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Ghana, with an average age in the mid-twenties and featuring all locally-born players, have maintained their winning run at the ICC Africa World Cricket League Division 2 in Benoni, beating Malawi by seven wickets.
On a day when the weather allowed all six teams to get on the field for the first time, in the other matches, Zambia emphatically beat Swaziland by eight wickets and Mozambique defeated Sierra Leone by 43 runs.
Ghana won the toss and sent Malawi in to bat. Initially Malawi struggled before the East Africans managed 44 for the third wicket. Thanks chiefly to Mushid Qureshi's 52 from 82 balls, Malawi reached 188 from their 50 overs. In reply, Ghana's openers, James Vifah (76 not out) and Simon Ateak (33) provided a solid platform for their team to mount the chase. Victory for Ghana was achieved in the 38th over with a flourish, Samson Kwesi Awyah hitting a six.
The Peter Kirsten-coached Zambia sent a warning to the other teams in the tournament, with a comprehensive eight wicket victory over Swaziland. This was set up by a superb bowling performance by Mohammed Mitha who returned 4 for 10. He accounted for the entire middle order of the Swaziland batting, which started steadily enough with a 32-run first wicket partnership. Opener Esteen Sauerman was Swaziland's top scorer with 29 in a team total 78.
Zambia’s innings got off to a flying start with an opening partnership of 56 runs in 6.2 overs as openers Allan Insensha (23) and Ashraf Lulat (28) dominated the Swazi bowling. Zambia passed the target in the 11th over.
On a very damp Sahara Park C Field, Mozambique managed to get a very good win over Sierra Leone, who like Ghana, have an average age in their mid-twenties and are totally indigenous.
Sierra Leone won the toss and elected to bowl. Mozambique's first wicket partnership of 49 showed promise however, a steady loss of wickets curtailed any dreams of a big score. The top performers for Mozambique were Mohammed Shahzad (26) and Malik Javid (25). Mozambique set a target of 131 for Sierra Leone, who were promoted after finishing second in last year's Division Three tournament. The Sierra Leone chase was in immediate trouble, losing three wickets for seven runs, and at one stage were 23 for 6. They only managed to score 88 and were bowled out in the 46th over. Christiaan Louw was destroyer in chief for Mozambique with a magnificent 5 for 25 in 9 overs.
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