Nigeria have won the first game in the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s T20 World Cup qualifiers against Sierra Leone in Gaborone.
Nigeria defeated the West African rivals by five wickets in the game played on Thursday at the Botswana Cricket Oval.
Sierra Leone won the toss and elected to bat first.
The team’s best performer in Aminata Kamara with 28 runs in 36 balls was not enough for the side as they settled for 102 runs in 20 overs for the loss of nine wickets.
Nigeria came on to chase their opponents in the second innings, scoring 103 runs in 16 overs for the loss of five wickets.
Nigeria’s captain Blessing Etim declared as the ‘Man of the Match’ with 27 runs in 31 balls, including two boundary hits, underlined the team’s performance.
“I am happy with the victory; we are all happy about it. It is part of our plan to win our first game,” said Etim. “Against Namibia tomorrow, I am expecting us to be better especially, in bowling, and bring our A-game. Our mental state is very high, thanks to our coaches. We hope to be better tomorrow.”
On his part, the team’s coach, Onome Oghenekevwe, said the team’s training had proved productive.Nigeria will battle Namibia on Friday, in a second game, before facing Uganda on Saturday and Cameroon on September 13, all in group B.
Meanwhile, Group A features hosts Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
Only one team will qualify from the 11-nation tournament beginning Thursday.