Nigeria’s Yellow-Greens Impressive, Miss Cricket World Cup Ticket

Nigeria’s Yellow-Greens Impressive, Miss Cricket World Cup Ticket

Nigeria’s national male cricket team, the Yellow-Greens, bowed to the superior power of Zimbabwe, the only Test-playing nation at the International Cricket Council’s Men T20 Africa World Cup Qualifier, by six wickets yesterday in Windhoek, Namibia.

With one match to spare, the Yellow-Green are sitting fifth on the log in an event that would hand World Cup tickets to the top-two finishers.

President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, Uyi Akpata, insisted that being in the top seven countries in Africa is a milestone for the Yellow-Greens, and the performance of the team has been above board throughout the World Cup Qualifying series.

“Through our participation, we have announced our arrival as a cricket-playing nation. We competed squarely against Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe and lost respectfully. 

“We beat Tanzania, who were ahead of us and we were firmly in control of the Rwanda match before rain disrupted it and caused us to share points,” observed the NCF president yesterday.

Uyi added that the outcome of the World Cup Qualifier does not diminish Nigeria’s global cricketing image, stressing it  rather has advertised Nigeria’s developmental effort to the top cricketing countries across the continent.

“Our young team is beginning to get global recognition, including Prosper Useni, Ridwan Abdulkareen, and the commanding show of Joshua Asia during our game against Zimbabwe. I am sure none of these teams will take us for granted again. Remember too, that our goal is to be at the World Cup in 2026, so we are well on the way to realising that.”

Earlier in the game, Nigeria’s Head Coach, Steve Tikolo, had introduced two new players into the team line-up against Zimbabwe: Joshua Asia and Akhere Isesele, both of whom ended up adding some bite to the Yellow-Green’s attack.

Right-arm medium Isesele, posted 10 runs off 11 balls before he was caught by Carl Mumba. It was not the score that stood him out but the boldness with which he ground out the runs amidst the tight fielding and bowling sequence of the Zimbabweans. This include his opening strike; where he hit Zim’s Richard Ngarava for boundary on first ball.

Asia also stepped up, having his moment when he took the wicket of Sikandar Raza. He spun cleverly off Raza’s foot and made him loop sloppily to the waiting hands of Ademola Onikoyi for an important wicket fall that prolonged the 111 target the opposing team was gunning for.

With only pride left to play for, Nigeria look set to finish-off the event in fifth place despite a Namibian encounter left on the cards. 

The host team has played unblemished, winning five out of five, and is the only country assured of a World Cup ticked so far, leaving Zimbabwe and Uganda till the last game before the second World Cup Qualifier is determined.

Nigeria’s Captain, Sylvester Okpe, said that the Yellow-Greens will approach the match with the best intentions and hope to get a respectable result from the counter.

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