval as Ugandans grit their teeth for their first win of the campaign.
Nampiina walked in to bat with Uganda reeling at 54 runs for 5 wickets in 12. 2 overs and she hang around until the end to finish on 22 runs from 20 balls.
The 21-year-old’s innings comprised three boundaries and a productive unbeaten ninth-wicket stand of 38 runs from 30 balls with debutant Irene Alumo (21 runs off 17 balls) as Victoria Pearls set 104 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in 20 overs.
Nigeria were in control at 39 runs for 1 wicket in 8 overs and spun the ball devilishly not only for Nampiina to bamboozle and force them into poor judgement resulting into running errors.
In her first over, she caught and bowled Kehinde Abdulquadri for 8 runs to break the threatening second wicket combo. She then had captain Blessing Etim (1) and Salome Sunday (0) run out on the successive deliveries to hand the momentum back to Uganda at 41 runs for 4 wickets in 9 overs.
Nampiina would return to wrap up things by claiming the ‘stubborn’ wicket of Taiwo Abdulquadri (11 runs off 12 balls) to finish with impressive figures of 2 for 12 in 3.5 overs and notch the Player of Match in limiting the Green & Yellow Girls to no more than 61 runs.
“The bowlers got us out of trouble with their spells. The top batters have to get going as well... This team can do the job, they just have to step up,” said Karavadra.
Women T20 WC qualifier
Result – Saturday
Uganda 104/8 Nigeria 61/10
Uganda won by 43 runs
Result – Sunday
Uganda 190/6 Cameroon 35/10
Uganda won by 155 runs
10.30am: Uganda vs. S. Leone
3.30pm: Cameroon vs. Namibia