Although they put up a sterling performance, the Botswana U-19 cricket team’s dream of qualifying for the World Cup tournament was short-lived when they recently lost a deciding match to Kenya.
The last match between Botswana and Kenya was to decide the second team from Africa that would qualify for the world cup tournament.
However, Botswana brought home with them a trophy for the Best Player of the Tournament, which went to Barun Vijaykumar.
The first team to qualify for the tournament was the host, Namibia, after 6 consecutive wins.
The International cricket rankings placed Namibia in position one with Botswana at position three after Kenya’s position 2. Kenya won the last match by scoring 139 runs for 2 wickets in 27 overs while the Botswana lads rallied 138 runs and were all out in 39.2 overs.
The Botswana U-19 cricket team is expected back this week.
Last week, they headed for Namibia to participate in the World Cup qualifying tournament held at the country‘s capital, Windhoek.
Girish Ramakrishna, cricket’s CEO, said that even though the boys did not qualify, they now have the attention of neighbouring countries after beating big teams in the process.
“Our boys played brilliant cricket in this tournament; they played as a good unit and did everyone proud by their wonderful performance,” said Ramakrishna.
Botswana was not off to a good start as it lost its first match against host Namibia by 27 runs.
Its second game was against Nigeria and the latter won by 2 wickets. Botswana’s winning┬ástreak started when they beat Uganda by scoring 97 runs; the next match against Zambia also saw Botswana winning by 3 wickets.
Sierra Leone was also unfortunate in its endeavor to compete with Botswana when the latter scored 222 runs.
The match before the deciding one was also the one that brought about hope for Botswana supporters as Botswana beat Tanzania by 75 runs.
Tuelo Serufho, the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana National Olympic Committee, said that there was no doubt that at the rate cricket was growing, it would bring great things to Botswana.
Serufho said that neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa are probably watching Botswana’s cricket growth with keen interest.
“It was indeed a stellar performance on their part and one that ought to be celebrated. They (or the ones coming after them) will sure have enough inspiration to set their sights on nothing but qualifying for the next U19 World Cup,” said Serufho.