Rwanda U-19 cricket team returned home on Monday having finished as first runners up in the recently concluded Pepsi ICC-Africa Division 2 tournament in Lusaka, Zambia.
Tanzania won the six-day tournament and effectively earned promotion to Division 1, which also includes Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Namibia.
Edward Pearson’s team enjoyed a great start to the continental tournament with three consecutive wins – against Mozambique, Swaziland and hosts Zambia – before losing to Ghana and then Tanzania.
However, Pearson told journalists upon arrival at Kigali International Airport that he was happy with his team’s performance although he was disappointed to miss out on promotion.
“The boys did a tremendous job and they lost to better teams. My players did whatever they could but Tanzania and Ghana, the two teams we lost to, were helped by their experience.”
In the final game, Rwanda needed to win a high run rate to beat Tanzania to the top spot, but the neighbours won the toss and batted first, and did well to make 221 runs all out in 48 overs.
In reply, Rwanda were bowled out for just 101 runs in 36 overs, meaning Tanzania won the game by 119 runs secured their promotion to the Pepsi ICC Africa U19 Div 1.
“We lost our wickets with regularity, we were not able to build on the momentum we got from winning the first three games, which was of course a big disappointment,” Pearson added.
The team captain Don de Dieu Mugisha was named the tournament’s best bowler with 17 wickets from five matches.
Rwanda finished with ne points, level with Ghana and six behindTanzania.