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African Games: Victoria Pearls Beat Kenya In Opener

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Thursday, March 7

Kenya 63/8
Uganda 66/4
Uganda won by 6 wickets


The Victoria Pearls survived a scare in their opening game at the African Games following their hard-fought 6-wicket win over Kenya on Thursday at Achimota Complex in Ghana.

In a game that was affected by rain hence its reduction to 17 Overs, the Victoria Pearls who won the toss dominated proceedings in the first Innings. Kenya were suppressed and were as good as only 63/8.

Uganda opened with both pace (Sarah Walaza) and spin (captain Consy Aweko) which gave the Pearls a desirable start as two wickets fell in the opening four Overs.

Janet Mbabazi got the third in her first Over (5th Overall), but Kenya enjoyed a breather when the change in bowling saw Lorna Anyait join Mbabazi on the attack.

The side batted half a dozen of Overs without losing another wicket, but when the skipper reintroduced herself to the attack, Melvin Khagoitsa who ended the game as Kenya’s top scorer with 23 fell victim when she was caught by Rita Musamali.

Immaculate Nakisuyi then took matters into her own hands, picking two wickets in her second Over. Iloku and Kevin Awino- the two wicketkeepers for Uganda- then ran out Flavia Adhiambo for their side’s eighth wicket in the penultimate Over, and despite Nakisuyi giving out ten runs in the last Over, the total was a paltry 63.

On paper, it appeared an easy chase for Uganda. But Kenya’s thought process proved different. Kenya lost three wickets to run outs; they served their rivals with the same sauce.

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Nakisuyi who opened with Gloria Obukor was run out without altering the scoreboard after facing 4 balls. Esther Iloku who replaced the dismissed then got picked the same way in the 4th Over.

It was a dream start for Kenya, but in spite of that fact, wickets dried up. However, they did not give out runs cheaply. The Kenyans were tidy with their bowling; they donated only two extras.

Kenya added just two more wickets, but managed to push the game to the very end. The final Over which started with five needed off it was for anyone to take, but with two needed from three, Musamali got the Victoria Pearls over the line with a boundary towards long off.

They, despite inviting unnecessary pressure were able to hang on as they secured their first victory in Ghana.

They face Zimbabwe on Friday in a top-of-the Group clash. Zimbabwe beat Rwanda by 8 wickets in the other Group B game.

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