ICC U19 World Cup qualifiers Africa: A razor-thin margin separates Nigeria and Rwanda

Akanimo Kufre

In their first encounter in Kigali on Nigeria’s Independence Day, Nigeria, the defending African U19 champion, was defeated by Rwanda by 4 runs.

The ‘Junior Yellow Greens’ won the toss and chose to bat first, quickly picking up Rwanda wickets in early overs. They held the hosts to 125 runs in a 50-over match.

According to cricket enthusiasts, the previous champions’ second innings should be a stroll in the park for them. The Rwandans, on the other hand, shocked Nigeria by achieving a good cricketing reputation while doing so. They made more bowling damage keeping Nigeria at 121 runs and winning by 4 runs with 10 overs to spare.

Nigerian wickets were falling at an alarming rate, and the previous pressure on Rwanda moved to Nigeria until the last minutes of the match. Nigeria needed only 126 runs to win but could only score 121 runs.

Emile Rikiriza of Rwanda was the man of the match while Nigeria best batter was Isaac Onyemgba with 22 runs off 61 balls.

Nigeria next game is on Sunday 3rd October against Tanzania. They must win all remaining 4 games to qualify for West Indies. Namibia and Uganda will certainly be tougher games for the Yellow Greens.

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