All-rounder Sarah Bhakita struck a blistering half-century and bagged three wickets as the national women’s team bounced back to beat hosts Nambia by 17 runs in the ICC Africa Women Twenty20 qualifier in Windhoek yesterday.
Bkahita’s 62 made all the difference for the Kenyan in the must win match after surviving a scare of being tossed out in the early stages. After losing the toss, Kenya began their inning on a sour note as they were reduced to 35 for 6 in 10 overs. Bhakita then got the match away from the home team with a match wining knock.
Her knock, that came off 36 balls, included ten boundaries at a strike rate of 169.44, hence catapulting Kenya to 117 for 9.
Coming on at the crease with the board at 19 after the dismissal of Veronica Abuga (6), Quinter Aoko (7) and Margaret Banja (0), Bhakita knew Kenya’s fate was in her hands and did the needful. Starring the board at 35 for 6 with Mary Wambui (4), Sylvia Kinyua (4) and Ruth Achando (2), Bhakita managed to get a brief stand of 23 from Esther Wangare (7) that got the scores to 58. She also got a boundary in the remaining eight overs which accelerated the scores before she lost Wangare in the 13th over.
The partnership seemed to have laid out the foundation for Vanessa Adhiambo and she too gave Bhakita the much needed stand in four overs that yielded 40 runs. Adhiambo was left watching on one side of the crease as Bhakita found gaps in the field with so much ease.
After losing Adhiambo with 21 balls to play, Bhakita managed to reach her fifty in the 19th over in an unbeaten 10th wicket stand with Edith Waithaka.
MP Enright had early brought a lot of tension in the Kenya’s dug out with three quick wickets that saw her end on 3 for 14. Bhakita continued from where she had left with the bat by picking up three wickets.