Dubai [UAE]: Over the course of the week, the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup Africa qualifying tournament was a roaring success. There was terrific skill on display in the five days of action and mention must be made of Cricket Namibia for quality surfaces and seamless logistics throughout.
There were some standout performances, like the incredible 102 not out from Zephania Arinaitwe of Uganda. He needed just 40 balls to score his century on the final day against Tanzania.
Other notable tons included Namibia’s Matthew de Gouveia, who notched 102 not out against Sierra Leone, which was full of excellent strokes. Ramon Wilmot, also of Namibia, made a brilliant 132 against Tanzania, and the hosts Namibia, in general, scored heavily throughout the week.
Elijah Olaleye made a crucial ton for Nigeria, as his 110 not out against Tanzania, laid the foundation for a fourth win on the trot.
There were some fine spells of bowling, such as Samuel Conteh’s five for 4. Jan Izak de Villiers from Namibia and Uganda’s Frank Akankwasa had a good week with the ball, finishing on 11 wickets apiece.
Charles Kargbo produced the spell of the tournament, as his 6/32 against Kenya secured a remarkable victory for Sierra Leone.
The tournament went down to the wire with Namibia needing to beat Kenya on the final day whilst hoping for a favour from the Leone Stars in the derby against Nigeria. After Namibia dispatched Kenya, all eyes turned to the WAP-Affies field to see if Nigeria could handle the pressure.
They did the job with the ball, bowling Sierra Leone out for 138. But the chase did not go according to the script though as they slipped from 80/4 to 91/7 with the Leone Stars sensing an upset.
Up stepped Abdulrahman Jimoh and player of the match Peter Aho took the Nigerians home with 34 balls to spare sealing a maiden appearance at a World up for the talented West Africans.