Zambia has one foot on plane to Kuwait
Zambia 187 for 7 (50 overs) beat Ghana 125 for 9 (39.4 overs) by 62 runs
Zambia has moved closer to earning a place at the World Cricket League Division Eight tournament by beating Ghana in the top-of-the-table clash of the Africa Division Two event in Benoni, South Africa on Wednesday.
There is a place at the WCL Division Eight tournament in Kuwait in December for the tournament winner and the favourites won the toss and elected to bat on what initially looked like a good batting surface.
Starting off with a slight stutter, Zambia found themselves at 32 for 3 in their ninth over. A fourth wicket partnership of 45 saw them reach 77 after 25 overs. Godfrey Kandela continued his great form for Zambia scoring a workman-like 41 of 80 balls to stabilize the innings. All-rounder Meeth Naik (26) and Sharif Yusuf (22) steered Zambia to 187 for 7 after 50 overs. Kofi Bagabena was the pick of the Ghanaian bowling attack taking 3 wickets for 22.
Ghana's reply was in early trouble, stumbling to began in a doubtful manner 14 for 3 until a fourth wicket partnership of 36 stabilised the innings somewhat. The nagging consistency in line and length of the Zambian attack stifled the Ghanaian batsmen's efforts to accelerate the scoring rate. Tapson Nyirongo started the initial rot and accounted for the first three batsman. That man, Godfrey Kandela, was the star bowler for Zambia, managing to strangle the Ghana batting and ended up with four wickets for 20 runs. Zambia emerged winners by 62 runs.
Swaziland 130 for 6 (42.2 overs) beat Mozambique 127 (40 overs) by four wickets
In the clash of southern African neighbours, Swaziland won the toss and sent Mozambique in on a sticky wicket. As a result, Mozambique struggled to compile a total of 127. The only partnership of note was the fourth wicket partnership of 45 which saw Sayed Shah gather a diligent 45 in 100 balls The Swaziland bowling attack all shared in the wickets. The best of the bowlers were Mangiliso Mhlabane who returned 3 for 16.
In pursuit of the total of 127, Swaziland began confidently. The sticky wicket had dried out considerably at this stage which saw the Swaziland middle order of Aziz Patel (25) and Rashid Haris (25*) maintain momentum. Swaziland passed the Mozambique total with six wickets down with 46 balls to spare.
Sierra Leone 95 for 5 (25.5 overs) beat Malawi 89 (39.5 overs) by 5 wickets
At Willowmoore, the two promoted teams from Division Three, Malawi and Sierra Leone clashed. Sierra Leone won the toss and elected to bowl on a superb batting track. The Malawi innings never really started due to the superb line and length bowling of Abu Bakarr Kamara. Malawi only managed to score 89 runs. Abu Kamara ripped out the heart of the Malawian batting and ended with four wickets for nine runs in 10 overs, earning himself a well deserved man of the Match award.
Sierra Leone began their run chase positively and they accomplished this in 25 overs thanks mainly to Ibrahim Kobia (26) and Lasana Lamin (26 not out).