Unfancied Nigeria pulled off a huge upset as they stunned Kenya by 49 runs in their first warm-up match ahead of the 2019 ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers. The match was played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates.
Chasing 152/7, Kenya were all back in the pavilion with four overs to spare having scored on 103.
The Nigerian side were clinical with their bowling. They claimed Kenya’s top four wickets inside first 30 balls for 25 runs. Alex Obanda was the first to depart in the first over for a two-ball duck. Thereafter, Dhiren Gondaria was also sent back to the pavilion on 16 with the board on 19.
Things went from bad to worse for Kenya when Collins Obuya (4) and Irfan Karim (4) followed suit. Both men departed after facing seven balls each. Rakep Patel (13) steadied the ship but briefly in a 21 runs stand for the fifth wicket with skipper Shem Ngoche (6).
Rookie Jasraj Kundi saved Kenya a huge embarrassment with a crucial 32 off 17 balls that led Kenya to 83 for 7 after 13.3 overs. With his dismissal, Kenya batsmen went through motions to end on 103.
Nigerian batsman Daniel Ajekum was the chief destroyer of the Kenyan with 4 for 15 from only two overs. Apart from tormenting Kenya’s batting, Ajekum was also the main architect of Nigeria’s batting show with 50 balls 73.
After losing first two wickets for five runs, Nigeria found a morale-boosting stand of 75 for the fourth wicket in 9.1 that got the scores to 113.
While the other batsmen didn’t last long in the middle, Ajekum was able to offer resistance on Kenya’s bowling-hitting nine boundaries and a six. Emmanuel Bundi was Kenya’s top bowlers with 3 for 32.
Nigeria’s national U-19 male cricket team (Junior Yellow Greens) have begun their final lap of preparation for the tournament. The ICC U-19 World Cup is scheduled to hold in South Africa.