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December 23, 2008
Uganda retained their East African Women's Championship title with a ten-run win over hosts Kenya in the final, but it was a tournament that raised major questions regarding the standard of those competing.
Uganda were undoubtedly the best side - they beat Kenya in the round-robin qualifiers as well as thrashing Tanzania and Rwanda - and despite only making 94 in 44 overs in the final, they restricted Kenya to 84 for 8.
The presence of Rwanda verged on the pointless. In their three round-robin matches they managed scores of 15, 60 and 24. In those same games they conceded more in wides - 98, 52 and 64 - than they managed off the bat. Even in the only meaningful games - between Uganda and Kenya - no side reached three figures and the average run-rate was just under two an over.
As women's cricket battles for credibility and funding, tournaments like this do nothing to help the cause. The pointless third-place play-off underlined that point as Rwanda were bowled out for 34.
Kenya's Sarah Bakita, whose 225 runs included 186 not out against the hapless Rwandans - was named woman of the series and best batsman, while Tanzania's Hawa Salum, whose 10 wickets included seven against Rwanda, was the best bowler.
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