Uganda’s U-19 national cricket side – The Baby Cricket Cranes - fly in from Dar es Salaam this evening knowing the hard work starts now and they cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
Henry Okecho’s boys whitewashed Tanzania by 125 runs in the final round of the Pepsi ICC Africa U-19 Cricket World Cup qualifier played at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Oval yesterday.
Man of match Collins Okwalinga (7/14) and spinner Frank Akakwansa (3/13) bowled out Tanzania for 44 runs in 22 overs after Abdallah Lubega (52), Zephaniah Arinaitwe (21) and Rogers Olipa (25) had helped Uganda set 169 in 46 overs – their biggest total of the tournament.
The massive win guaranteed that Uganda finished second and booked the solitary berth allocated to the continent for the global qualifier scheduled for Bangladesh later this year. Both Uganda (0.686) and Kenya (0.131) finished tied on six points but the former edged through courtesy for a better Net Run Rate (NRR).
Namibia (eight points) won the showpiece and walk straight into the 2016 Youth World Cup in Bangladesh despite falling to Kenya by four wickets yesterday.
The global qualifier, which will feature all the second-place finishers from the five ICC regions, comes as a reprieve to the Ugandans who almost bottled it. Only the champion of the global qualifier will progress to the main World Cup.
“We withheld their daily allowances for the two days they played poor cricket,” head of delegation Dennis Musali told Daily Monitor. “And our actions worked as the boys woke up and put on a clinical show against the hosts.”
AFRICA U-19 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Final qualifying round - results
Uganda 169/10 Tanzania 44/10
Namibia 101/10 Kenya 103/6
Nigeria 72/10 Botswana 63/10