Solomon Chilemanyan, the batting prodigy for Nigeria was named player of the tournament but his heroics was not enough to help Nigeria secure the only qualification  slot in the ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup Africa Division 1 Qualifier in Dar es Salam, Tanzania.



One last outing to finish the tournament on a high, Nigeria lined up against tournament table toppers and favourites in the tournament Namibia.

Easy like Sunday morning and bright as the day can be, Namibia won the toss and elected to bat first which turned out to be a fantastic decision. Gafar Abdulkareem, Chidi Owunbualili, made their first appearance in the tournament in an opportunity to also display their talents.

Namibia was comfortable in the early stages, racing to 24 runs after 6 overs with paces from Chiemelie Udekwe and Garfar Abdulkareem. Nigeria resulted to spin bowling which proved effective as Namibia lost 4 wickets on the throttle to leave them on 46 runs after 16 overs.Dropped catches proving to be the Achilles heels for team Nigeria as missed chances allowed Namibia back into the game to record 85 runs after 29 overs. The 6th wicket came soon after Namibia into the 90’s.

At the 2nd drinks break of 38 overs, Namibia had 105 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Nigeria continued to dig deep to keep the score as respectable as possible but missed chances continued to prevail but that didn’t stop a resilient fight as efforts were rewarded with the 8th wicket in 43.2 overs and Namibia on 113 runs.

Determined to play 50 overs, Namibia grinded to a respectable score of 148 runs for the loss of 9 wickets.

In the second innings, Nigeria started brightly in the opening exchanges but soon Selim Salau fell in the 2nd over, cleanly bowled and soon was joined by Paul Pam via LBM. The game kept swinging in both directions as Nigeria batters continue to apply themselves and the Namibians taking wickets in the process.

At the end of the 1st batting power play of 10 overs Nigeria was 4 wickets down with 23 runs on the board. 3 more quick wickets for Namibia looked like the game would be concluded early but the never say die attitude of a typical Nigerian came to light with the partnership of Solomon Chilemayan and Joshua Asia took Nigeria to 78 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in 29.4 overs.

The game lingered for another 5 overs till 2nd drinks break with Nigeria on 90 runs at the end of 34 overs. At this point Nigeria required 58 runs in 16 overs to win the match, but the myth that something always happens around drinks break did come to play and Nigeria lost the 9th wicket of Chiemelie Udekwe, bringing in Chidi Owunbualili as the last effort to rescue the match.

In the end Nigeria managed a total of 95 runs all out in 37 overs. Arguably the most talented team in the tournament couldn’t come out untop but loads of positives to work with when they return back home.

Namibia won by 53 runs and crowned champions of the ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup Africa division 1 qualifier

Signing off from Gymkhana Cricket over Dar es Salam, Tanzania.