Rwanda deliver second U19WC blow, brush aside West Indies

Rwanda defeated West Indies in their final Super 6 game by 4 wickets

POTCHEFSTROOM, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 22: Marie Jose Tumukunde of Rwanda celebrates the wicket of Abini St. Jean of West Indies with team mate Zurafat Ishimwe during the ICC Women's U19 T20 World Cup 2023 Super 6 match between West Indies and Rwanda at North-West University Oval on January 22, 2023 in Potchefstroom, South Africa. (Photo by Nathan Stirk-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Another classy team performance in the field launched Rwanda to a second victory at the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup in Potchefstroom, holding the West Indies to 70, before sneaking home in the 19th over.

It’s a second Full Member victim to fall to the Rwandan side at the tournament, after they convincingly ran over regional rivals Zimbabwe by 39 runs on Tuesday.

In spite of losing the toss, Rwanda were on song with ball in hand, largely through their change bowlers who stifled their opponents in the middle overs.

First change spinner Zurufat Ishimwe claimed the key wicket of Zaida James for just seven, and was a sign of things to come for the West Indies, who lost all ten wickets to Rwanda’s spin.

Realeanna Grimmond (18) was the only West Indies player to pass double figures, as Sylvia Usabyimana and Marie Tumukunde combined to take eight wickets across their 7.3 overs, and as the fourth and fifth bowler respectively. Usabyimana finished with 4/20, with Tumukunde returning 4/8.

In reply, Rwanda stumbled to 13/2 after losing Merveille Uwase and Henriette Ishimwe inside the first three overs, leaving Cynthia Tuyizere and Gisele Ishimwe to pick up the pieces. Their rebuild looked on song, only for a mix-up leading to Tuyizere’s downfall.

The run out began a collapse of 4/8, as Gisele watched on unbeaten at the other end. But from 40/6, still needing 31 for victory, Gisele formed a partnership with Rosine Irera to steady the slide.

With the required run rate climbing, and needing 24 off the last 5 overs, Gisele moved to attack the West Indies bowling. And when Jahzara Claxton was taken out of the attack for a second waist-high full toss, Gisele cashed in on the free hit with a boundary, reducing the target to 12 from 4 overs.

Despite a run-out scare taking a second run off a misfield, Gisele and Irera saw Rwanda home with 10 balls to spare, with the skipper fittingly scoring the winning runs to finish 31 not out.

Rwanda close out their debut World Cup with two wins out of five, with both scalps coming against full member nations, though they will need to wait on other results for their finishing position.

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