The Kenyan capital of Nairobi has been chilly. Saturday evening was even colder as the prize giving and closing ceremony of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa U-19 World Cup Qualifier started at the Royal Orchid Azure Hotel in Nairobi.
Kenya, who had just stunned Uganda by seven wickets in 8.3 overs after bowling out the visitors for a fluctuating 60 to snatch the continent’s lone ticket to next January ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, were in celebratory mood.
Save for the overall winners’ diadem, the rest of the night had been literally tailor-made for Uganda. But nothing could cheer up Uganda’s camp proper.
Out of the tournament’s 12 matches and six played by coach Franco Otieno’s boys, Uganda scooped five Man of Match (MOM) awards. The recipients were Eddy Agaba (73 & 1/9 vs Botswana), Trevor Bukenya (5/22 vs Ghana), Siraje Nsubuga (43 & 2/38 vs Kenya), Zephaniah Arinaitwe (139 vs Botswana) and Kenneth Waiswa (39 & 5/16 vs Ghana).
More consolation came when skipper Waiswa was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) with 249 runs at an average of 41, 11 wickets at an average of 11 and two fielding dismissals.
Vice captain Arinaitwe, who scored the tournament’s only century – a swashbuckling 139 off 127 balls including 17 boundaries was the Best Batsman with an aggregate of 281 runs.
But both players picked their players with feigned smiles and team manager Martin Ondeko summed up the mood.
“Obviously winning those two big awards was a consolation in a way. Our boys got applause from the rest of the teams and they temporarily had smiles on their faces. But there is nothing that can actually console us now. The boys are still hurting,” said Ondeko.
Cricket Kenya chairlady Jackie Janmohammed, after announcing a collective KShs300,000 (Shs10.3m) from several parties for her team, used the function to remind ICC that Kenya was safe and ready to host several ‘big’ tournaments.
ICC AFRICA U-19 WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
Results – Saturday
Uganda 60/10 Kenya 61/3
Kenya won by 7 wickets and 249 balls remaining
Botswana 165/10 Ghana 167/8
Ghana won by 2 wickets and 25 balls remaining
Final Points Table
P W L T Points NRR
Kenya 6 5 1 0 10 2.016
Uganda 6 5 1 0 10 1.990
Ghana 6 2 4 0 2 -1.048
Botswana 6 0 6 0 0 -3.003
MVP- Kenneth Waiswa of Uganda
(249 runs, 11 wickets & 2 catches)
Best Batsman: Zephaniah Arinaitwe of Uganda
(281 runs at an average of 46.83)
Best Bowler: Joseph Aboagye of Ghana
(21 wickets at average of 8.95)