Idia Royals Female Cricket Club (CC) of Benin City defeated Smashers CC of Uyo by 7 wickets to win the 2024 South-South Female Cricket League in Benin City on Sunday, February 11, 2024.

To arrive at the series finals, a national team player, and captain Favour Eseigbe led Idia Royals to capture victory from Pathfinders Cricket Club in the first semi-final of the Super Four on Saturday by 1 run. It was a fierce contest and a slim victory.

Smashers CC of Uyo, easily subdued Adolo Amazon by 16 runs to get the second ticket for the dramatic finals.

The final clash started with a display of fireworks as Blessing Etim, Esther Sandy, Sarah Etim, and Salome Sunday all attempted boundary scores to set up a huge total score. At some point in the game’s early stage, Smashers CC’s projected score reached 130 runs and higher.

However, Idia Royals girls proved they were born from a warrior class. Idia slowed Smasher’s biggest hitters to a total of 63 runs all out (73/10) at the end of the first inning. Their vigilant and vigorous chase gave them the expected victory after batting 74/3.

Vice chairman of Edo State Cricket Association, Barrister Abraham Oviawe said the emergence of a new winner of the event shows the level of competitiveness that the event has attracted.

“It is very impressive to see the quality of talent that this event has unearthed in just three editions. Many of the teams now work hard to develop their players and not depend on the established names,” Oviawe said.

The first two edition winners were Ekpoma Supernovas and Smashers Cricket Club, respectively.

Eight teams took part in the third edition of the South-South Female Cricket League with four teams qualifying for the Super Four phase of the league.

Uyi Akpata, chairman of the Edo State Cricket Association, who also doubles as the President of team Nigeria Cricket Federation, has said the league which is the only female Cricket League in North-West Africa has been one of the key elements driving the development of Female Cricket on continent.

“The league is one of the major events. We appreciate all the support from the government and coaches that make it work. This league holds the key to our development,” he said.

The Individual awards winners were Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Series – Lucky Piety (Idia Royals CC); Best Batter Award winner – Salome Sunday (Smashers CC); Best Bowler Award winner – Uwana Moses (Pathfinders CC); Best Fielder Award winner – Esther Sandy (Smashers CC); Zone A Benin MVP Award winner – Peace Usen (Ekpoma Super Novas), and Zone B, Port Harcourt MVP Award winner – Blessing Etim (Smashers CC).