Familiar enemies clash today in Botswana, with Zimbabwe and Namibia facing each other in the African qualifier final for the T20 Women’s World Cup.
An automatic place in the next qualification for the Women’s T20 World Cup is at stake in Gaborone, in a match that promises to be fireworks.
Both unbeaten in their respective groups, the duo were only pushed into the semifinals. In the semifinals, Zimbabwe defended 108 in a stellar bowling performance, while Namibia was pushed to the end by Tanzania, chasing a 90 target with two wickets and two balls to spare.
The game is a rematch of the 2019 final, where Zimbabwe claimed home victory at Harare Sports Club. Set 115 for the win, the visitors lost early wickets and struggled to recover, missing 50 points. Despite the loss, Namibia continued to represent Africa in the World Qualifiers after Zimbabwe Cricket was suspended.
Namibia return as a stronger collective unit in this year’s final, although their strength still lies in their bowling and fielding. Retaining a four-point victory in a 105 defense in their opener against Uganda, the Namibians have stuck with a similar game plan throughout the tournament, with four bowlers taking six or more wickets over the course of their five exits. Wilka Mwatile was the spearhead, taking nine wickets at 6.22, for a miserly 3.11 points per lap.
However, to beat a highly prized Zimbabwe, Namibia’s Supreme Order must shoot. Saved by skipper Irene van Zyl with 23 victories in the six-wicket semifinal, Yasmeen Khan, likely to strike at three, holds the key. Above Khan, the opening pair of Adri van der Merwe and Sune Wittman have the opportunity to put Namibia in the spotlight, with Kayleen Green at four.
Zimbabwe have a plethora of options with the bat, led forward by captain Mary-Anne Musonda. Despite averaging 43 with a 116.21 strike rate so far in the tournament, Musonda has played a supporting role in his team’s campaign with the bat, watching Modester Mupachikwa and Ashley Ndiraya on the other. side.
Mupachikwa (133 points at 66.50) has the tournament’s highest batting average, with Ndiraya’s 112 points at 28.00, providing a stable opening for the innings.
Zimbabwe have two of the tournament’s top three wicket-takers, with Loryn Phiri’s spin (15 wickets at 2.46) yet to be adequately thwarted. Esther Mbofana’s seam on the other end has been almost as effective, taking 12 wickets in five matches so far.
The teams will face off on Botswana Cricket Association Oval Court 1, with Tanzania facing Uganda in the play-off for third place.