In the Women’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, Rwanda pulled off a huge upset by defeating the West Indies by four wickets on Sunday in Potchefstroom.
The West Indies were eliminated from the inaugural tournament when the East African nation, ranked 27th on the ICC Women’s T20I rankings, chased down the 71-run target with 10 balls remaining.
After winning the toss, the West Indies elected to bat first, and Rwanda spinner Sylvia Usabyimana (4-20) ripped through the top order to leave the Caribbean team reeling at 5-38 in the ninth over.
After the drinks break, fellow tweaker Marie Tumukunde (4-8) wreaked havoc to help the West Indies be bowled out for 70 in less than 17 overs. Realeanna Grimmond, the opener, was the only West Indies batter to reach double digits, scoring 18 runs off 21 attempts.
Rwanda’s run chase got off to a steady start, slowly making its way toward 2-32 in the ninth over before falling 4-8 in 22 balls.
With the score at 6-40, the match was suddenly in doubt, but Rwanda captain Gisele Ishimwe (31 not out from 53 balls) and Rosine Irera (right not out from 14 balls) put together a crucial 31-run partnership for the seventh wicket to lead the team home in the final over.
The West Indies, who are the negative Sixth in the ICC Women’s T20I rankings, can’t make it to the semi-finals because of their inconsistent batting and poor fielding.
After defeating Zimbabwe, another Full Member nation, by 39 runs on Tuesday, Rwanda’s “unthinkable” victory came after seam bowler Henriette Ishimwe took four wickets in four balls.
The Under-19 Women’s Cricket T20 World Cup is Rwanda’s first participation in a tournament of this magnitude.
It demonstrates how far we have come as a nation,” Emmanuel Byiringiro, Rwanda’s cricket general manager, told the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier this month.
“This was a victory not only for cricketers but for the entire country.”
After less than 24 years of developing cricket, Rwanda has managed to overthrow a cricket powerhouse at an ICC event. Cricket was introduced to Rwanda in 1999.
Before the tournament, Julius Mbaraga, the secretary general of the Rwandan Cricket Association, told ESPNcricinfo, “We will keep our expectations in check.”
“What we want is for the team to do its best and use the World Cup as a learning experience,” We are sure that it will show many of them what it takes to perform at a higher level.
In the meantime, for Australia to advance to the semi-finals, they must defeat the United Arab Emirates on Monday night.
In Potchefstroom earlier this week, the Australians prevailed comfortably by seven wickets over tournament favourites India to keep their World Cup campaign alive.
After the match, Australian captain Rhys McKenna stated, “We had a bit of a rough start, losing a couple of warm-up matches and our first game (against Bangladesh.
“We’re doing everything right to play our best cricket, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next game,” the team said.