Zimbabwe 114/5 (20) (Mugeri 36, Mayers 36, Green 2/22) defeated Namibia 64/9 (20) (Wittman 18, Yasmeen Khan 11, Mushangwe 3/6) by 50 runs

Zimbabwe punched their ticket to the 2019 ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier, defeating Namibia by 50 runs in the African Women’s region final. The win also secures qualification for the 2020 Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

Both teams came into the final unbeaten through their group stages, with Zimbabwe finishing with a staggering net run rate of +5.899. Namibia by contrast had a tougher group, overcoming Kenya and Uganda before brushing Sierra Leone aside.

Namibian captain Yasmeen Khan won the toss and sent the home side in, and made early inroads with the wicket of Modester Mupachikwa. Cleaned up by Sune Wittman for just 4, the Namibians had Zimbabwe at 14-1 after five overs.

Despite the early scalp, Namibia was unable to capitalise. The ever-consistent Sharne Mayers was joined by Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano, with the pair putting on 66 inside ten overs. Namibia broke the dangerous partnership in the field, with the skipper catching Mugeri out of her ground. Mugeri compiled her 36 runs in 28 balls, in a knock with with five boundaries.

Momentum looked to have swung to the fielding side, who picked up another two quick wickets in a mini collapse of 6/3. Sharne Mayers was removed by Kayleen Green, with Mary-Anne Musonda falling four balls later to Irene van Zyl.

A late push from the home side moved them to 114/5 from their 20 overs, and looked good money at the innings break. They moved into heavy favouritism after Namibia’s batting Power Play, holding them to 23/3.

Yasmeen Khan and Wittman looked to steady, though Yasmeen fell to Anesu Mushangwe. With Namibia now 45/4, Zimbabwe ran riot. Mushangwe claimed Maryke Short and Arrasta Diergaardt within four balls of each other, putting the result beyond doubt. Namibia limped to 64/9 from their 20 overs, falling short by 50 runs.

Zimbabwe become the sixth of eight teams to advance to the World T20 Qualifier, to be held in Scotland in August. The Americas Region Qualifiers are set to begin on Friday, with Europe’s qualifiers to be played in late June.

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