Rising star Kelis Ndlovu shone with bat and ball as Zimbabwe made a winning start to their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup qualifying campaign with an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea (PNG) at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Sunday.
The 16-year-old sensation claimed three wickets for 18 runs as PNG were bowled out 83 inside 18 overs after they won the toss and elected to bat first.
Ndlovu combined well with left-arm seamer Nomvelo Sibanda, who devastating up front with two wickets for nine runs from three overs, while the veteran allrounder Precious Marange also claimed two wickets for 10 runs.
Tanya Ruma top-scored for PNG with a 25 off 35 balls from No.3, but none of the other batters managed to cross single digits as PNG struggled against some top-quality bowling from the Zimbabweans.
In the run chase, Zimbabwe came out all guns blazing, with the aggressive opening pair of Ndlovu and Sharne Mayers racing to 57 inside nine overs.
Ndlovu completed a brilliant all-round performance with her opening partner Mayers making an attractive 28-ball 33.
Zimbabwe sealed the run chase with eight wickets to spare with Ndlovu finishing unbeaten on 25 off 33 balls.
The Lady Chevrons will be seeking to maintain their perfect start to the qualifying tournament on Tuesday when they take on Thailand, before rounding off the group stages against UAE on Wednesday.
Both matches start at 13.00hrs Zimbabwe time.
Meanwhile, Thailand also made a winning start following a seven-wicket victory over the hosts UAE at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.