Nigeria’s Under-19 cricket team, Junior Yellow Greens on Sunday, defeated Tanzania by 35 runs to qualify for the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.
Segun Ogundipe scored 62 runs to win Player of the Match Award while the Nigerian team got promoted to World Division 1.
The promotion also means a slot in the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup – the first time Nigeria will ever participate in an event of this magnitude alongside, India, England, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa and other big cricket playing nations.
Vice President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), Uyi Akpata, described the achievement as a pass mark for the development plans of the present board of the federation since it was inaugurated.
According to him; “everybody associated with cricket in Nigeria is very proud of the achievement of the boys, it was a tortuous journey but they have been very dedicated and disciplined and we look forward to them becoming the crux of the senior national team in the nearest future.”
Tanzania won the toss and elected to bat taking early wickets in the innings to put the Nigeria batting side under intense pressure in the 50 overs match. The last two partnerships of the Nigerian batters, Ifeanyi Uboh and Segun Ogundipe boosted their runs by 80 runs to push Nigeria’s total runs in the first innings to 169 runs (all out) in 46.2 overs.
In the second innings, Tanzania looked determined targeting 170 runs to win, but were awed by the tenacity of the Junior Yellow Greens’ bowling and fielding who stopped them at 134 runs (all out) in 43.2 overs.
Gokul Das of Tanzania boosted the runs for his team scoring 61 runs off 104 balls with a strike rate of 58.65 before being caught by Nigeria’s Mohamed Taiwo.
Nigeria’s Peter Aho was on top of his bowling taking four wickets after bowling his allotted 10 overs conceding 37 runs.
Also, Nigeria’s spinning duo, Sylvester Okpe and Isaac Danladi did the clean-up to limit the runs of the Tanzanians while taking wickets to seal Nigeria’s victory.
Okpe (who is also the captain of the team), took two wickets after bowling 10 overs and conceding 20 runs while Danladi took three wickets after bowling the last wicket in his total 4.2 overs, conceding just eight runs.
Nigeria will play finals with Sierra Leone to determine who will be the champion of the tournament on Tuesday.