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Nigeria closer to 2024 Cricket World Cup with wins in Kigali

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International Cricket Council

Nigeria, yesterday in Kigali, improved its chances of qualifying for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup with its fourth victory in the Africa sub-regional B Qualifier.

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Coached by Steve Tikolo, the country defeated Eswatini and Gambia to complement their previous victories over Mozambique and West African rival Sierra Leone in their opening meetings.

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Team captain Sylvester Okpe said his team is confident of qualifying with his run so far in the first stage of the Cricket World Cup 2024.

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“We had a plan for this event and we are on the right track.

Barring major injuries and distractions, I am confident that we will choose one of the two tickets here for the next stage,” he said.

In the win against Eswatini, the team set three new international records, including the highest T20i score for Nigeria in any international game (221/7), the highest runs by a Nigerian batsman in T20i (Ashmit Shreshta: 76 runs in 49 balls) and the fastest T20i half-century for the country (Isaac Okpe: 53/17).

Thrilled by the team’s feat, Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) President Uyi Akpata said the boys are well invested in them, adding that he is confident the senior men’s national team still has much to offer on the international stage.

“We are proud of the team’s performance so far and the pace at which they have been driven has been very commendable, especially the improvements in the hitting department, which we have been working on and can now see practical improvements,” he said.

Nigeria had beaten Mozambique by eight wickets and edged out Sierra Leone on Friday by six wickets.

The record win over Eswatini was by 118 runs, while Gambia’s win was by nine runs.

Nigeria’s next match will be against Cameroon today, while on Thursday and Friday they will face Ghana and Tanzania, respectively.

“This event is feedback on the various levels of investment that the Nigerian Cricket Federation has channeled into bases and infrastructure across the country.

“Nigeria has six standard courses which has reduced our need to tour abroad before major events like this and this gives us encouragement that we are on the right track with our development agenda,” Akpata said.

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