Lagos, Edo qualify for National Men’s Cricket Championship semifinals
True to expectations, Lagos and Edo states have qualified for the semifinals of the ongoing National Men’s Cricket Championship holding in Benin City.
Edo State humbled the star-studded Lagos by four runs in the closing match of Pool A, but the Lagos side still qualified as group leaders alongside the Edo team.
The loser on the final group day was Anambra, who had earlier beaten Kwara hoping to ride on Edo’s defeat to the semifinals.
Uthe Ogbimi, national U-19 Coach, who is also working closely with the Head Coach at the event, praised the doggedness of the Edo State team, saying it brought out the best in them.
“I think the two teams that qualified justified their place in the semis though both team showed some level of vulnerability that I believe they should go back and address as the game progresses to the 50 over round,” he said.
Teams Anambra and Kwara will now have to leave the tournament.
Meanwhile, the four teams in Pool B, Rivers, Ebonyi, Kaduna and Oyo will take to the Turf Wickets for their preliminaries from today to Saturday at the Edo Boys High School in Benin City.
Kaduna and Rivers will open the rounds for the group by 9:30 a.m., while Ebonyi (a last minute call up to replace Delta State that pulled out of the event) and Oyo State will duel later in the afternoon.
Enesi Habeeb, the Technical Director of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) said the event has lived up to its billing as most of the players have widened the national team’s considerations through their show at the championship.
“This event is living up to what we hope it would achieve for us in team selection and technical details. It is obvious we have a lot of work to do and I believe the National Head Coach, Asanka (Gurusinha), who is also on ground, has his notes full,” he said.
The championship will end on March 31.