Sierra Leone senior men’s national cricket team, the Patriots, lost all five of their matches in the ICC-Africa World Cricket League Division One tournament in South Africa.
They will have to start all over again – rebuilding a team that will stand tough against other nations in continental cricket after they were relegated to Division Two due to poor performance in the recently tournament in Benoni, South Africa from 7th-13th April 2017.
The Patriots were unable to claim any victory in all 5 matches played against Ghana, Botswana, Tanzania, Nigeria and Zambia in the five-day tournament.
Cricket fanatics were expecting the players to win their final match on Thursday April 13th, against Tanzania, but the Tanzanians convincingly defeated the Patriots by 165 runs via Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) rules.
Tanzania won the toss and elected to bat first against Sierra Leone at the main oval. They were 76/0 when the rain came down. The match was eventually reduced to 34 overs per side and the Tanzanians came out blazing when play resumed.
They smashed 153 runs of 18.4 overs to post 229/5 of 34 overs. Abhik Patwa was the top scorer with 63 of 41 balls that included six fours and three sixes while Kassim Mussa hit 58 of 38 balls, three fours and four sixes.
Sierra Leone was set a revised target of 246. They were 80/8 after 23.5 overs when rain stopped play for a final time on day 5.
After the match, cricket fans condemned the team for not being mature enough to represent the country at such a level.
“The team is not mature enough to play top class cricket. We went there as underdogs and we were woefully defeated by our opponents. It is not good for Sierra Leone cricket. This is the first time we’ve been defeated in such disgraceful manner,” they said.
The fans furthered that the Patriots didn’t played as if they trained before leaving the country for the tournament. A lot of money was spent on them. The team new they cannot bat well to chase runs and they refuse to work on what they are best known for, bowling. They didn’t bowl”.
They however called on the Cricket Association to revisit the drawing board and see how best they could solve the problem so that the team prepare well to play in the next Division two tournaments.
Meanwhile, Ghana won the tournament undefeated and promoted to the ICC Global World Cricket League Division 5.
When some of players were contacted to give their view about the team relegation to division two they told this medium that they are not happy and they appealed to Sierra Leonean that it was a bad tournament they did not go to the competition to relegated the team they went there with two option to be promoted or stay at division one but no of that happen.
The Ghanaians were too strong for Zambia in their final match as they shot them out for 60, Ghana hunts down revised target of 48 with nine wickets to spare in rain-curtailed game
Godfred Bakiweyem took 5 for 33 in 9 overs, as Zambia were bowled out for 60 in 20.3 overs. Vincent Ateak again returning economical figures of 2 for 20 in 9 overs that included 4 maidens.
Having been set a Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) revised target of 48, Ghana coasted home in 8.1 overs losing just 1 wicket.
In the days other match at Sahara Park Willowmoore Botswana chose to bat first against Nigeria hoping to clinch second spot with a victory. They were 78/2 after 20 overs when they had to go off. They finished on 117/5 with the match reduced to 25 overs per side.
The Nigerians were set 163 to win according to Messer Duckworth Lewis Stern. They were 100/8 after 16.2 overs when the rain came down again and no further play was possible for the day. They were due to resume their innings this morning but a waterlogged outfield prevented any play, the match abandoned with the teams sharing the points.
By Magdalene S. Konneh
Tuesday April 12, 2017.