The U19 Cricket Cranes played to their full potential a little too late at the World Cup qualifiers in Namibia.
The youngsters clobbered fellow East Africans for dead in a one-sided encounter.
Tanzania won the toss and elected to bat first scoring 144 all out in a game where the Ugandans were very tidy with the ball. Juma Miyagi and Pascal Murungi were the meanest of the bowlers especially at the death to ensure that the tail does not wag. Tanzania was eventually cleaned out for 144 in 48 overs.
The chase only lasted 12 overs as Arinaitwe scored a swashbuckling 102 not out off 40 balls. He sprayed the ball to all parts of the DC United hitting 9 sixes and 4 fours. His opening partner Perry Wazombe chipped in with a handy 39 off 20 balls as the youngsters ran riot to close out a deserved 8 wicket win.
The game was finished just 30 minutes after lunch, to finish a disappointing 3rd behind eventual winners Nigeria and hosts Namibia.
At the Wanderers Affies Park, Sierra Leone nearly crashed Nigeria’s World Cup party when they gave WorldCup-bound Nigeria a bloody nose in the one-wicket win.
Nigeria was chasing 138 for the all-important win because if they had lost Namibia would go through via Net Run Rate. However, there was joy only and no tears for the Nigerians as they stayed calm in the chase to make sure they go over the line in the 42nd over.
The biggest surprise at the U19 World Cup Qualifying tournament in Africa, tournament favourites Namibia, Kenya and Uganda were all caught off guard by a much improved Nigerian outfit.
Nigeria will make its maiden appearance at the showpiece next year in South Africa.
For Uganda, it’s time to turn the page to a new generation of youngsters as the most of the current crop this was their last chance at the global stage.
The team will fly out of Namibia Sunday afternoon and arrive in Kampala early Monday morning.
Focus now turns to the Ladies Victoria Series with Zimbabwe and Kenya to be in Kampala before the Africa T20 qualifiers in May.