National U-19 cricket team, the Junior Yellow Green, have inched closer to the South Africa 2020 World Cup qualification, after upsetting tournament favourites Uganda, with 30 runs, to remain the only unbeaten team at the African qualifiers in Windhoek, Namibia.
Nigeria struggled in the openings stages of the game as they lost four wickets in the opening 15 overs with just 14 runs on the board. But captain Sylvester Okpe’s partnership with Samuel Mba secured a life-saving 54 runs that eventually raised the tally to 110 before running all out at 48 overs. .
In all, Mba had 56 runs off 135 balls, supported by Okpe with 26 runs as the best performer with the bat for Nigeria.
At the resumption of the second innings, Uganda were off to a flying start with 42 runs for the loss of one wicket in 12 overs. Before the Junior Yellow Green rose to the occasion with unmatched bowling attack. The team came to full swing when Taiwo Mohamed, Danladi Isaac and Abolarin Rasheed tore the Ugandan bating line up, which shattered their East –Central African opponents.
Uganda could only manage a total of 80 runs all out in 25.1 overs.
Nigeria’s Mohamed was named Man-of-the-Match with a heroic statistics of four wickets for 26 runs in 8.1 overs.
Nigeria won by 30 runs, which fired them to the top of the table.
They face bottom-place Tanzania, who lost all their three matches in the series, on Thursday (today).
If the young Nigerians overcome the Tanzanians, they would have only Sierra Leone — who managed one win, against Tanzania — to beat to pick the World Cup ticket on Saturday.