With Sierra Leona and Rwanda level on points after the second day, and looking clearly better than the other two teams, the final day of ICC Africa Division 3 ended in something of a surprise as Swaziland ended the day on top, securing promotion to Division 2.

The match that many thought would decide the tournament took place in the morning, with Sierra Leone taking on Rwanda. Put into bat after losing the toss, Sierra Leone could only manage 124-5 from their 20 overs, Ibrahim Mansary top scoring with 52.

Rwanda's innings was progressing slowly but steadily at first, having reached 46-2 after nine overs. Any hope they had of increasing the scoring rate soon evaporated as Abass Gbla took four wickets in the tenth over to leave them reeling on 48-6.

Despite an unbroken partnership of 48 for the eighth wicket between Russel Xavier and Eric Hirwa, Rwanda could only manage 108-7 from their 20 overs, and lost by 16 runs.

In the other morning match, Swaziland took on the Gambia. Their innings was dominated by a 132 run partnership for the third wicket between Estian Sauerman and Haris Rashid. Sauerman was dismissed for 101, scored from just 54 balls.

Rashid batted until the end of the innings, finishing unbeaten on 67 out of Swaziland's total of 221-3. It was the second match of the tournament where Swaziland had scored over 200 against the Gambia, something that would prove to be crucial in the final reckoning.

Melvin Williams was able to score 54 for the Gambia, but no other batsman was able to make any sort of significant contribution as they were restricted to 104-8, losing by 117 runs.

In the afternoon, Swaziland took on Rwanda, in a match they were expected to lose. And with both openers dismissed cheaply within the first three overs, defeat was looking on the cards. But they recovered to score 132-9 from their 20 overs thanks to 43 from Aziz Patel.

Swaziland then bowled superbly, bowling the Rwandans out for just 98, winning by 34 runs. Shahzad Hassan was the pick of their bowlers with 3-20.

On the other ground next door, Sierra Leone just needed a win over the at that point win-less Gambian side to secure promotion. And with Gambia reduced to 23-5 within the first five overs, they looked to be on the way to division 2.

A 41 run partnership for the sixth wicket between Peter Campbell and Moses Bahoum got the innings back on track briefly, taking the score to 64, but three quick wickets had them on 68-8. Ismail Tamba then smashed 44 from just 20 balls, putting on 58 for the ninth wicket with Prince Johnson.

The final Gambian total was 126 as they were bowled out one ball short of their full quota. Remarkably, they managed to defend that total, with an unbeaten 55 from Lansana Lamin the only contribution of note in the Sierra Leone total of 117-9.

With Sierra Leone now level on points with Swaziland, the net run rate calculations showed that, no doubt thanks to their two 200+ scores, Swaziland had finished top and had gained promotion to Division Two, set to be held later this year at a venue currently unknown.


Sierra Leone beat Rwanda by 16 runs
Willowmoore Park, Benoni, South Africa, 25 March
Sierra Leone 124-5 (20 overs, I Mansary 52)
Rwanda 108-7 (20 overs, R Xavier 38*, A Gbla 4-20)

Swaziland beat Gambia by 117 runs
Willowmoore Park, Benoni, South Africa, 25 March
Swaziland 221-3 (20 overs, E Sauerman 101, H Rashid 67*)
Gambia 104-8 (20 overs, M Williams 54, A Patel 3-15, H Rashid 3-30)

Swaziland beat Rwanda by 34 runs
Willowmoore Park, Benoni, South Africa, 25 March
Swaziland 132-9 (20 overs, A Patel 43, E Hirwa 3-25)
Rwanda 98 (19.5 overs, S Hassan 3-20)

Gamiba beat Sierra Leone by 9 runs
Willowmoore Park, Benoni, South Africa, 25 March
Gambia 126 (19.4 overs, I Tamba 44)
Sierra Leone 117-9 (20 overs, L Lamin 55*)