Fri, 19 Apr 2019

Nigeria take big step towards World Cup dream

ANI
21 Mar 2019, 16:55 GMT+10

Dubai [UAE], Mar 21 (ANI): Not content with stunning Namibia on the first day of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup Africa Qualifier, Nigeria held their nerve to beat Uganda, taking a big step towards the 2020 World Cup in South Africa.

The West Africans recovered from 12/4, and built up their total slowly. Samuel Mba scored a priceless half-century, with skipper Syvester Okpe also scoring a gritty 26. That was after Trevor Bukenya (4/24) had ripped through the top-order, putting Uganda in a commanding position.

As it was, Nigeria could only score 110. Uganda even made their way to 62/2 before the wheels fell off spectacularly. Their last eight wickets crashed 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. Nigeria fielded tenaciously, and did not allow Uganda any room to breathe. When the final wicket fell, Uganda had half their innings still to go. They simply melted under the pressure.

Nigeria's 30-run victory has now put them in the pound seats to qualify, as they have an easier run-in on the weekend, ICC reported.

Namibia had gone into the third day knowing they needed a favour from Uganda, but they also had to win big against Sierra Leone. That they did, with Matthew de Gouveia scoring the second century of the tournament. He was also the second Namibia player to score a century.

His unbeaten 102 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 3/19 in his eight overs. Mauritius Ngupita wrapped up the tail with 2/7 in five overs to seal a 184-run clinic.

In the third match of the day, Kenya were too strong for Tanzania. The Kenyans fielded first, and bowled out Tanzania for 143. Runs were hard to come by, and it was Abdallah Jabiri who had to notch 28 lower down to provide some sort of total.

Sukhdeep Singh picked up 2/16 in his ten 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 was the anchor for Shukan Mehta (26) and then skipper Singh (53) to add gloss to the finish. Kenya prevailed by eight wickets, reaching their target with 13 overs to spare. (ANI)

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