All Africa GamesCricket

Victoria Pearls secure historic win against Kenya in African Games showdown

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Victoria Pearls Vs Kenya

Kenya 63/8 (17 overs)

Victoria Pearls 66/4 (16.5/17 overs)

Victoria Pearls won by 6 wickets

In a fiercely contested match, the Victoria Pearls etched their name into cricket history with a monumental victory against Kenya in the thrilling Mijyingo derby, marking cricket’s debut at the 13th African Games.

Despite a shortened game of 17 overs, Uganda’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss proved strategic, as they restricted Kenya to a modest total of 63/8.

Kenya’s Melvin Khagoitsa showcased her batting prowess with a commendable score of 23 off 37, amidst the crumbling performances of her teammates.

Noteworthy performances from Immaculate Nakisuyi, who secured two crucial wickets, and captain Consylate Aweko Nimungu, boasting an impressive bowling economy of 2.5, along with contributions from Sarah Walaza and Janet Mbabazi, each claiming a wicket, dismantled the Kenyan batting lineup.

Facing the chase, the Victoria Pearls encountered early setbacks with Nakisuyi and Esther Iloku’s quick dismissals, causing tension within the Uganda dugout as the two top order batters contributed 0 and 1 run respectively.

However, Gloria Obukor’s resilient 29 off 48 stabilized the innings, supported by Mbabazi’s solid 15 off 24.

The true game-changer emerged in Rita Musamali, who, coming in at number six, sealed the victory with a crucial 10 off 6.

Kenya managed to stretch the game until the final over, thanks to standout moments from players like Melvin Khagoitsa, who delivered a pivotal performance in the 14th over, building pressure with three consecutive dot balls.

It wasn’t until Stephanie Nampiina managed to score a boundary on the fourth delivery and rotated the strike on the fifth delivery, keeping Uganda in contention.

With Uganda needing 14 runs off 18 balls after that over, the tension was palpable.

Vanessa Adhiambo added to the pressure with a spectacular diving catch to dismiss Stephanie, but Rita Musamali’s boundary edged Uganda closer in the same over.

As the match reached its climax, Uganda found themselves requiring just 2 runs off 3 balls in the final over.

However, Kenya opted for a defensive field.

Unfortunately for them, a full toss from Flavia Athieno found its way to the boundary by Rita Musamali, securing a historic win for Uganda at the African Games.

Kenya felt the absence of seasoned player Queentor Abel.

Additionally, Immaculate Nakisuyi’s struggles as an opener have been evident, with a strike rate below 40 in comparison to her average of 70 when batting in the middle order, a trend observed even in previous games in India.

Looking ahead, Uganda faces Zimbabwe in a highly anticipated clash for the top spot in Group B, following their previous victory fueled by Gloria Obukor’s impressive half-century.

With both teams separated by net run rate, tomorrow’s match promises excitement as they vie for supremacy in the group standings.

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