Ghana’s Senior national Cricket team have won the ICC World T20 Africa Qualifier A in Nigeria after an epic final with the host on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval.
The ICC Africa division 1 holders achieved that feat after an epic final, which didn’t really live up to the expectation. Ghana, after winning the toss and electing to field, got Nigeria all out for 73 runs, in 19.4 overs. Vincent Ateak whose fantastic bowling got Nigeria’s hard hitter and captain, Onwuzulike Chinezue out on the first ball, for a Golden duck.
Sylvester Okpe scored 25 runs, off 33 balls, while Kofi Bagabena took 4 wickets for 22 runs in 3.3 overs.
Ghana had a scare in the first 3 overs with a fall of 3 wickets but bounced back strongly with the middle order ensuring victory is certain as Samson Awe Awiah scored 26 runs off 25 balls, not out in Ghana’s 74 runs, for 6 wickets in 13.4 overs.
Ghana’s Vice Captain, Julius Horlali Mensah was named Man of the Match as he took 5 catches behind the wicket, a runout, and smashed 20 runs off 7 balls.
Sierra Leone earlier defeated the Gambia to finish 3rd on the table with 5 points. Ghana had a total of 11 points, with Nigeria second with 8. The Gambia ended the tournament with no point.
At the Dinner and Awards night at Landmark in Lagos, Ghana’s Simon Ateak was adjudged Player of the tournament. Nigeria’s Captain, Onwuulike Chinezue won the Best Batsman accolade with a total of 234 runs, highest score of 90 runs and a strike rate of 132. His fellow player Mohammed Taiwo was named the Best Bowler, with 9 wickets for 76 runs; average of 8.44 and Economic rate of 4.18. Best Fielder went to Sierra Leone’s Abubacarr Kamara while Fair play Award went to the Gambia.
Ghana will now begin their ACA Africa T20 Cup- North West Africa Qualifiers campaign on Monday, April 23, at 9 am with the Gambia. Mali is out of the tourney, but Cameroon made it. The single round robin competition will have the first 4 moving into the semifinals and then winners unto finals.
Ghana, however, seeks to repeat the same achievement in the ICC qualifier.