•Kenya defeated Rwanda by 25 runs in Game 9 of the Kwibuka Women’s Twenty20 International Tournament at Gahanga Stadium
•Kenya cheaply gifted Rwandan medium pacer Henriette Ishimwe three wickets when they were beyond the 100-run mark
•Rwanda were also guilty in both innings for dropping five catches and giving away 21 runs in extras in the first innings
There was no love lost as Kenya defeated Rwanda by 25 runs in Game 9 of the seventh edition of the Kwibuka Women’s Twenty20 International Tournament at Gahanga Stadium.
Both teams had sealed their semifinal berths a day earlier and this round robin fixture on Match Day 5 was only a dress rehearsal with both teams set to exchange pleasantries for the second successive time in tomorrow afternoon’s second semifinal.
However, this time, this will be a knockout game and both teams will be looking to treat it as a Cup final with the winner progressing to the grand finale in the Gold Match whereas the loser must contend for a consolation prize in the third place playoff encounter for the bronze medal.
Margaret Banja Ngoche won the toss and decided to bat first but she and her teammates were left ruing missed chances in their innings that totalled to 129 runs for 3 wickets in 20 overs.
Two batters; Veronicah Abuga (47 runs off 54 balls) and Queentor Abel (47 runs not out off 55 balls) missed out very important career milestones – half centuries - and then their senior players failed to capitalize when they could have set a morale-boosting target of at least 150 runs ahead of the tournament’s knockout phase.
To rub more salt onto the injury, Kenya cheaply gifted Rwandan medium pacer Henriette Ishimwe three wickets when they were beyond the 100-run mark.
Rwanda were also guilty in both innings for dropping five catches and giving away 21 runs in extras in the first innings.
They also lost early wickets in the second when they were literally at par with the required rate. Delphine Mukarurangwa looked good for her 11 runs but offered the bowler Melvin Idambo the simplest of return catches.
Ishimwe was trapped Leg Before Wicket (LBW) on 4 runs and opener Sifa Ingabire (15 runs off 20 balls) was also caught and bowled by spinner Abel as Rwanda was reduced to 37 runs for 3 wickets in 8.3 overs.
Diane Marie Bimenyimana (31 runs off 37 balls), Cathia Uwamahoro (19 runs off 20 balls) and captain Sarah Uwera (10 runs not out off 14 balls) all chipped with fighting knocks that gave the home fans something to cheer about but their efforts were a little too late as Rwanda ended on 104 runs for 7 wickets in 20 overs.
Lavendar Alivitsa Idambo ended with two wickets – the same as Player of the Match Queentor Abel (2 wickets for 17 runs in 4 overs) – as Kenya won their third match of the tournament by 25 runs.
It was Abel’s second Match Award and thus keeps her in contention for the Player of Series gong.