3rd June, 2013
Across the City of Kampala at the University Oval in Kyambogo, Kenya at the weekend, Nigeria didn’t break any sweat enroute to finishing fifth with a 128-run win over Zambia.
Man of the match Bimbo Adu, Isaac Okpe and Joseph Adedeji helped the West African powerhouse set 221 for 9 with a combined contribution of 100 runs in the last 10 overs to sway the match in their favour.
By the time Adu was run out by Tristeen Dewet, he had already scored 57 off 87 balls and Adedeji had played an anchor role for his 44-ball 29. But it was Okpe, who stole the momentum away from Zambia with a 37-ball half century and Mojeed Adiamo’s quick-fire 18.
Zambia captain Chetan Reddy used eight bowlers in total but none was impressive save for Azhar Haveliwala, who snapped 4 for 37.
Zambia’s chase was over even before it started with the openers Naeem Patel and Haveliwala taking forever to find their groove. Patel faced 49 balls for his 17 runs whereas his partner in crime Haveliwala played out 66 deliveries for his 12.
Only Faizal Patel recorded the innings’ other double figures with an unbeaten 18 off 72 balls. Despite being there until the end, he run out of time as Zambia ended on 93 for 8.
The contentment of a sixth-place finish and survival to stay in Division I seemed a decent enough target for the Zambians and whereas Sierra Leone will rue a missed chance, they will be plotting to bounce back stronger in the near future.
Meanwhile, the newly elected of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, NCF, Emeka Onyeama said his presence in Kenya was to boost the players’ moral and to give them words of encouragement despite the fact Nigeria did not qualify for the 2014 ICC under 19 World Cup in Bangladesh but still retained her Division 1 position in Africa.
Onyeama praised the players for their effort and encouraged them never to allow their non qualification for the Under 19 World Cup to demoralise them, saying that it is good that they did not relegate to Division 2 of the Under 19 Africa Cricket Association league. He added that with time and more exposure, the players will get there with age on their side.
“My presence in Kampala, Uganda is to boost the player’s moral and let them know that the NCF is behind them to give them every necessary support. Despite their non qualification to the u-19 ICC World cup slated for Bangladesh next year, did not mean that they will not get one day.
“As far we still retain our position in ICC-Africa Cricket Association Division 1, and we did not relegate to the Division 2 shows that our players really put in their best even to let you know that two of them play for the Country senior national team at their tender age. This is to say their future is bright”. Said Onyeama