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Cricket: Saints end on a win, after missing final by three runs

by Barbara George

St Helena beat Morocco on the final morning of their tournament in South Africa – the team they lost to a day earlier.

They have come fifth in the league but as Damien O’Bey put it, with three more runs – one against Seychelles and two against Rwanda – they would have been playing Zambia in the final.

They absolutely deserve a break after such an intense tournament. Not even the associate guys play so many games so quickly.

No more getting up at 5:30am mornings – one more week and then back on the RMS St Helena.

What heroes they have been. They have made their mark on the international cricket scene.

I have had masses of phone calls and people stopping me in the street to talk about our team. They are certainly putting St Helena on the map.

Official report from International Cricket Council reporter Zuraida Badat:

St Helena won the toss and elected to bat
St Helena scored 127 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in 20 overs
Best batting figures, St Helena: D Richards 33
Best bowling figures, Morocco: B Bikouri 3 for 24
Morocco scored 100 all out
Best bowling figures, St Helena: P Stroud 2 for 13; G Johnson 2 for 16

St Helena won by 27 runs.

Seychelles faced the invincible Zambians on Sahara Park Willowmoore’s main oval and
after winning the toss, Seychelles were bowled out for 102, after being 80 for 2.

Zambia bowler I Patel took five wickets for seven runs.

Zambia scored a victorious 103 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 15.5 overs, becoming Africa World Cricket League Division 3 champions by 5 wickets.

Gambia beat defending champions Rwanda with 125 runs for the loss of 6 wickets, with Rwanda scoring 121 for the loss of eight wickets.

Cameroon bowled out Mali for 43 runs and then won the game with 47 runs for the loss of three wickets.

SEE ALSO:
Saints fifth on table after four days’ play
So close… Saints lose to champions by a single run
Saints give Moroccans a 40-run win at Sahara Park
Now island winners must face champions Rwanda
Father and son give St Helena third win, by George!
Dax outruns Mali’s entire team – but Seychelles sneak win
St Helena cricketers beat Cameroon, then fall to Zambia

So close… Saints lose to champions by a single run

Rwanda 114 runs – St Helena 113

If you balanced runs against wickets taken, then St Helena had the best of a tantalising game against defending champions Rwanda. But only the runs count, and the Saints were one short.

The final score in South Africa this afternoon: Rwanda 114 for the loss of nine wickets; St Helena 113 for the loss of six.

The Saints had gone into the fourth day of the contest at third place in the table, behind Zambia and the Seychelles, with six points from three wins. Their tally of runs was also third highest, and only the Zambians had had fewer runs scored against them.

After today, the rankings will look a little different, but this has still been a superb international debut.

The islanders’ afternoon game was the second to produce an agonisingly close result – after level-pegging with the Seychelles at 128 runs, but then losing the game in a deciding “super over”.

Rwanda’s coach had told his players to go full-on to get the runs, even if it meant dropping a wicket or two, and they clearly took him at his word.

The irony was that this should have been the tougher of St Helena’s two matches in the fourth day of the Pepsi ICC Africa division 3 tournament in South Africa – and yet it was the tighter of the two.

Here’s the report from ICC reporter Zuraida Badat:

On the main oval of Sahara Park Willowmoore, Rwanda decided to bat after winning the toss against St Helena.

Rwanda scored 114 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 20 overs, with A Kayitera scoring 53 runs. On the bowling side, St Helena’s G Johnson took three wickets for 15 runs.

St Helena scored 113 for the loss of six wickets, making the Rwandans winners by one run. D Richards scored 38 runs, and taking wickets for Rwanda, S Vardhineni took 2 for 13.

In other matches, Zambia beat Gambia by 98 runs (185 for seven against 87 all-out), and the Moroccans – after beating the Saints by 40 runs in the morning – lost to Cameroon by eight wickets.

And the Seychelles knocked up the biggest win of the day: a ten-wicket victory over Mali – meaning the victors did not drop a single wicket.

The Seychelles and Zambia meet each other tomorrow to decide the tournament winner.

SEE ALSO:
Saints fifth on table after four days’ play (unofficial rankings)

Cricket: now island winners must face champions Rwanda

St Helena’s cricketers still have one of the big challenges to face in their debut tournament this week in South Africa.

St helena cricket team logo - a red ball bearing a map of the island, smashing a wicketThey can take confidence from their three victories and one exquisitely close defeat so far, but today (Saturday) they take to the crease against the defending champions, Rwanda – who went into the contest “expecting a good scrap”.

Rwanda claimed the title last year by beating the Seychelles – the team that fought St Helena to a tantalising 128-run draw on Thursday, but then scored highest in a deciding “super over”.

But there is every reason for optimism on the basis of Rwanda’s results at Benoni this year.

They secured a strong victory against Cameroon, but so did the islanders.

Yesterday they lost to tournament favourites Zambia by eight wickets – a far greater margin than St Helena experienced against the same team.

But Rwanda was beaten by Gambia – who were themselves beaten by St Helena yesterday. Both matches ended with only 11 runs between the teams, suggesting a close-run battle today.

It may come down to the quality of the bowling: although Rwanda lost the match, they took eight wickets from Gambia in an innings that ran to the full 20 overs.

Rwanda Cricket logo - a ball superimposed on the Rwandan flag The Rwanda captain told allAfrica.com his team was in great shape for the ICC Africa Division 3 festival after a “promising” tour of Uganda two weeks ago.

“The lads are very keen to get on with the action after three weeks of intensive training,” said top-order batsman Eric Dusingizimana. “We have played in the competition since 2004 and have good experience at this level and can comfortably say that the team is really competitive and is going to get stuck in.

“People will be looking out for us because we won it last year, but we’ve been together another year and we know we can get over the line. We have that in our advantage.”

Rwanda’s coach, Collin Siller, told allAfrica.com that his batsmen had struggled against pace bowlers and much faster spinners on the Uganda tour.

The Saints can expect the Rwandans to go all-out in the first six overs in order to “disorganise” their opponents.

“It’s crucial that we go on the attack early on when the fielding restrictions are still in play,” he said.

Dusingizimana saw the key threat as coming from Zambia – the only team that has convincingly beaten the South Atlantic islanders. He was expecting a tough game against them yesterday.

But one comment might leave Saint fans slightly baffled:

“Unlike all the other teams, we have not played against Zambia and know very little about them,” he said.

St Helenians will have to do some serious head-scratching to recall a previous encounter between Rwanda and the islanders.

Before the start of this week, none of the other nations knew very much about St Helena’s cricketers.

They do now.

St Helena also faces Morocco today.

SEE ALSO:
Cricket: father and son give St Helena third win, by George!
Dax outruns Mali’s entire team – but Seychelles sneak win
St Helena cricketers beat Cameroon, then fall to Zambia

LINKS:
Tournament website

Cricket: father and son give St Helena third win, by George!

St Helena 140 – Gambia 129

St Helena’s national cricket team has notched up its third victory in South Africa – thanks to high-scoring by Jamestown B players David and Gavin George.

The father-and-son duo scored 48 runs each against Gambia, according to official figures.

St Helena batted first and set a target of 140 to beat. That was 11 runs more than the West African nation could deliver.

St Helena play Morocco and Rwanda at Benoni today (Saturday).

OFFICIAL RESULTS:

Venue: Willowmoore Park
Result: St. Helena scored 139 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 20 overs
Best Batting Figures St. Helena: D. George 48 of 44; G. George 48 of 37
Gambia scored 129 runs for the loss of 9 wickets
Best Batting Figures Gambia: A. Yadav 26 of 31; M. Williams 29 of 24
Best Bowling figures St. Helena: S. Crowie 4 for 17
ST. HELENA WON BY 1 WICKET

SEE ALSO:
Now winning islanders must face champions Rwanda
Dax outruns Mali’s entire team – but Seychelles sneak win
St Helena cricketers beat Cameroon, then fall to Zambia

LINKS:
Tournament website
Saint FM – Facebook

Dax outruns Mali’s entire team – but Seychelles sneak win

St Helena 170 runs – Mali 52
Seychelles 138 – St Helena 135

Dax Richards scored more runs than the entire Mali national cricket team in the third match for St Helena in their tournament in South Africa. His score of 57 helped the island eleven to beat the west African nation by 118 runs.

The afternoon clash with the Seychelles went against St Helena – but only after both sides drew at 128 runs each.

The station reports on Facebook that the match continued into a “super over”, with Seychelles scoring 10 to win the match, against seven runs from the Saints.

The result left St Helena two up, two down after the first four matches in the International Cricket Council’s division 3 tournament in Benoni.  They beat Cameroon convincingly but then lost to the Zambians.

The islanders finished this morning’s game against Mali on 170 for seven wickets – meaning Dax made a third of the side’s runs. Mali was bowled out for 52. Best Bowling – St. Helena: A. Yon 4 for 12.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

Seychelles v St Helena
Venue: Willowmoore Park
Result: Seychelles 128 all out
Best Batting: Seychelles: A. Bhuva 45 off 38
Best Bowling: St. Helena: G. Johnson 3-15
St. Helena scored 7 in the Super Over
Seychelles won in the Super Over

Mali v St Helena
Venue
: Willowmoore Park
Result: St. Helena 170-7
Best Batting: St. Helena: Dax Richards 57 of 49
Mali bowled out for 52
Best Bowling: St. Helena: A. Yon 4 for 12
St. Helena won by 118 runs

LINKS
Tournament website

No pressure on island cricketers… but Zambia wants to win

St Helena's national cricket team, in green and yellow strip, chat with Governor Capes before departing the island on 10 April
Governor Mark Capes chatted with St Helena's cricketers before they left on 10 April (picture courtesy of Nick Stevens)

St Helena’s national cricket team will be facing an opponent under pressure in its first-ever venture into an overseas tournament.

Zambia Cricket Union logo - a ball, a flag, grass The head of the Zambian Cricket Union says his own team “must” win the championship in South Africa if it is to get back into a higher division, reports The Times of Zambia.

St Helena is due to compete against ten other countries in the 2012 Pepsi International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa World Cricket league T20 Division Three tournament.

That’s if they all turn up. The newspaper says the Zambia national body “was still scouting for the US$ 5,000 participation fee for the championship and was confident the money will be found before the team leaves next week.”

Unlike the St Helena squad – which has organised a host of challenges to raise money from the community – ZCU president Reuben Chama has appealed to corporate sponsors to put up the fee.

He tells The Times: “We are confident because we have picked a strong team consisting of best players capable of handling this assignment. It is a must that we perform well at this tournament to get back our Division Two rating.”

Team photo of St Helena crickets, in yellow and green kitFrom Facebook:

Q: Is this the team?

Nick Stevens: no thats the cheer leaders the team flying out next week once they finish the first bit of the runway

SEE ALSO:
St Helena cricketers set sail
Camp gives workers a home draw

LINK:
ZCU picks 14 for Pepsi tourney – The Times of Zambia

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