Team SA bag 21 medals and secure T20 cricket final berth at African Games

Team SA bag 21 medals and secure T20 cricket final berth at African Games

Team South Africa bagged another 21 medals in an action-packed Monday at the African Games in Accra, Ghana, with the women's T20 cricket team also securing a final berth.

Cricket vice-captain Leah Jones credited their impressive bowling display after they qualified for the final of the inaugural women’s T20 cricket tournament at the 13th African Games on Monday.

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 The SA Emerging Women's side, led by Nondumiso Shangase and Jones, beat Uganda by 50 runs in the semi-final in Accra, Ghana, after being sent in to bat and posting a 122-run total for the loss of just four wickets.

 Uganda could only respond with a total of 73 all-out, as Kayla Reyneke (3-13), Jane Winster (2-12) and Shangase (2-15) starred with the ball.

''I think it was a good game all in all, though it didn't go so well in the beginning - but we ended well and we took that momentum into the balling.

"The balling was exceptional, it carried us through this game - it was really good,'' said Jones.

South Africa will face neighbours Zimbabwe, who overcame Nigeria in the other semi-final, in the gold medal match on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Swimming team continued to rack up medals, with four golds, five silvers, and four bronzes in the pool on Monday.

20-year-old rising star Caitlin de Lange was among the stand-out performers, who bagged a third individual medal in the 50m breaststroke, and she credits the winning spirit within the team.

''I think the team as a whole, we keep each other motivated, the vibe is just so nice and the support is amazing.

"Once the first gold medals are off the way, everyone just has the confidence. So then, we just want to take all the gold home,'' said de Lange.

de Lange also set a new Games Record, winning the 50m breaststroke in 28.76 seconds, and hopes to continue chipping away at her time in the 50m freestyle on Tuesday as she also looks to build up to SA National Aquatic Championships next month.

''I'm very excited to see what I can do. Hopefully I go PB, because I have Olympic trials coming up soon - hope to swim even more PBs over there,'' added de Lange.

Jonah Pool-Jones touched the wall in the 50m breaststroke in 25.85 seconds – exactly the same time as Algeria's Abdellah Ardjoune, thus the pair shared the gold medal.

Initially unsure of whether he came first or second, Pool-Jones says he had no choice but to copy Ardjoune's celebration upon learning it was a tie.

''I was seeded first this morning, so I had the confidence to get the gold. Funny enough I tied first the Algerian next to me, so it was a really fun race,'' said Pool-Jones.

As at the end of Day 5 on Monday, Team SA had tallied a total of 49 medals, placing them fourth in the overall ranking behind Algeria (55), Nigeria (41 - due to more gold medals), and Egypt (84).