Kenya miss ICC U19 World Cup ticket

By usher komugisha
Jun 01, 2021

Tears. Red faced. Sorrow engulfed the Kenyan team camp after a 52 run loss to Namibia Friday denied them qualification for the Pepsi U19 World Cup at the Lugogo cricket oval in Kampala.

The dream of ending a ten year drought came crumbling down like a cookie as Namibian bowler Johannes Jonathan Smit punished Kenya for a lapse in concentration.

Bowling his second over against Kenya in the 35th over, Smit dismissed Kenya's opening batsman Hamza Malik who had amassed 47 runs, I Kenth (golden duck) and Kirtan Patel (golden duck) after the first three balls to complete a hattrick.

At this point, Kenya had scored 110 runs for a loss of four wickets but the loss of three important wickets at this point in the game piled pressure on the East Africans.

"We had this game until that moment when we lost those three wickets in that manner. We bowled and fielded well in the first innings and we could have won this game," lamented Kenya's head coach Steve Tikolo.

Kenya was chasing 173 that Namibia set in the first innings all out in 47 overs and only managed 121 runs.

Kenyan captain Emmanuel Bundi rued his teams chances: "We bowled well and our fielding too was good but just a few mistakes have cost us World Cup qualification."

Uganda third

Only one team (Namibia) has been selected by the ICC from this tournament to join South Africa and Zimbabwe to represent Africa.

"It means so much to us that we have qualified for the World Cup. It was surely a high pressure game and the team that handled the pressure won the game," revealed Namibian head coach Norbert Rangarirai Manyande.

Manyande further added that, "Cricket at this level is not really about talent but rather about mental strength. I am glad we did not lose hope. It was a very close game because the teams are well balanced."

Hosts Uganda beat Botswana by 120 runs to finish third. Ugandan captain Derrick Bakunzi won the toss and elected to bat first. Uganda posted 245 runs for a loss of seven wickets and Botswana only managed 125 runs.(Kampala)