Match Preview | M#14 | Zimbabwe v Rwanda | ZIM v RWA | U-19 Women's T20 WC
Written By: Ritwika Dhar
Picture Courtesy: Cricket Queens
On Day 2 of the U19 Women's T20 World Cup, Zimbabwe and Rwanda both made history with their appearances. Whereas the Zimbabwe U-19 side was the first women’s team to make their World Cup debut, Rwanda U-19 made their maiden appearance at the World Cup at any level, men or women. Zimbabwe couldn't edge England in any department. Rwanda also couldn't stop a more experienced Pakistan side from securing victory. But this all-African clash will see a battle of equals.
VENUE – North-West University No. 1 Ground, Potchefstroom | TIME – 10:00 local/13:30 IST
The two games that have been played at this ground so far were low scoring. But that doesn’t reflect how the pitch is. Batters from New Zealand, Ireland, and West Indies did play big knocks. But given the exposure and batting depth these two teams have, a low-scoring thriller might be on the cards.
ZIMBABWE: In their opening clash against England, Zimbabwe were thrashed by a huge margin of 174 runs. They also faced a tough loss against the lesser-experienced Indonesian team in the warm-ups. Zimbabwe will be looking to bounce back against known opposition in the form of Rwanda.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR –
Kelis Ndlovu: The Zimbabwe international and captain of this U-19 team is a talented left-handed middle-order bat and a left-arm off-spinner. In her 15 international appearances, she has scored 285 runs at an average of 24 and a strike rate of 88 and also picked up 15 wickets. She scalped 2 wickets in the warm-ups as well. Zimbabwe will need their captain to lead from the front.
Olinda Chare: She was the only saving grace for the Zimbabwe bowling, which was attacked by the English batters left, right and centre. She dismissed two dangerous batters: Liberty Heap and Charis Pavely. Chare was also the best bowler for Zimbabwe in the warm-ups, where she bagged 4 wickets. Zimbabwe will be looking up to her for timely breakthroughs.
Michelle Mavunga: This right-arm pacer couldn’t find a place in the XI against England. But apart from their captain Ndlovu, Mavunga is the only player who has represented Zimbabwe at the international level in senior cricket. In the Women’s Capricorn Tri-Series against Namibia and Uganda last year, she was the 3rd highest wicket-taker with 7 wickets to her name. Zimbabwe will be needing her experience and the knack to provide early breakthroughs.
RWANDA: Rwanda might have started their World Cup campaign with an 8-wicket defeat against Pakistan, but they had plenty of positives. They posted a fighting total of 106 on the board despite the lack of communication Rwanda’s batters had while batting in the middle. They dismissed two Pakistan batters and only gave 36 runs in the first 8 overs. They aren't mere pushovers and Ireland also found that out when they were defeated by 1 run in the second warm-up. It's a team that is out here to prove to the world that they are here to stay & can fight with the best. Zimbabwe have to bring their A-game to beat this supremely confident and talented Rwandan side.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR –
Henriette Ishimwe: The medium pacer is the most important figure in this team. Her combined experience of senior internationals and Fairbreak competition surely makes her an asset to bank upon. She bowls effective cutters and has an accurate yorker. She was the chief reason behind Rwanda’s win against Ireland in the warm ups, with 2/19 in 4 overs, including an excellent last over that saw her defend nine. She also provided the first breakthrough to Rwanda in the opening over of the innings vs Pakistan, cleaning up opener Shawaal Zulfiqar.
Gisele Ishimwe: The Rwandan skipper is the youngest player to have represented the senior side in T20Is. She comes into this tournament with 2x50s and 1x100 to her name, which speaks volumes about what she's capable of. She walked in at three and spearheaded the Rwandan batting, like she does for the seniors, with a pivotal 40 off 49 balls. Rwanda will be relying on her anchoring ability to score big.
Belise Murekatete: This tall pacer has a very repeatable action and is one of the pacers to watch out for at this World Cup. The pace bowling all-rounder contributes with the bat down the order & also chips in with vital economical bowling spells in each game. She did well in the two warm-ups, especially against New Zealand, where she dismissed their big guns. She went wicketless in the outing against Pakistan, but will be gunning to open her wicket tally against Zimbabwe.