ICC U-19 men’s Cricket World Cup qualifiers
At Last, Nigeria Wins After Poor Start In Tanzania
Nigeria’s Under 19 Cricket male team Junior Yellow-Green won their first game at the ongoing qualifiers for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, after two successive defeats in their opening three games.
The team fell to Sierra Leone and Uganda in their first two encounters, before scrapping up a 42-run victory over hosts, Tanzania, to soothe disappointed fans, who had banked on a bright outing for the team owing to their pre-tournament ranking.
Daniel Gim, Coach of the Nigerian side, said that there had been anxiety among the players who felt that they have bungled their chance and the expectations back home.
“There was pressure after the two losses; and this win, I believe, will boost their confidence and help them chart a new focus for the remaining games.”
A brilliant batting effort from Solomon Chilemaya paved the way for Nigeria’s victory. He had 66 runs (not out) off 80 balls, an effort that also stabilized the crumbling batting order, in the first inning. Damian Okeke and Ridwan Abdulkareem posted 15 and 16 runs respectively, as the other double figures for Nigeria to set the team up for a 149 total in the counter.
In the second innings, Nigeria was able to curtail the East African line-up to a 107 all-out in 48 overs. Endurance Ofem, the player’s representative on the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) board, believes that the players might not meet the expectations in the performance so far, but the team has shown dedication.
“It is obviously a difficult playing condition there and not the kind of result the players hoped for. Hence there is pressure for the team to raise the stake for every game left now, at least for respect’s sake. I think the confidence from this win against Tanzania will propel them further,” he said.
Nigeria’s next two games are against Kenya and Namibia today and tomorrow respectively, with the only chance left for the World Cup spot lying solely on other teams faltering in their already established leadership on the log.
The Qualifier is for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup billed for Sri Lanka in 2024 and Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Tanzania, and Kenya are vying for a sole slot from the event. The event would be concluded tomorrow.
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