U-19 women back from winning tour

A bright future ahead
The team won five of their six mathes in South Africa.
Michelline Nawatises,Andrew Poolman
Cricket Namibia’s under-19 women’s team has returned with excellent results from their week-long tour to Gauteng.

Winning five out of six matches in a quadrangular tournament featuring the provincial U-19 teams of Northern Titans, Gauteng Lions and Easterns Storms was a very encouraging result for the Namibian youngsters.

Two full-on international T20 matches against the South Africa U-19 women’s team at Benoni’s Willowmoore Park Stadium predictably resulted in the Namibians getting outclassed by big margins.

The SA girls are currently preparing for the inaugural International Cricket Council u-19 Women’s T20 World Cup that will be hosted in South Africa in January 2023.

However, the overall experience and exposure of the Namibian youngsters – accompanied by senior Capricorn Eagles national women’s coach Francois van der Merwe – should be invaluable and of great value for the future of the local game.

The squad was made up of Edelle van Zyl (captain), Mekelaye Mwatile, Maria Ngulali, Naomi Benjamin, Anne-Dina Amunyera, Hertha Kaukungwa, Alice Kaukungwa, Victoria Hamunyela, Kaylee van Wyk, Estelle van der Merwe, Kayli Nel, Saima Tuhadeleni, Susanna Khumus, Mezerly !Gorases (wicketkeeper).

The quadrangular provincial T20 tournament at Steyn City School in Johannesburg was quite intense, with the Namibians playing six matches in three days – winning five to clinch the overall tournament title.

The Namibians beat Easterns and the Titans twice each, while against Gauteng they won one and lost one.

Team manager Hestelle Haccou said the tour was intended to prepare the Namibian girls for the U-19 World Cup qualifiers that will be hosted in Botswana from 1 to 13 September.

“Overall, we are very happy with the progress of the U-19 girls' team and after the U-19 SA games, we got a great indication to see what the gap is between test playing nations and where we are.”

Van der Merwe added: “The U-19 girls did really well. It is evident that women’s cricket in Namibia is moving in the right direction”.

The team was thrown into the deep end against a formidable South African team, he said.

“We saw that there is still a big gap compared to the South Africans. They gave us a lot of things to work on when we get back in Namibia, as the team now experienced what the international level is like.”

The summarised results for the week are as follows:

Match 1 (9 July) vs Titans U-19

Namibia 118 all out (18.5 overs). Mezerly Gorases scored 40 off 39 balls (4x4); Maria Ngulali 22 off 24 balls (3x4). Titans 90/9 (20 overs), Mekelaye Mwatile 3/16 in four overs; Alice Kaukungwa 2/4 in 2.2 overs. Namibia won by 28 runs.

Match 2 (9 July) vs Storms U-19

Storms 38 all out in 12.4 overs. Victoria Hamunyela took 4/10 in four overs; Melaye Mwatile 2/2 in two overs. Namibia 41/1 in 5.5 overs. Estelle van der Merwe 14 off 12 balls; Mezerly Gorases 14 not out off eight balls. Namibia won by nine wickets.

Match 3 (10 July) vs Lions U-19

Namibia 78 all out (16.1 overs). Edelle van Zyl 22 off 25 balls (4x4), extras 14. Lions 80/8 in 18.1 overs. Naomi Benjamin 4/19 in four overs; Alice Kaukungwa 2/13 in 3.1 overs; Victoria Hamunyela 0/14 in four overs. Lions won by two wickets.

Match 4 (10 July) vs Titans U-19

Namibia 146/6 (20 overs). Mezerly Gorases 40 off 41 balls (5x4), Edelle van Zyl 40 off 30 balls (5x4) Kayli Nel 24 off 18 balls (4x4). Titans 106/7 in 20 overs. Naomi Benjamin 2/22 in four overs; Maria Ngulali 2/9 in two. Namibia won by 40 runs.

Match 5 (11 July) vs Storms U-19

Namibia 158/0 in 20 overs. Mekelaye Mwatile 63 off 69 balls (7x4); Edelle van Zyl 74 off 53 balls (10x4). Storms 82/9 in 20 overs. Saima Tuhadeleni 2/4 in four overs; Susanna Khumus 1/7 in two overs. Namibia won by 76 runs.

Match 6 (11 July) vs Lions U-19

Namibia 88/9 in 20 overs. Kayli Nel 28 off 42 balls (1x4); extras 22 (15 wides). Lions 74 all out. Extras 26 (20 wides). Saima Tuhadeleni 3/10 in four overs. Mekelaye Mwatile 1/11 in four overs. Namibia won by 14 runs.

13 July - first T20 vs South Africa U-19

Namibia won the toss and elected to field first. South Africa finished on 172/5 in 20 overs (Kayla Reyneke 72, Simone Lourens 54), with Naomi Benjamin and Maria Ngulali taking two wickets each. Namibia was bowled out for 38 runs – of which Mekelaye Mwatile contributed a fighting 32.

14 July – second T20 vs South Africa U-19

South Africa won the toss and opted to bat, racing to 189/6 (Karabo Meso 66 off 52 balls; Kayla Reyneke 23 off nine balls), with Alice Kaukungwa taking 2/38. The hosts then dismissed Namibia for 53 runs, winning the game by a massive 136 runs.