They were making their first international appearance in five years, but the Malawi national cricket team put up a gallant fight during the Triangular Tournament in Mozambique where they lost in the finals.
The restructured team, almost made up of indigenous Malawians lost to Mozambique by 30 runs. They made it into the finals of the three-team contest after beating Zambia by 14 runs on Saturday and Mozambique by six runs on Sunday to accumulate six points in the preliminary round-robin stage.
Malawi players Gift Kansonkho and Tyler Howse spiced up the team’s outstanding display by emerging as the best batsman and the best emerging player of the tournament, respectively.
“We are determined to put Malawi on the international cricket map. It was not by chance that we managed to reach the finals with a completely new squad but that was our plan since we started our preparations two months ago,” said Kansonkho, who is the team’s vice-captain.
The national team was participating in an international event a year after the African Cricket Association (ACA) lifted a ban imposed on Malawi in 2009 due to mismanagement of funds for cricket development in the then Cricket Union of Malawi (MCU) administration.
Malawi last played an international match in 2009 when they hosted and won the World Cricket League (WCL) Africa Division Three Tournament to earn promotion into Division Two.