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Cricket: Nigeria beat Sierra Leone by five wickets in opener




Team Nigeria won their first match in the ongoing International Cricket Council Womens T20 World Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone, in Gaborone

Nigeria defeated their West African rivals by five wickets in Thursday’s match played at the Botswana Cricket Oval.

Sierra Leone won the toss and chose to bat first.

The team’s best performer in Aminata Kamara with 28 runs in 36 balls was not enough for the side as they settled for 102 runs in 20 overs for the loss of nine wickets.

Nigeria went hunting for their opponents in the second innings, scoring 103 runs in 16 overs for the loss of five wickets.

Nigeria’s captain, Blessing Etim, was named ‘Man of the Match’ with her 27 runs in 31 balls, including two boundary strokes, underlining the team’s achievements.

I’m happy with the win; we are all happy with it. It’s part of our plan to win our first game.

Against Namibia tomorrow I expect we will be better, especially in bowling, and bring our A-game. Our mental state was very high, thanks to our coaches. We hope to be better tomorrow, Etim added.

For his part, the team’s coach, Onome Oghenekevwe, said the team’s training had proved productive.

Our training has been very productive and we are satisfied. We hope the players can bring the same style or improve it better than what they did today when we faced Namibia.

The girls are usually concerned about what other people will say about them or think of their play style. So I’m just telling them to shut deaf ears and develop a thick skin, express yourself and enjoy the game, he added.

Nigeria will face Namibia in its second match on Friday, before taking on Uganda on Saturday and Cameroon on September 13, all in Group B.

Meanwhile, Group A is with hosts, Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Only one team is expected to qualify for the 11-nation tournament starting Thursday.





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