Favourites Zambia defeated Ghana by 62 runs to secure its position at the top of the points table on the fifth day of the ICC Africa World Cricket League Division 2 at Benoni Northerns Field on Wednesday.
Zambia won the toss and elected to bat on what initially looked like a good batting surface. Starting off with a slight stutter, Zambia found itself at 32-3 in the ninth over. A 45-run fourth-wicket partnership saw the side reach 77-5 at the half way point. Godfrey Kandela scored a workman-like 41 off 80 balls to stabilize the innings while all-rounder Meeth Naik (26) and Sharif Yusuf (22) guided Zambia to its final total of 187-7 in its 50 overs. Kofi Bagabena was the star of the Ghana bowling attack with 3-22.
In response, Ghana struggled initially to be 14-3 at one stage. A 36-run fourth-wicket partnership steadied the run-chase, but a consistent line and length bowling attack troubled the batsmen. Tapson Nyirongo (3-22) accounted for the first three batsmen while Godfrey Kandela (4-20) managed to strangle the batting order to 125 all out in the 40th over.
In the other match of the day played at Benoni Northerns, Swaziland beat Mozambique by four wickets. Swaziland won the toss and elected to bowl on a sticky wicket choking the Mozambique batsmen to a total of 127 all out. Sayed Shah compiled a diligent 45 in 100 balls while the pick of the bowlers was Mangiliso Mhlabane who returned with 3-17.
In reply, Swaziland lost wickets at regular intervals but middle-order batsmen Aziz Patel (25) and Rashid Haris (25 not out) maintained the momentum to achieve the target in 42.2 overs for the loss of six wickets.
At Sahara Park Willowmoore, Sierra Leone restricted Malawi to 89 all out in the 40th over and achieved the target in the 26th over to win by five wickets.
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