A repeat of the same fixture from the previous day when these two teams met, but a different result, with Rwanda winning the NCF Invitational 2022 final over Nigeria. It was done on the back of a marvelous spin bowling display by Margueritte Vumiliya.
Diane Bimenyimana won the toss for Rwanda and chose to bat. Runs on the board in a final – always a good strategy. The captain opened the batting with Sarah Uwera and it was a slow start, Racheal Samson bowling a maiden first up. Runs began to flow from the other end against Lillian Udeh, but Samson was on song and clean bowled Bimenyimana for 1 in her second over.
While Samson was keeping it tight at one end, runs were flowing at the other and with Gisele Ishimwe joining Uwera a partnership of substance ensued. Indeed, both batters top scored for the team and their partnership a bright 54 runs. When Ishimwe was dismissed, Uwera continued on, playing the anchor role while others plundered runs at the other end.
A cameo from Belyse Murekatete of 20 runs from 17 deliveries took Rwanda to a very competitive 129/6. Runs on the board in a final… Best with the balls was Miracle Imimole with 2-8.
Lucky Piety and Kehinde Abdulquadri opened the batting while Margueritte Vumiliya and her leg-breaks opened for Rwanda. A ballooned catch that just fell short of cover by Piety was nearly a wicket off the third ball. It was a sign of things to come.
It was Sifa Ingabire with her off-breaks that made the first dismissal, Piety not so lucky in the second over, caught by Gisele Ishimwe for 2. It started a procession of wickets to fall. Vumiliya trapped Omonye Asika LBW in her second over for a duck, before Abdulquadri became Ingabire’s second victim. Nigeria in all sorts of bother at 12/3.
Blessing Etim came to the crease, faced a wide delivery and with the next, struck the ball solidly to mid on and took off running. At the other end, Salome Sunday did not move and Blessing was runout. Was there a run in it? No. Nigeria now 13/4.
If Nigeria were teetering on the brink of disaster, Margueritte Vumiliya pushed them over the edge, removing Sunday and Peculiar Agboya in her third over with the home team now 20/6. There was no coming back from there.
Favour Eseigbe scored a stubborn 27 not out but she was a lone figure with wickets tumbling around her. Nigeria was bowled out for 76 in the 18th over. Rwanda were victors by 53 runs and crowned champions of the NCF Invitational 2022. Margueritte Vumiliya was named Player of the Match with her excellent figures of 4-17.
Player of the Match: Margueritte Vumiliya
Photos: courtesy NCF