Cricket: ICC Men's T20 World Cup Sub Regional Africa qualifiers |19 October 2021
Seychelles selection register a win and a defeat
The Seychelles selection lost their first game to Ghana but bounced back to beat Lesotho in the second encounter in the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup Sub Regional Africa qualifier group A in Rwanda over the weekend.
Seychelles played Ghana on Saturday afternoon at the Gahanga International Stadium in Kigali.
Winning the toss, Seychelles selection captain Kaushal Patel chose to bat first and was expecting a solid start and a competitive target to be set. Unfortunately for the Seychelles selection this was not to be the case, as opening batsman Rajiv Thiyagarajan fell short the second over of the match. Unsuccessful in his attempt to stabilise the innings the second opener, Krishna Naidoo, was also removed by Ghana’s pace bowler.
Shanmuga Sundaram (Babu) had to walk back to the pavilion in the very next ball when the bowler sent him a surprising yorker (a ball bowled and which hits the cricket pitch around the batsman's feet) This was followed by a short glimpse of quick 15 turns from batsmen Madhusanka who was also sent out.
The wickets of Md Islam and Edhayan Sivakumar in the consecutive balls paved the way for the first hat-trick of the tournament.
Batsmen Kalvin Deso tried to steady the innings by batting responsibly and made a small partnership of 35 with Nil Rao after Mukesh Vadodria had been sent out. Captain Kaushal Patel and Rana Shohal dragged the innings till the end, putting up a target of 96 for Ghana to chase.
Having not picked up many early wickets, except a run out of the opening batsman by Kalvin, the Ghana team chased the total comfortably in the 11th over and won the match by 9 wickets and 59 balls remaining.
Speaking at the post-match ceremony, Captain Kaushal Patel said: “With a team of 8 out of 11 players playing their first international match, it is a very challenging start and we will learn from today’s (Saturday’s) game and come back tomorrow (Sunday) harder.”
And that they did, winning their second match comfortably against Lesotho on Sunday.
Winning the toss, captain Kaushal Patel chose to bowl first. With the swinging condition, Lesotho continued to grab 61 runs without any wicket until captain Patel broke the sequence by removing two quick wickets relieving the pressure and eventually setting up the platform for the younger players to shine.
Krishna Naidoo dismissed two of Lesotho’s mid-order batsmen quickly. A major demolition of the Lesotho team took place during the 18th over when Rana Shohal (Rocket) managed to take 3 quick wickets ‒ one bowled, one run, and one LBW in three consecutive strikes. A wicket by Nil Rao limited Lesotho’s score to 131.
Chasing a target of 132, opening batsmen Rajiv and Krishna Naidoo exhibited a sparkling start with boundaries and managed to build a partnership of 57 runs without a loss.
K. Naidoo made a quick 20 runs (3x4s) and was dismissed just before Rajiv was caught out at 36 runs (5x4 and 1x6s). Batsmen Thimeeta Madhusanka and Md. Islam set up a partnership of 53 runs with both of them grabbling 28 runs apiece.
Following their dismissal, new batsmen Shanmuga Sundaram (Babu) and Kalvin Deso wrapped up the innings with Kalvin finishing off in style with a huge six on the leg side.
Krishnan Naidoo was awarded the player of the match award with 20 runs and 14 balls with 3 boundaries. He also got 2 wickets in his 3 overs.
Seychelles won by 6 wickets with 22 balls remaining.
Captain Patel praised the players for their combined efforts and also said the win is a reflection of the lessons learned from the previous match.
“This win is a moral boost for our team as we promised to bounce back harder after the first game lost to Ghana. And we will go into the upcoming games with even more guts,” said captain Patel.
Today Seychelles will play against Rwanda and tomorrow they will be in action twice against Malawai (in the morning) and Swaziland (in the afternoon).
After a day off on Thursday, they will play Uganda on Friday.