Nigeria U19 ICC World Cup dreams ended with a loss to Namibia
Nigeria U19 cricket team on Sunday could not scratch out a sweat from the top-ranked Namibian team as they lost by 53 runs at the Gymkhana Club Ground in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Namibia won the toss and choose to bat. The highest-ranked team among the six World Cup ticket contenders enjoyed a cool batting inning as they played out their 50 overs, recorded 148 runs, and lost 9 wickets.
Nigeria had to chase 149 in the second inning but were all dismissed in the 37th over. The Nigerian Junior Yellow Greens could only score 95 runs thus making Namibia win by the difference of the two scores, 53 runs.
Nigeria U19 was found wanting most in the batting department where the scores were produced. Solomon Chilemanya will be justified among the 14 Nigerian teenage players. Solomon scored 27 runs while Joshua Asia made 26 runs in Sunday’s game. Others like Prosper Useni, Selim Salau, Paul Pam, and Ridwan Abdulkareem performed below average throughout the tournament.
While some cricket followers blamed the wicket quality in Tanzania for Nigeria’s failure, others pointed to the success of other teams at the same venue.
Peter Aho who played an exceptional role in the 2019 squad that won the World Cup ticket believes the boys are unlucky. “But they ought to adjust to the game situation and follow the coaching instructions.”
The poor performance of the team has embarrassed the majority of cricket fans in the country to the extent that many lost interest in following the tournament. Most social media platforms did not share the links or stories compared to the last national female team outing in Kwibuka, Rwanda.
Meanwhile, flawless Namibia will be awarded the last ticket for Africa having emerged top of the group. Nigeria has lost the opportunity to play at the global stage and also lost Division 1 status thus being relegated to Division 2 in the Africa pathway.