Nigeria 152/7 (20) defeated Kenya 103/10 (16) by 49 runs. Scorecard
Nigeria’s men might be in UAE for the T20 World Cup qualifiers in fortuitous fashion after replacing the suspended Zimbabwe, but they have no intention of simply making up the numbers, if their performance against 2003 World Cup semi-finalist Kenya on Monday is anything to go by.
En route to the Middle East they spent some time in Zimbabwe before landing in Sharjah for their acclimatisation and some warm-up matches.
In Monday’s first game, the “Yellow Greens” batted 1st and true to their style of play they batted for their 20 overs scoring 157/7. Opener Daniel Ajekun led the way from the front scoring a match high 73 off 50 balls.
Youngster Emmanuel Bundi 3/32 was the pick of the bowlers for team Kenya, who used seven bowlers in the innings including two overs from veteran leg spinner Collins Obuya.
In the chase however, the wheels came off early as Ugandan based Alex Obanda was back in the dugout in the first over, and Kenya never really recovered.
None of their batsmen was able to stick around to really trouble the Nigerian bowlers. only Jasraj Kundi (32) was able to collect a meaningful total.
Daniel Ajekun (4/15) returned with the ball to rip clean up the tail and wrap up the game for the West Africans.
The win will boost the morale of the Nigerians who will soon make a maiden appearance at the T20 World Cup qualifiers, their opening match against Jersey will be on the 19th October in Abu Dhabi.
For Kenya – whose board is mired in administrative controversy – there are more questions than answers, but their fans will hope the side can regroup before the main event starts.