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Clinical Namibia make it two on the trot

In the biggest game of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup Africa Qualifier on Wednesday, Namibia delivered a clinical performance to take control of their destiny in Dar Es Salaam. Their seven-wicket victory over Kenya saw them leap to pole position in the race to Sri Lanka.

Bowling first, the Namibians bundled out the East Africans for just 64, thanks to Junior Kariatas’ three-wicket burst with the new ball. His victims included the big scalp of Brian Likavu (0), and Kenya never recovered.

The Namibians were equally impressive with their fielding with four direct hits from their first four attempts at the stumps. First Darsh Panchani gifted his wicket as he was superbly run out by Jack Brassell, going for a single when there wasn’t a run on offer and when Ryan Moffet ran out Yash Gohil, the writing was on the wall for the Kenyans.

They limped to 28 for five inside 10 overs, before Stian Smith (21) tried in vain to rebuild. But he couldn’t find a willing partner, and Namibian skipper Alexander Busing-Volschenk cleaned up the tail to close the innings after 30.4 overs.

Kenya have made a habit of defending small totals, but they could do little to deny Namibia. Busing-Volschenk completed a fine day personally by closing out the chase, hammering Vishil Patel for a six to end proceedings in some style.

The second game on Wednesday was another low scoring thriller, as Uganda outlasted Tanzania by three wickets. Joseph Baguma’s stunning haul of six for 15 in 8.5 overs ripped the heart out of the Tanzanian batting card.

Yunusu Sowobi also got in on the act, with a miserly three for 7 in his five over spell. The home side never got going, and were dismissed for just 48, in 25,5 overs. The target seemed perfectly attainable, but no one had reckoned with local pride.

Ronald Omara (15) and Gerald Olipa (14) added a crucial 20 for the opening stand but, valiantly, Tanzania fought their way back into the contest. Tight bowling, exceptional fielding and local support saw them strike regularly, and raise hopes of the unlikeliest victory.

Ultimately, they fell just short, as Uganda got over the line after 17.4overs, with just three wickets to spare.

Nigeria, meanwhile, need a miracle to qualify for next year’s tournament in Sri Lanka, after they suffered a second consecutive loss.

The Eagles, who were turned over by Sierra Leone on day two, suffered a 30-run defeat to a tenacious Uganda, in a low-scoring affair that saw accurate bowling dictate terms. Nigeria would have been hopeful after dismissing Uganda for just 69, in 28 overs on Tuesday.

Emmanuel Udekwe proved to be a real handful, helping himself to four for 22, while there were two wickets apiece for Victor Samuel and Chijioke Okeke. Nigeria did let themselves down in one key area, however, as they leaked 25 extras (including 18 wides) to help Uganda breach 50.

Only Pius Oloka made it to double figures with the bat, but Uganda knew that they had something to defend. That is precisely what they did, with far greater discipline. Joseph Baguma (three for 20) and Musa Ramathan (three for 7) set the tone with the new ball, and then energetic fielding throttled Nigeria’s scoring.

Okeke hit a six and a boundary in his 14, but Solomon Chilemanya contributed the only other boundary, as Nigeria were bundled out for 39 in 18 overs, their innings closing with a clumsy run out to sum up another tough day at the office for the 2020 U19 Cricket World Cup participants.

In the Tuesday’s other game, Kenya was pushed hard by a buoyant Sierra Leone, who were looking to build on their triumph over Nigeria the day before. The experienced John Bangura led Sierra Leone to a competitive 139 all out, as he raised his bat yet again for his country.

His 51 from 106 balls was the glue, while Alusine Turay (25) and George Sesay (16) chipped in to see their side breach three figures. Kenya’s Vishil Patel again showed the prowess that made him the star in Abuja, nipping out four scalps for 31 runs from his ten overs.

Kenya needed stability at the start of their chase, and that was provided by Brian Likavu. His 62-ball 40 steadied the ship early and allowed Stian Smith to take his time in compiling the 37 not out that took the East Africans home.

Sierra Leone didn’t just go away, however. Sesay and James Bangura bagged two wickets apiece, and the catching in the outfield was sure. But 21 wides was too much of a helping hand for a Kenyan side with plenty of batting, and the four-wicket victory was secured with 58 balls to spare.

Sierra Leone take on Namibia at UDSM today hoping to keep their qualification hopes alive with a victory while Tanzania face Nigeria in the other match at Gymkhana.

Watch Sierra Leone vs Namibia live through

Watch Tanzania vs Nigeria live through

Scores in brief:

Nigeria v Uganda

Uganda 69 all out in 28 overs (Pius Oloka 17, Emmanuel Udekwe four for 22, Victor Samuel two for 4)

Nigeria 30 all out in 18 overs (Chijioke Okeke 14, Musa Ramathan three for 7, John Baguma three for 20)

Uganda won by 30 runs

Kenya v Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone 139 all out in 46.5 overs (John Bangura 51, Alusine Turay 25, Vishil Patel four for 31)

Kenya 141 for six in 40.2 overs (Brian Likavu 40, Stian Smith 37, James Bangura two for 11, George Sesay two for 29)

Kenya won by four wickets

Kenya v Namibia

Kenya 64 all out in 30.4 overs (Stian Smith 21, Morris Kariata three for 10, Alexander Busing-Volschenk two for 1)

Namibia 67 for three in 16.4 overs (Alexander Busing-Volschenk 19 not out)

Namibia won by seven wickets

Tanzania v Uganda

Tanzania 48 all out in 25.5 overs (Augustine Mwamele 13, Joseph Baguma six for 15, Yunusu Sowobi three for 7)

Uganda 49 for seven in 17.4 overs (Ronald Omara 15, Gerald Olipa 14, Hamza Ally Onai three for 4)

Uganda won by three wickets


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