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Zambia asserted itself as a threat in the Africa Division Two tournament in Benoni, South Africa, with a resounding 114-run win over Malawi on Tuesday.
On another wet and damp Benoni day, Swaziland won the other match played, beating Sierra Leone by 30 runs after their target was adjusted after input from Messrs Duckworth & Lewis. Originally a reserve day in the tournament, the two matches played were originally postponed from Sunday. The weather saw both matches reduced to 46 overs each.
Zambia continued their good run of form with a comprehensive win over Malawi. After being sent in, Zambia found themselves in early trouble slipping to 10 for 2 before a third-wicket partnership for 64 runs saw Abib Patel (24) and Marcus Pieterse (34) restore a degree of respectability to the Zambian innings.
Imraan Patel's unbeaten 55 saw the Zambian innings close at 189 all out in the 46th over. Muzikir Khan shorn with the ball for Malawi with a sparkling return of four wickets for 31 runs in his allotted nine overs. Zambia coach Peter Kirsten described Imraan's innings as "a gem." In the run chase, Malawi found themselves in early trouble at 17 for 4 in the 12th over but middle order batsmen Muzikir Khan steadied things with 33. Godfrey Kandela was the destroyer for Zambia, returning three wickets for 15 runs in nine overs. Kandela's spell prevented the Malawian innings from team establishing any sort of foundation and were bowled out for 75 runs.
Kirsten added “I am very pleased with the team's performance today, they showed a lot of grit in very trying conditions to set the target of 189.”
In the other postponed match, Swaziland won the toss and put Sierra Leone in to bat Ibrahim Mansaray top scored for Sierra Leone with 40 off 95 balls. They struggled to reach 134 all out in their 36th over. Saif Habib was the best Swaziland bowler with three wickets for 22 runs from five overs.
With rain threatening, Swaziland began their innings in aggressive fashion. Opener Naeem Gull smashed a brisk unbeaten 42 from 57 balls. The policy was rewarded when the umpires called the match off due to rain and Swaziland was awarded the match after Duckworth/Lewis adjustments to win by 30 runs.
Malawi v. Zambia Zambia 189 for 10 after 45.5 overs Malawi 75 for 10 after 34 overs Zambia won by 114 runs
Swaziland v Sierra Leone Sierra Leone 134 for 10 after 36 overs Swaziland 84 for 3 after 20 overs Swaziland won by 30 runs (D/L method)
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