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Cricket WCQ: Nigeria secure fourth straight win in Kigali

Cricket WCQ: Nigeria secure fourth straight win in Kigali
December 04
19:56 2022

Nigeria has registered a fourth straight win at the ongoing International Cricket Council’s T20 World Cup sub-regional Africa qualifier B in Kigali, Rwanda to brighten its qualification chances.

The Yellow-Greens, coached by Steve Tikolo, got two wins over Eswatini and The Gambia to complement earlier victories over Mozambique and West African rival Sierra Leone.

Sylvester Okpe, Nigeria’s captain, said they are confident of qualification with their run so far in the first stage of the 2024 Cricket World Cup.

“We had a plan coming to this event and we are on course with it. Barring any major injury and distractions, I am certain we would pick one of the two tickets here for the next stage,” Okpe said.

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In the win against Eswatini on Sunday, the Nigerians set three new international records, including the highest T20i score for Nigeria in any international game (221/7), the highest runs by a Nigerian batter in T20i (Ashmit Shreshta: 76 runs in 49 balls) and fastest ever T20i half century for the country (Isaac Okpe: 53/17).

Uyi Akpata, president of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), said the Nigerian team is living up to the federation’s investment.

He also said he is confident the senior national male team still has a lot to offer on the international stage.

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“We are proud of the team’s performance so far and the pace at which they have conducted themselves so far has been very commendable, especially with improvements in the batting department which we have been working on and can now see practical results,” Akpata said.

“This event is a feedback on the various levels of investment the federation has funnelled to the grassroots and infrastructure across the country. Nigeria has six standard pitches that has cut down on us needing to go for foreign tours ahead of major events like this and we are encouraged that we are on the right path with our developmental agenda.”

Nigeria had beaten Mozambique by eight wickets and ran over Sierra Leone on Friday by six wickets. The record-breaking victory over Eswatini was with 118 runs while the win over The Gambia was with nine runs.

The Yellow-Greens face Cameroon on Monday, with further encounters against Ghana and Tanzania scheduled for Thursday and Friday respectively.

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