Rwanda’s 14-year-old captain stars in first round of U19 World Cup qualifiers.
The ICC Under-19 World Cup qualifying campaign began this past weekend for Africa as nine teams battle it out to secure one of the three spots in the Division 1 qualifiers next year, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA. The 50-over tournament is only the starting point for the teams as they embark on a quest to book a spot in the 2020 ICC Under-19 World Cup tournament.
Rwanda vs Swaziland
Rwanda top Group A after a convincing 102-run win against under-par Swaziland as they dominated with both bat and ball. The 14-year-old captain and wicketkeeper Didier Ndikubwimana led from the front as he opened the innings and top-scored with 62 runs that included six fours at a strike rate of 63, adding three catches when his side took to the field. Rohan Sandeep’s 4-48 in 9.4 overs wasn’t enough to curb Rwanda’s run-scoring as they totalled 229 before being bowled out in the 50th over. Their bowling attack proved too strong for Swaziland in the second innings, bowling them out with only 127 runs on the board in the 34th over.
Tanzania vs Botswana
In the other Group A encounter, Tanzania was able to defend their total of 161 and walk away with a 27-run victory over Botswana. Boteng Maphosa starred in the first innings as his 4-24 in five overs helped his team restrict Tanzania (who won the toss and elected to bat first) to only 161 runs, with captain Baraka Laiza top-scoring with 30 off 37 balls. The Tanzanian bowling attack proved too hot for Botswana to handle, and an inspired Player of the Match performance from Salimini Saidi (10-1-31-5) took his team to victory in 41.4 overs.
Mozambique vs Lesotho
The Group B fixture was a one-sided affair as Mozambique thrashed Lesotho by a mammoth 245 runs. After winning the toss and electing to field first, Lesotho was immediately under pressure as Joao Huo (58 off 46 balls, 4×4 and 1×6) and Gomes Gomes (59 off 61 balls, 5×4) helped Mozambique post an imposing 306 runs without using all 50 overs. Katleho Monki (4-62 in nine overs) and Tsepiso Chaona (3-38 in 9.2 overs) helped their team bowl Mozambique out in the penultimate over, but the heavy damage had already been done. The Lesotho batters struggled to find their feet, with half their side getting out without scoring, and only the No 10 batter Tsepiso Chaona making it into double figures. Frederico Carava took 4-25 while Player of the Match Huo picked up 2-15 in five overs to go with his score of 58 as his team rolled Lesotho in just 16 overs.
Nigeria vs Ghana
Nigeria recorded an impressive 265-run victory in the other Group B fixture against Ghana as they also got off to a winning start. Mohameed Taiwo starred with a blistering 95 runs (12×4) at close to a run a ball. Along with Abdulrahman Jimoh’s 61 off 87 balls, Nigeria was able to post 291 runs before they were bowled out with one ball remaining in their innings. Ghana appeared way out of their league, with six of their batters being dismissed for ducks as they only managed to scrape together 26 runs in a calamitous innings, with none of their batters making it into double figures. Peter Aho led a well-marshalled bowling onslaught, picking up five wickets in 2.4 overs for only three runs in an emphatic victory.
Photo: Cricket South Africa