The Victoria Pearls continued their dominating run in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers, clinching a perfect record of three wins in three group stage games at the Lakeside Oval in Entebbe. After securing a semifinal spot in their second game against Namibia, Uganda comfortably defeated Nigeria with a 6-wicket win.
Uganda’s skipper made a strategic decision to bowl first, taking advantage of the perfect weather conditions in Entebbe. The decision paid off as they restricted Nigeria to a modest total of 63 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 20 overs. Nigeria’s top order struggled against Uganda’s opening bowlers, with the first wicket falling in the 5th over. Salome Sunday and Blessing Favour tried to contribute, scoring 10 runs off 15 balls and 24 runs off 42 balls, respectively.
Uganda’s captain led the bowling attack impressively, securing figures of 3/16 in 4 overs. Everlyne Anyipo and Sarah Akiteg also chipped in with two wickets each, showcasing Uganda’s strength with the ball. However, Nigeria’s lower order failed to make a significant impact.
In the chase, the Victoria Pearls started cautiously, with the opening pair of Awino Kevin and Proscovia Alako putting on 36 runs in 9 overs. Despite their fall, Uganda easily chased down the target, needing only half a run per over. Janet Mbabazi and Immaculate Nakisuyi finished the task, leading Uganda to their third consecutive win.
Earlier in the day, Namibia secured a semifinal spot with an 11-run victory over Rwanda. The qualified teams for the semifinals include Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and hosts Uganda. Rwanda, Kenya, Botswana, and Nigeria are knocked out of the tournament, with the fourth-placed teams in each group (Botswana and Rwanda in Group A and B respectively) relegated to playing Division two.
The action will resume on Saturday morning, featuring Zimbabwe against Namibia and hosts Uganda taking on Tanzania in an East African derby in the afternoon. Only the finalists will progress to the next level of qualifiers scheduled for next year.