Nigeria have won the North West Africa Championship in a close final group match against Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone won the toss and elected to bat. They lost early wickets and were 20-3 after 12 overs. At halfway they were 61-5 but they showed some late order resistance before finally being bowled out for 142 in 47.1 overs.
The wickets were shared around the Nigerian bowlers with Wale Adeoye, Joshua Ogunlola and Endurance Ofem taking two wickets each.
In reply Nigeria made a slow start, reaching 56-3 off 20 overs. The middle order failed to get going as they subsided to 115-8 by the 38th over, with only Endurance Ofem (39) managing to make a decent score.
The score was 126/8 when Jide Bejide was run out, so Haruna Thomas came in to join Joshua Ogunlola with 17 runs still required. Haruna (ostensibly the weaker batsman), proceeded to take control and pushed the ball around sensibly to bring Nigeria to victory.
For Sierra Leone Lansana Lamin took 4-20 in 10 overs and at least had the consolation of being named bowler of the tournament. Endurance Ofem was named Batsman of the tournament and Cricketer of the tournament thereby pocketing a cheque for $2,000 put up by the family of the late Dr Akinyanju, a former chairman of the Lagos State Cricket Association.
Nigeria now prepare for WCL Africa Division Two later in the year, whilst Sierra Leone travel down to South Africa for WCL Africa Division Three, where they play their first match against Lesotho tomorrow. Ghana and Gambia are the other two teams from this tournament also in South Africa, whilst Morocco will play in South Africa after withdrawing from this tournament. Malawi, Rwanda and Swaziland are the other three teams in that tournament not already mentioned.
Many thanks to Nigerian international Roland Ilube for providing the bulk of this match report and for providing CricketEurope with scores throughout.