By Daniel Lutaaya
The World Cup dream is over for the Uganda u-19 cricket team after a loss to Namibia ended all hopes of the baby Cranes playing with the big boys in South Africa come next February.
A heavy 109 run defeat on Uganda sent the southern Africa nation through for the finals. Uganda will now to wait another two years before they can try to reach the World Cup again.
The U19 Cricket Cranes played to their full potential a little too late at the World Cup qualifiers in Namibia.
In the all defining game on Friday, Uganda won the toss and chose to field first a decision that didn’t yield any results early on. The Namibian opening pair got stuck into the Ugandan bowling attack with the first wicket falling in the 14th over with 61 runs on board.
The chase for Uganda started off in blistering style with Zephaniah Arinaitwe clobbering the Namibian bowlers to all corners of the ground for his 69 off only 30 balls. However, once he fell, the chase ended with no other notable contribution made by anyone with Uganda cleaned out for 141.
Uganda played Tanzania on Saturday in their final game of the tournament clobbering the fellow East Africans.
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 Zephania 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.
Meanwhile, the biggest surprise at the U19 World Cup Qualifying tournament in Africa, t favorites Namibia, Kenya and Uganda were all caught off guard by a much improved Nigerian outfit and therefore Nigeria will now make its maiden appearance at the showpiece next year in South Africa.
Focus for Ugandan cricket now turns to the Ladies Victoria Series with Zimbabwe and Kenya to be in Kampala before the Africa T20 qualifiers in May.
Uganda last played at the under 19 world cup in 2006 in Sri Lanka.