Botswana, Namibia, St Helena make impressive starts
The ICC World Twenty20 Africa ‘C’ Qualifiers are underway in Botswana, with favourites Namibia, as well as the hosts Botswana, off to an ideal start.
This is the last opportunity for teams to qualify for the Africa Finals next year towards the ICC World Twenty20 event in Australia 2020, and the first day of action showed plenty of intent from the fancied teams.
Namibia lived up to expectations, as they thumped Swaziland by 10 wickets. Having kept Swaziland to just 72 for six, Namibia required less than five overs to meet their target, and put up their feet ahead of their afternoon fixture.
Their second game of the day was against Malawi, who were bowled out for 85. Zhivago Groenewald (three for 6) and Tangeni Lungameni (three for 9) did the damage, while Malawian skipper M. Abdulla tried to set some sort of target, with a responsible 23 not out.
Namibia were quick on the trigger once again, requiring 12.1 overs to get over the line. Skipper Jan Frylinck saw them home, with a composed 60 not out.
Meanwhile, Botswana kicked off with a commanding win, led from the front by Karabo Mothlanka, who struck a well-paced half-century from 41 balls. Botswana cruised to a 124-run victory over Mozambique, as Motlanka struck 62 not out, with seven fours and a six. He got support from Balakrishnan (36), Abbasi (25) and Moses (21 not out) That saw the hosts post a testing 171 for three.
In reply, Mozambique were bundled out for just 48, with two wickets apiece for Moses, Master and Mooketsi. That saw Botswana cruise in for a thoroughly convincing win by 123 runs.
In the fourth match of the day, the island of St. Helena, with a population of about 4000 people, made a big statement on their first outing.
Led by a free-scoring 81 off just 48 balls from A Yon, the Islanders piled up a commanding 182 for five against Swaziland.
In response, the Southern Africans were throttled, managing only 90 for eight. Skipper J Hansrod was the only player to make an impression, with 27.
Crowie, Johnson, Stroud and Young all took two wickets, as the pressure never relented.
Follow all the action live through https://www.icc-cricket.com/live-cricket/live
The fixtures and more information on the tournament can be found here, https://www.icc-cricket.com/world-t20/qualifier-africa-fixtures/
Scores in brief
Swaziland 72 all out
Namibia 74 for no loss
Namibia won by 10 wickets
Botswana 171 for three (K Mothlanka 62 not out)
Mozambique 48 all out
Botswana won by 123 runs
Malawi 85 all out
Namibia 91 for two (J Frylinck 60 not out)
Namibia won by eight wickets
St Helena 182 for five ( A Yon 81)
Swaziland 90 for eight
St Helena won by 92 runs