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Rwanda Complete Fairytale In Gaborone To Earn World Cup Spot

Rwanda completed their fairytale on Monday, as their young women’s side secured the final place at the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup, by beating Tanzania by six wickets in Gaborone.

It completes an incredible journey of discovery for the small East African nation, where cricket has become a vehicle of transformation and inspiration.

With assistance from Uganda in their formative years, and motivation from African countries as they found their feet, Monday’s breakthrough was a glittering illustration of the power of sport.

Tanzania, who had defeated Rwanda in their group game, again chose to bat first in Monday’s final. Rahima Kibwana’s 33 from 39 balls gave Tanzania a platform, but excellent and disciplined bowling from Rwanda made sure the rate never got going.

They were superb in the field effecting two run outs, one of which was the dangerous Agnes Qwele, who was dismissed at the non-strikers end without facing a ball.

Bowler of the Tournament Belise Murekatete then came back and ripped out three wickets in the 18th over, wrapping up the tail, as the end came quickly for the Tanzanians.

They were bowled out for just 84, with two overs to spare. That waste would come back to haunt them.

Given a target of 85 to seal a dream ticket, Rwanda was composed and confident. Gisele Ishimwe, who was later named as Player of the Tournament, added 47 with Merveille Uwase (25 from 30 balls) for the first wicket.

That immediately eased tensions, and it was left to Henriette Ishimwe, who was fittingly there at the end, hitting the winning boundary to spark wonderful and emotional celebrations from her teammates.

However they fare in South Africa in the 2023 tournament, Rwanda will always look back on their week of wonder in Botswana.

They came, they saw and they have conquered a continental tournament.