A half-century by Nigeria’s Salome Sunday was instrumental to Nigeria’s 41 runs victory against West African rivals Sierra Leone at the Access Bank Sponsored NCF Women’s T20i Invitational in Lagos on Monday.
The match was the second match of the opening day of the five-nation event that bowled off at the newly renovated Tafawa Balewa Square.
Rwanda had earlier beaten Ghana’s Women by 85 runs in the opening match at the event. The Nigeria Cricket Federation had conceived the tournament as part of the developmental drive for Women’s Cricket in the country.
Bookmakers had tipped Nigeria for victory over the visitors given the country’s level of female cricket development as well as being ranked 37th by the International Cricket Council, seven places above Sierra Leone.
But it didn’t appear to be such an easy game for Nigeria.
The first over saw a fall of the wicket in Piety Lucky and Kehinde Abdulquadri in the third over, sending a bit of anxiety to spectators.
Sunday replaced Abdulquadri and a partnership with Blessing Etim who in the eighth over saw the hosts leap in runs as they held on to finish the game at 131 runs for the loss of three wickets.
Sunday’s 50 runs not out was instrumental to the victory as she ended the game on 61 runs following 63 balls faced, including six boundary hits.
Etim, however, scored 31 runs in 29 balls.
Meanwhile, the second innings saw the Sierra Leonean team with a poor run rate in the first 10 overs but the side picked up a good form in the last part of the innings to end the game on 90 runs for the loss of six wickets.
The first match of the day saw Ghana lose by 81 runs to high-flying Rwanda.
It is the first time both teams are meeting in a cricket event but the 31st ranked East African side showed why they are rated on the ICC table as compared to their unranked counterpart.
Hostilities continue on Tuesday with Nigeria facing The Gambia and Ghana against Sierra Leone.
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