Nigeria’s Mohameed Taiwo took 4-10 as Mozambique racked up seven ducks.
The 16-year-old left-handed all-rounder Taiwo scored 95 against Ghana on Sunday and followed that performance up by destroying the Mozambique batting lineup on Monday as their batsmen strung together seven ducks. Taiwo’s bowling skills lifted Nigeria to the top of Group B as the ICC Under-19 World Cup qualifying campaign got into full swing, with the youngster picking up his second Player of the Match award in two days. Sierra Leone made their first appearance in this qualifying competition, winning their match against Tanzania, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.
Nigeria vs Mozambique
Nigeria cemented their spot at the top of Group B after an emphatic 10-wicket thumping of Mozambique inside 10 overs. Mozambique won the toss and elected to bat but were bowled out cheaply for just 56 runs. The Nigerian bowling attack was on song as they needed less than 20 overs to wrap up the innings. The Mozambique batters struggled throughout the innings as seven of their players lost their wickets without troubling the scorers. If it wasn’t for the 21 extras (20 wides, 1 leg bye), it’s doubtful that Mozambique would have even managed to reach the half-century mark. Taiwo showed his prowess with the ball as he opened the attack and picked up four wickets for only 10 runs (econ 1.42) as Nigeria strolled to a 10-wicket win in the 10th over.
Ghana vs Lesotho
The other Group B encounter saw Ghana get off the mark as they crushed Lesotho by 270 runs. Lesotho suffered another 200-plus runs defeat as they struggle to offer any resistance with either bat or ball. After electing to field first, Lesotho’s bowlers had no answer to the onslaught from Richmond Baaleri (82 off 90 balls, 6×4) and Player of the Match Paul Ayoleyine (99 not out off 90 balls, 10×4), who was unlucky not to reach his century from the two balls he faced in the final over. Lesotho also conceded a staggering 72 extras (including 53 wides) as Ghana posted an imposing 337 runs. Things went from bad to worse for Lesotho as Ghana’s Aaron Boamah picked up a five-wicket haul to dismiss the team from southern Africa for only 67 runs. Lesotho have disappointed in both their opening fixtures and will have to improve drastically to make any kind of statement in this year’s qualifiers.
Botswana vs Rwanda
Botswana clinched a narrow 19-run victory as Rwanda crumbled in pursuit of their 121-run target. After yesterday’s frustrating loss, the Botswana batsmen would have been under pressure to produce a decent target, so to offer up just 120 runs in 28.2 overs would have been bitterly disappointing. Rwanda’s Parfait Mugisha claimed 5-21 in his eight overs to place his team firmly in the driving seat at the change of innings and, after Rwanda’s impressive win the day before, one would have been justified in thinking that the runs would be knocked off with some ease. The Botswana bowlers had other ideas, however, and Zaidul Islam (8-0-21-5) and his captain Phemelo Silas (10-2-22-4), produced an excellent display to finally dismiss Rwanda for just 101. To their credit, the Rwanda batsmen showed the correct resolve under the circumstances, occupying the crease for 37 overs as they crept slowly towards their target. Rwanda’s dynamic young captain Didier Ndikubwimana scored a diligent 13 off 42 balls after the early loss of two wickets, Martin Akayezu scored 25 off 42 balls and, at the bottom of the order, Yvan Shema occupied the crease for 45 balls in scoring eight not out as Rwanda tried unsuccessfully to sneak home.
Sierra Leone vs Tanzania
Sierra Leone ambled home to an eight-wicket win in their opening match against Tanzania to go straight to top spot in Group A. In another low-scoring fixture, Sierra Leone won the toss, inserted Tanzania and promptly dismissed them for 96 runs in the 33rd over. An inspired Player of the Match performance from Chernoh Bah saw him pick up 5-20 in eight overs and, along with George Ngegba (3-11 in 6.4 overs), ensured that Tanzania were dismissed before reaching 100. The chase proved to be child’s play for Sierra Leone who, despite losing two early wickets, cantered to victory in the 32nd over off the back of John Bangura’s 77-ball 48 not out.
Photo: Cricket South Africa