Why TZ cricketers faltered

Thursday May 16 2019

The national women’s cricket team captain,

The national women’s cricket team captain, Fatuma Kibasu (centre), plays a shot during the 2019 ICC World Cup-Africa qualifier against Rwanda at the Takashinga Cricket Club ground in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Sunday. Tanzania won by 38 runs. PHOTO | COURTESY OF TCA 

By Suleiman Ally Jongo @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

Dar es Salaam. The national women’s cricket team coach, Hamis Abdallah, has attributed Tanzania’s failure to make it to the ICC World Cup to inexperience.

Tanzania did not go beyond the group stage of the just concluded ICC Women’s World Cup-Africa qualifiers in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Speaking to The Citizen on arrival in the city on Tuesday night, Abdallah said that most of his players are young and whatever they experienced was a new learning to them.

“It’s true we’ve competed in the World Cup qualifiers several times, but our opponents have had enormous experience in high-profile and crucial encounters. It made a big difference,”

According to the coach, only two players in his team, namely Fatuma Kibasu and Monica Pascal, boast vast international exposure.

“I have a host of talented players in my team. I do not want to be specific, but the only thing is that this team lacks experience,” he said.

“With more games, we can have a strong team for the future,” the former national team skipper added. Zimbabwe skipped the first hurdle, in their quest for a place at the ICC T20 Women Cup next year, by winning the tournament.

Following the victory, Zimbabwe has booked a place in the next stage to be held in Scotland, where they will battle for a spot at the global cricket showcase.

On their way to the final, Zimbabwe beat Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria and Mozambique to top Group A, with Tanzania finishing second with three wins from four.

In Group B, Namibia’s 14-run victory over Uganda proved decisive as both teams beat Kenya and Sierra Leone – setting up the entertaining final.

In their Group first match, the hosts produced a superb bowling display to beat down hard-fighting Tanzania. “My players lost concentration after Kibasu and Pascal were shown the door, despite their 128-run partnership being the highest opening partnership of the qualifiers,” said Abdallah.

The duo scored a half century each. Kibasu scored had 70 runs and Pascal had 61.

In their final Group A game, Kibasu powered Tanzania over Rwanda by scoring 48 runs.

The Tanzanian ladies opted to bat on winning the toss, but most of their top order failed.

They owed almost everything to Kibasu, who held the batting together almost single-handedly.

Monica Pascal (5) was dismissed with the score at 13, followed by Hudaa Omary, who struggled to make four off 15 balls in a partnership of 21 with Kibasu.

Rwanda’s Perice Mamunya and Tabu Omary scored only six each, and Tanzania were 65 for four in the 15th over, but Kibasu was still going strong.

Neema Pius was more aggressive, scoring 11 off nine balls before being run out at 88 after 17 overs.

Kibasu batted through to the 19th over, when she was caught for her superb 48 off 56 balls, making the total 98 for six; she hit six fours in her innings.

The seventh-wicket pair of Nasra Saidi (16 not out off eight balls) and Getride Mushi (6 not out off five) scored 16 runs off the final eight deliveries to bring the total to 114 for six. Henrietta Ishimwe again starred for Rwanda, taking two wickets, including that of Kibasu, for 20 runs, and also running out Pius.

It was a reasonable although not a great target, but Rwanda soon found themselves in trouble as they chased it.

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