All Africa GamesCricket

South Africa halts Victoria Pearls pursuit of gold at African Games



South Africa 122/4 20 overs
Victoria Pearls 72 all out in 18.3 overs

South Africa won by 50 runs

In the semifinals of the ongoing African Games in Ghana, the clash between the Lady Proteas of South Africa and the Victoria Pearls of Uganda unfolded at Achimota A cricket Oval.

South Africa, who had consistently found themselves in the position of chasing throughout the tournament, faced a new challenge as Ugandan captain Consy Aweko Nimungu elected to bowl first after winning the toss.

Early in the innings, the Pearls showcased their bowling prowess with Aweko claiming a wicket in the third over, placing South Africa at 27/1.

However, the Proteas maintained their composure, steadily building their innings.

A remarkable catch by Khulume Phiona further energized Uganda and South Africa found themselves at 33/2 after the Powerplay, but maintaining a steady partnership propelled them to 52/2 by the 10th over and it was their display of hard-hitting prowess that saw them surge to 81/2 after 15 overs.

In a pivotal moment during the 17th over, South Africa’s captain, Nondumiso Shangase, aggressively took on the bowling attack but succumbed to Consy Aweko’s skill, caught brilliantly by Sarah Walaza on the first delivery after contributing a solid 38 off 42 deliveries.

Nondumiso Shangase while batting for South Africa

Miane Smit, with a quickfire 20 off 16 balls, fell victim to Janet Mbabazi’s bowling in the final over, bringing South Africa’s innings to a close at 122/4 after 20 overs.

Uganda’s captain, Consylate Aweko, exhibited commendable skill, completing her spell with two wickets in four overs and reaching a significant milestone of 100 wickets in T20 internationals.

Victoria Pearls Skipper Consylate Aweko while bowling for Uganda

While Uganda displayed clinical bowling, conceding only four extras in their entire 20 overs, fielding errors allowed South Africa to amass over 100 runs, a total that appeared promising for a victory.

As Uganda embarked on their chase, the pressure mounted with the early dismissal of Immaculate Nakisuyi in the first over.

However, a much-needed boundary from Illoku in the final over of the Powerplay helped stabilize Uganda’s innings, leaving them at 27/1.

South Africa’s Kayla claimed the wicket of Gloria Obukor with a well-executed delivery, inducing a catch to the wicketkeeper Karabo after Obukor had managed 12 runs off 17 balls.

Subsequently, Janet Mbabazi failed to contribute any runs, falling to a catch at covers after facing just four deliveries.

Nampiina Stephanie’s dismissal via LBW on a deceiving delivery compounded Uganda’s woes, further highlighting the impact of Kayla’s impressive spell, which included a maiden wicket over.

The Victoria Pearls struggled to find momentum, reaching only 35/4 after 10 overs.

Despite the challenges, Esther Iloku emerged as Uganda’s top scorer in the chase, contributing 19 runs off 33 deliveries before being dismissed following a catch in the 11th over.

Following Kevin Awino’s run-out, Uganda found themselves with limited batting options as wickets continued to fall and Uganda concluded their innings with a meager total of 72 all out in 18.3 overs.

The dynamic duo of Kayla Rayneke and Nondumiso Shangase proved instrumental for South Africa, each claiming three wickets, thereby securing their team’s passage to the finals.

In the upcoming showdown, South Africa will square off against Zimbabwe, who emerged victorious against Nigeria later in the day.
Meanwhile, Uganda will pivot to the bronze medal match against Nigeria on Wednesday, aiming to salvage a podium finish.

Beyond this tournament, the Victoria Pearls are already setting their sights on the upcoming global qualifiers in Dubai next month, where they will vie for a chance of making a debut at the ICC Women’s T20 world cup

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