By Sahr Morris Jnr.
The Sierra Leone national cricket team has failed to secure the only promotion spot to the ICC-Africa Division II League after finishing as runners-up in the just concluded Pepsi ICC Africa Division III tournament in Benoni, South Africa.
Sierra Leone narrowly lost the league title to the eventual winners Swaziland who, like Sierra Leone, won four matches from six games. Despite the two countries finishing with the same 12 points, Swaziland finished at the top of the table after scoring more runs (910) than Sierra Leone who scored 709.
Furthermore, Swaziland recorded 34 wickets lost throughout the tournament compared to Sierra Leone’s 35 wickets lost. However, Sierra Leone was the highest wicket taken team in the tournament with 47, while Swaziland took 46 wickets.
The defeat to Gambia, who finished bottom of the table, was the problem for Sierra Leone as they lost the title. Also, it was the first time in the history of the country’s cricket that Sierra Leone lost a match against a low ranked cricket nation (Gambia).
Having defeated the Gambians few days back, Sierra Leone’s players were unable to withstand the Jammeh boys who bounced back by securing a nine runs win.
Sierra Leone won the toss and elected to bowl and were able to bowl out the Gambians for 126 runs all out. But in reply, Sierra Leone scored 117 runs for the loss of nine wickets. However, Sierra Leone captain, Lansana Lamin, won the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award in the match with 22.2 points.