Victoria Pearls see off Rwanda for winning start

Victoria Pearls' Janet Mbabazi was deservedly named woman-of-the-match. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

What you need to know:

The entire conversation in the tents around the oval at the end of the match majored on Janet Mbabazi’s player-of-match performance.

Team Uganda overcame some early nerves and jitters to contain Rwanda and defeat them by six wickets for an opening start to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Finals at Entebbe Oval yesterday.

The Victoria Pearls had slow starts with ball and bat after skipper Consy Aweko elected to field to first yet; they ably recovered on both occasions to chase down a target of 88 runs with 24 balls to spare.

The entire conversation in the tents around the oval at the end of the match majored on Janet Mbabazi’s player-of-match performance.

By producing a clinical four-over bowling spell where she picked three wickets while conceding just 14 runs, including 15 dot balls, Mbabazi was the difference. Her fine innings of 32 runs in the chase capped the day to hold off Rwanda’s captain Diane Bimenyimana and her team.

“I guess for me it was to back up the pace bowlers. The Rwanda batters were very comfortable so we had to limit the run rate,” said Mbabazi moments after picking her award from legend Sam Walusimbi.

“With the bat, my captain just told me to go in there and bat, enjoy my time,” she added. So where was her impact?

First, Rwanda’s opening batters Gisele Ishimwe (22 off 47) and Merveille Uwase (35-run-a-ball) appeared to take the gloves off early when knocked 21 runs off the first 18 balls.

However, things began to slow down and they were 49-1 after 9.4 overs when Uwase was stumped by wicket-keeper Kevin Awino off Mbabazi’s bowling.

The wheels seemed to come off when they were 55-3 at the end of the 12th over with Uwase run-out while Mbabazi had caught and bowled Clarisse Umutoniwase (3 off 8).

“During the end of the overs, we didn’t get a chance to finish the way we started,” admitted Bimenyimana, who would later make 15* off 17 to help to a total of 87-5 after the allotted overs.

In the chase, Rwanda still started strong, limiting Uganda to seven runs after the opening 18 balls, opener Proscovia Alako retiring hurt on the penultimate ball of the second over.

Mbabazi replaced her but when the board began ticking, Awino trapped lbw (leg before wicket) for 11 runs off 19 balls by Immaculee Muhawenimana (1/15) at 5.1 overs. Seven balls later, Stephannie Nampiina returned to the dugout for a duck.

It was thereafter that Mbabazi, who made four boundaries in her 37-ball innings, and Rita Musamali (31* off 29) reconstructed the innings, sharing a 58-run stand which took pressure back to Rwanda.

“We gave away a lot of chances,” Bimenyimana admitted. “They (Rwanda) had started well but we also had our plans. We had to figure out how to bring the game back to our side,” stated Aweko.

Uganda will return to check their notes again before facing Namibia in an anticipated contest tomorrow. Namibia needed to overcome a late surge from Nigeria to defend their total of 121 runs built on Yasmeen Khan’s innings of 59 runs off 49 balls and win by nine runs.

Nigeria had persisted thanks to Lucky Piety’s knock of 43 runs off 49 balls. However, action in the tournament, where the top two advance to the Global Qualifier in the road to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup set for Bangladesh next year, resumes today in Group A when Kenya takes on Tanzania in an East African derby before favourites Zimbabwe face Botswana.

The Lady Chevrons from Harare were off to a flyer as well on Saturday with 62-run win after they set 111/9 relying on Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano’s 31 off 17 before bowling out Kenya for 49 runs.

Tanzania meanwhile chased down a target of 76 runs for no loss against Botswana thanks to near-perfection from Saum Mtae (38* off 40).

UGANDA’S STARTING XI VS. RWANDA: Kevin Awino, Proscovia Alako, Janet Mbabazi, Stephanie Nampiina, Immaculate Nakisuyi, Rita Musamali, Consy Aweko (Captain), Evelyn Anyipo, Irene Alumo, Lorna Anyait, Malisa Ariokot

12th player: Esther Iloku, 13th player: Sarah Akiteng, 14th player: Patricia Malemikia



9.30am: Kenya vs. Tanzania

1.50pm: Botswana vs. Zimbabwe


9.30am: Nigeria vs. Rwanda

1.50pm: Uganda vs. Namibia



Zimbabwe 111/9 Kenya 49/10

(Zimbabwe won by 62 runs)

Botswana 75/10 Tanzania 76/0

(Tanzania won by 10 wickets)


Namibia 122/2 Nigeria 113/7

(Namibia won by 9 runs)

Rwanda 87/5 Uganda 89/4

(Uganda won by 6 wickets)