Not content with stunning Namibia on the first day of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Africa Qualifier, Nigeria held their nerve to beat Uganda and took a big step towards the 2020 World Cup in South Africa.
The West Africans recovered from a parlous 12 for four and built up their total slowly. Samuel Mba scored a priceless half-century, with skipper Syvester Okpe also grinding out a gritty 26. This was after Trevor Bukenya (four for 24) had ripped through the top order, putting Uganda in a commanding position.
As it was, Nigeria could only score 110 all out, and Uganda made their way to 62 for two before crashing in spectacular fashion. Their last eight wickets were skittled for just 18 runs as the pressure exerted by Nigeria proved too much.
Mohamed Taiwo’s left-arm swing struck two blows at the top and the end of the innings with Nigeria fielding tenaciously, and they didn’t allow Uganda any room to breathe. When the final wicket fell, Uganda still had half their innings still to bat, but simply melted under the pressure.
Nigeria’s 30-run victory now puts them in the pound seats to qualify, as they have an easier run-in on the weekend.
Hosts Namibia went into the third day knowing that they needed a favour from Uganda, but they also had to win big against Sierra Leone. This they did as Matthew de Gouveia scored the second century of the tournament – both coming from Namibia.
His 102 not out off 110 balls lifted Namibia to 260 for eight. Skipper Divan la Cock also weighed in with 65 as Namibia found their fluency. They then rumbled their opponents for just 76, with the wickets shared around.
Ettiene Beukes was the pick of the bowlers with three for 19 from his eight overs. Mauritius Ngupita wrapped up the tail with two for 7 in five overs to seal a 184-run clinic.
In the third match of the day, Kenya proved too strong for Tanzania. The Kenyans fielded first and bowled out the men from Tanzania for 143. Runs were hard to come by, and it was Abdallah Jabiri who had to notch up 28 at the tail of the innings to provide some sort of total.
Sukhdeep Singh was miserly, taking two for 16 in his 10 overs, while Jairaj Pujara and Hashit Vekaria also took two wickets apiece.
In the chase, Sukhraj Ghataora gave Kenya the ideal start with a patient 51 not out. He provided the anchor for Shukan Mehta (26) and then for skipper Singh (53) to add gloss to the finish.
Kenya prevailed by eight wickets, reaching their target with 13 overs to spare.
Scores in brief
Nigeria v Uganda
Nigeria 110 all out (S Mba 54, S Okpe 26; T Bukenya 4-24)
Uganda 80 all out (Z Arinaitwe 28; M Taiwo 4-24, I Danladi 3-9)
Nigeria won by 30 runs
Namibia v Sierra Leone
Namibia 260 for eight (M de Gouveia 102 not out, D la Cock 65)
Sierra Leone 76 all out (E Beukes 3-19, M Ngupita 2-7)
Namibia won by 184 runs
Kenya v Tanzania
Tanzania 143 all out (A Jabiri 28, S Singh 2-16)
Kenya 144 for two (S Ghataora 51 not out, S Singh 53)
Kenya won by eight wickets
Thursday 21 March
Wanderers – Nigeria vs Tanzania
WAP – Kenya vs Sierra Leone
Trustco United – Namibia vs Uganda
Friday 22 March
Rest or reserve day
Saturday 23 March
Wanderers – Kenya vs Namibia
WAP – Sierra Leone vs Nigeria
Trustco United – Uganda vs Tanzania