A 150-run fifth wicket partnership between captain Adekunle Adegbola and Oladotun Olatunji set up a comfortable six-wicket victory for Team Nigeria over Vanuatu in the rain-affected final of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 7 in Botswana at the weekend.
Adegbola and Olatunji finished unbeaten on 51 and 67 respectively, as Nigeria achieved their 134-run target for the loss of four wickets against the team that had not lost a match in the tournament.
Nigeria’s target was adjusted to 134 according to the Duckworth-Lewis method (D/L method) after an early rain interruption, and Adegbola and Olatunji, who later picked up his third man-of-the-match award of the tournament, came together with Nigeria struggling at 19 for four, having lost both openers in the second over. The two batsmen player cleverly, with the skipper batting patiently and Olatunji scoring quick runs, including nine boundaries, on the way to his 64-ball 67.
The two were still at the crease when Nigeria reached their revised target of 134 in 32.1 overs to record their first victory over Vanuatu in the tournament. Olatunji’s superlative innings caps off a great tournament for the youngster, having already achieved the two highest scores of the tournament – 127 against Ghana in the teams’ second round clash, and 125 not out against Botswana to help his team to a 171 run victory against the host.
Earlier, Vanuatu’s strong-performing batting lineup failed to fire, with danger men Trevor Langa (10) and Damian Smith (3) falling to Joshua Ogunlola within five overs of each other. Captain Andrew Mansale got the Vanuatu innings back on track with a well-struck 25, but wickets fell regularly as the Nigeria bowlers restricted the run rate and good fielding resulted in two run outs. Vanuatu were all out for 133 in the 39th over of their allotted 45 overs.
Nigeria captain, Adekunle Adegbola, was delighted with his side’s performance against the previously undefeated Vanuatu. Adegbola said: “It was an excellent performance from the Nigerian side today. Awesome bowling and impressive batting too. Well done guys.”
Vanuatu captain Andrew Mansale was gracious in defeat, saying: “Well done Nigeria. I am proud we worked hard enough to get promoted to Division 6, and I am confident we will improve.”
- Nigeria records first win at Pepsi / ICC T/20 tourney (vanguardngr.com)
- Nigeria defeats Ghana in Pepsi ICC World Cricket league (vanguardngr.com)