The Rwanda ladies side was able to clinch the return leg of their bilateral series against Nigeria, winning 3-2. The games played in the T20 format saw the two sides battle against each other in 5 T20 games.

The bilateral series between the two emerging nations gave each side an opportunity to expose some of their new players as they prepare for future engagements.

The first leg of the series was played in Nigeria early this year with the visitors taking the honors. The return leg of the series was a chance for the west Africans to avenge that first leg loss. The Nigerians carried a very experienced side, while the hosts took chance on their youth.

Nigeria used the series to blood their youth. Supplied.

Divine Igihozo (14), Neema Micheline (17) and Belyze Murekatete (14) all made their debuts during the series for the hosts. Nigeria had a one-month training camp in preparation for the bilateral series, highlighting the importance both nations attached to the series.

The return bilateral series saw the sides play five T20 games all played at the magnificent Gahanga stadium. Hosts Rwanda drew first blood in the first game, before the visitors were undone by Guinness book record holder Cathia Uwamahoro’s knock to draw the second T20. Despite the scores being tied, the game was awarded to the hosts after the Nigerians were not comfortable playing a Super Over in the fading light.

The Rwandans celebrate a wicket in their series victory. Supplied.

The visitors then came back strongly, winning the next two games to square the series at 2-2 to set up a mouthwatering final game.

The hosts were able to give their home crowd something to cheer about as they held their nerve to chase down a tricky score. With the win in the final T20 game they won the series 3-2, the same margin they went down to Nigeria when they played in Abuja earlier this year.

The Rwandans held their nerve in game five to take the series. Supplied.

The close margins of the games are a testament of how much the Nigerians have improved given that they have not being playing ladies cricket for a long time. They should definitely go back home with their heads up knowing that the more they play away from home the better they will catch up with the other teams.

Both Nigeria and Rwanda were also able to make their maiden appearance at the ICC T20 World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe in May this year, and these kinds of bilateral series are important to both nations, who will look to compete at a higher level on the international stage.

Game One

RWANDA WOMEN won the toss and elected to field

NIGERIA WOMEN: 77/8 (20.0 Ov)

RWANDA WOMEN: 80/6 (19.4 Ov)

RWANDA WOMEN won by 4 wickets

Game Two

RWANDA WOMEN won the toss and elected to field

NIGERIA WOMEN: 105/2 (20.0 Ov)

RWANDA WOMEN: 105/6 (20.0 Ov)

Tie – Match awarded to Rwanda

Game Three

RWANDA WOMEN won the toss and elected to field

NIGERIA WOMEN: 112/3 (20.0 Ov)

RWANDA WOMEN: 99/6 (20.0 Ov)

NIGERIA WOMEN won by 13 runs

Game Four

NIGERIA WOMEN won the toss and elected to bat

NIGERIA WOMEN: 87/5 (20.0 Ov)

RWANDA WOMEN: 86/10 (19.3 Ov)

NIGERIA WOMEN won by 1 run

Game Five

NIGERIA WOMEN won the toss and elected to bat

NIGERIA WOMEN: 110/4 (20.0 Ov)

RWANDA WOMEN: 111/6 (19.1 Ov)

RWANDA WOMEN won by 4 wickets

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