Uganda Clinches Thrilling Victory Over Zimbabwe: Kwibuka T20 Tournament Final

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Uganda clinches thrilling victory over Zimbabwe.
Captain Janet Mbabazi’s heroics lead Uganda to triumph.
Rwanda secures third place in intense battle.
Kelis Ndhlovu named tournament MVP for outstanding performance.

In a gripping finale at the 2024 Kwibuka Women T20 tournament, Uganda emerged victorious by a slim margin of two runs against Zimbabwe. Let’s delve into the exhilarating match that kept fans on the edge of their seats until the very last ball.

A Rollercoaster Encounter

From the onset, it was evident that both teams were hungry for victory. Uganda’s innings began with early setbacks, finding themselves at 7/3 after just four overs. However, a resilient batting performance, led by Proscovia Alako’s 26 off 24 balls, provided stability. Rita Musamali (25 off 27) and Ariokat Malisa (10 off 16) further contributed to Uganda’s total of 80/8 in 20 overs.

Zimbabwe’s Valiant Effort

Despite a strong start in the field, with bowlers Christina Mutasa (2-7-3) and Kudzai Kelly Chigora (2-9-3) making significant impacts, Zimbabwe fell agonizingly short in their chase, finishing at 78/10 in 19.5 overs. Loryn Phiri’s 27 off 43 was the top score for Zimbabwe, but it wasn’t enough to secure the win.

Mbabazi’s Heroics

Uganda’s captain, Janet Mbabazi, proved to be the star of the show, claiming five wickets for just 15 runs in her four overs. Her outstanding bowling performance under pressure played a pivotal role in Uganda’s triumph.

The Decisive Moment

With the match hanging in the balance, it was young spinner Lorna Anyait who delivered the final blow, dismissing Passionate Munorwei with the last ball of the innings. This dramatic conclusion sealed Uganda’s third Kwibuka title and sparked jubilant celebrations among players and fans alike.

Rwanda Secures Third Place

In the battle for third place, hosts Rwanda emerged victorious over Nigeria by six wickets. Led by Henrietta Ishimwe’s stellar bowling performance (3 wickets for 16 runs), Rwanda restricted Nigeria to 80/9 in 20 overs. Rwanda chased down the target comfortably, with contributions from Marie Diane Bimenyimana, Gisele Ishimwe, and Clarisse Umutoniwase.

Celebrating Excellence

Zimbabwe’s all-rounder, Kelis Ndhlovu, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player for her exceptional contributions with both bat and ball. Her impressive tally of 298 runs and 11 wickets rightfully earned her this prestigious accolade.

Honoring the Past

The Kwibuka Women T20 tournament holds significance beyond the realm of cricket, serving as a poignant reminder of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Organized annually by the Rwanda National Olympics and Sports Committee in collaboration with the Rwanda Cricket Association, the tournament honors the memory of the victims while celebrating resilience and unity through sport.

Individual Accolades

Apart from Ndhlovu’s MVP title, individual honors were also bestowed upon standout performers. Lilian Ude of Nigeria claimed the best bowler award, while Henriette Ishimwe of Rwanda showcased her all-round prowess, earning recognition for her stellar batting and bowling performances.

The 2024 Kwibuka Women T20 tournament provided a platform for thrilling cricket action while honoring a solemn past. Uganda’s triumph and Rwanda’s commendable third-place finish underscored the spirit of competition and camaraderie that defines the tournament.

Individual Awards

Most Valuable Player (MVP): Kelis Ndhlovu (Zimbabwe)
Best Batter: Kelis Ndhlovu (Zimbabwe)
Best Bowler: Lilian Ude (Nigeria)
Player of the Match (Final): Janet Mbabazi (Uganda)
Player of the Match (Third Place Playoff): Henrietta Ishimwe (Rwanda)
Standout Performer: Henrietta Ishimwe (Rwanda)

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