Botswana through to cricket final

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Botswana sailed through to the final of the T20 World Group Mini-World Cup (WGMWC) after beating Pakistan by six wickets on Wednesday night at the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) Oval.

Pakistan managed 117 from their allotted 20 overs before Botswana notched 121 in the 20th over.

Botswana skipper, Karabo Motlhanka scored 53 runs and the ‘hosts’ now face Zimbabwe in the final tonight at the BCA Oval.

Pakistan had a sedated start with opening batsmen Akhlaq Raja and Zain Abbasi attempting to keep the scoreboard ticking, but could not find the gaps.  Akram Chand ran out Abbasi for one in the fourth over. 

Assim Siddique strode to the crease, but he only managed 12runs before he too was run out by Chand.  Botswana bowlers, Thatayaone Tshose and James Moses were miserly and did not give away runs. 

Karabo Modise was the pick of the bowlers, retaining figures of 4-21 in three overs. So disciplined was Botswana’s bowling such that even highly rated Faasal Zana only managed 20 runs before he was caught behind by wicket keeper, Motlhanka off Mmoloki Mooketsi’s delivery.  Pakistan folded to 117 all out.

Botswana opening batsmen, Saad Moyhuddin and Motlhanka began solidly with a partnership of 28 runs before the former was run out for 11 from 19 deliveries.

Experienced Modise came in to partner with Motlhanka, but the former Botswana captain was  bowled out by Assim Siddiqui for six with 40 runs on the board.

 Chand came to the rescue as he partnered with the captain to form a 44 run partnership, with runs coming predominately through boundaries. The batsman utilised every delivery they received from Imran Khan and Siddiqui piling runs.

Chand was eventually out for 26 caught by Khan Shahzaib Khan off the bowling of Imran Khan.

However, the dismissal did not prove fatal as Moses took the home side across the line. Motlhanka finished unbeaten on 53 runs as Botswana moved to 121 runs, to seal a seven-wicket win.

 Motlhanka was adjudged man-of-the-match.

“It was a hard fought semi final, for a moment they were looking they will take it, but we played our best,” said Motlhanka, who believes they will beat Zimbabwe in tonight’s final.

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