A professional team performance capped off by a run of four wickets in four balls from Henriette Ishimwe has sealed Rwanda’s first ever victory at an ICC global event, defeating regional rivals Zimbabwe by 39 runs at the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Henriette’s late-innings swoop meant the right-arm seamer finished with figures of 4/13 in 3.4 overs, backing four of her teammates who also collected wickets to bundle Zimbabwe for just 80.
It’s the first win for Rwanda at a World Cup in any team sport, going one further than their men’s football team at the 2011 U17 FIFA World Cup, who only mustered a draw and two defeats in their campaign.
Rwanda were measured in their start with the bat having been put in by Zimbabwe captain Kelis Ndhlovu, not losing a wicket in the Powerplay thanks to a 49-run stand from Merveille Uwase and Cynthia Tuyizere.
Tuyizere’s 30 set the platform for the middle order, and captain Gisele Ishimwe capitalised in the middle overs, making 34 from 23 balls to put her side on top. Zimbabwe pulled Rwanda back to restrict them to 119, though an early wicket for off-spinner Rosene Irera kept the Associates in front.
Irera was miserly were her flighted, controlled deliveries, finishing with 1/10 off her three overs, as Rwanda looked to tighten the screws. Zimbabwe moved back into the game despite the loss of Ndhlovu for just seven, though the work of Natasha Mtomba and Kelly Ndiraya (both 20) was thwarted thanks to continued pressure applied by bowlers and fielders alike.
Gisele Ishimwe’s direct hit to run out Adel Zimunu consigned Zimbabwe to 80/6, before Henriette was thrown the ball to close things out.
The seamer went above and beyond, hitting the stumps to remove three of her opponents in the four-in-four, claiming Olinder Chare lbw for the second dismissal in the stretch.
The win all but guarantees Rwanda’s progression to the Super Six phase of the competition.
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