Dubai: In the ongoing ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Africa Qualifier tournament in Namibia there are several dark horses to consider.
Nigeria is one side which can spring a surprise, especially considering the depth of its attack. Young Peter Aho from the Nigerian team stood out for his astounding ball display in the Division Two tournament in Potchefstroom last August.
His game would have only improved in the past few months and he has the happy knack of always taking wickets.
Nigeria is also a side that is not afraid of going at it with the bat and is a cricketing nation on the rise.
Another team that shows great promise is Sierra Leone. Again this is another young cricketing nation that is punching above its weight. With a significant improvement in its all-round skills, Sierra Leone is one of the richest fielding units in African junior cricket.
But there is more to them than just fielding. As a 13-year-old last year, Haroun Kamara stood out for them. He displays a measure of maturity far beyond his age and seems unaffected by his growing role in the side.
The biggest surprise package may well be Tanzania, though. At the Potchefstroom tournament, they produced the player of the tournament in Aahil Jasani. He helped himself to 184 runs in the event, including a terrific century against Mozambique. He also chipped in with eight wickets and is expected to be a thorn in the opposition side this week.
With a coveted place in 2020, ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa on the line, expect plenty of surprises to sweep through Windhoek this week.
On Sunday, Namibia defeated Nigeria by 52 runs, Uganda won by 70 runs against Kenya and Sierra Leone beat Tanzania by 27 runs in their respective opening matches.
Uganda will take on Sierra Leone, Tanzania will meet Namibia and Nigeria will play Kenya later today.