Namibia in control after day one
With the EAP qualifier confirmed as Papua New Guinea, the next region to confirm its representatives will be Africa, with two teams to qualify from their regional qualifier which started today in Kampala. And Namibia have shown why they are one of the favourites to qualify with wins today over Nigeria and hosts Uganda.
Batting first after winning the toss against Nigeria, the Namibians raced to 232-6 from their 20 overs thanks to 82 from just 42 balls from captain Craig Williams. Endurance Ofem was the pick of the bowlers with 3-39.
In reply, Nigeria soon collapsed to 14-4, and only two of their batsmen went on to reach double figures, Kunle Adegbola top scoring with 40. They were never really in the hunt, and Namibian captain Williams used the opportunity to share the bowling around with only him and the wicket-keeper not turning their arm over.
Nigera were restricted to 100-6 from their 20 overs, losing by 132 runs.
A much tougher contest was expected in Namibia's afternoon game against hosts Uganda, but Namibia again put a decent score on the board, making 162-5 from their 20 overs. Gerrie Snyman was the top scorer this time with 41.
In reply, Uganda only just managed to do better than the Nigerian batting line-up, scoring 103-8 from their 20 overs to lose by 59 runs.
Uganda had earlier been given a fright by Ghana in a close finish at the Lugogo Oval. Uganda's bowlers knocked over the Ghanaian top order, having them struggling on 6-3 in the fifth over. A 72 run partnership between Julius Mensah and Obed Harvey recovered the innings, but Ghana's eventual total of 101-8 should have meant an easy chase for Uganda.
Uganda's reply though got off to the worst possible start when Roger Mukasa was bowled by Vincent Ateak from the first delivery of their innings. Arthur Kyobe followed him back to the dressing room soon afterwards and Uganda were struggling on 10-2.
Similar to Ghana though, they recovered with a substantial partnership, Lawrence Sematimba and Benjamin Musoke putting on 53 for the third wicket. Ghana continued to bowl well though, with Vincent Ateak having the remarkable figures of two wickets for just one run from his four overs. His performance is all the more remarkable considering he is just 14 years old.
The match went right down to the wire, with the winning runs coming from the penultimate delivery of the final over from the bat of captain Davis Arinaitwe, securing a four wicket win for the hosts.
It was another close game for Ghana in the afternoon against Kenya. As they are already in the World Twenty20 Qualifier due to their ODI status, Kenya have opted to field their Under-19 team in this tournament, seeking to give them match practice ahead of the Under-19 World Cup Qualifier in Ireland that starts at the end of this month.
Batting first, Ghana scored 140-7 from their 20 overs, Lawrence Ateak top scoring with 36. Kenya chased down the target to win by five wickets, but they left it until the last possible moment, winning from the penultimate delivery of the match, just as Uganda did in the morning.
In tomorrow's matches, Namibia will take on Ghana and Kenya, whilst Nigeria will play Kenya and Uganda.