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Nigeria ventured into the ICC T20 World Cup Africa qualifier in optimism of picking the only single qualification ticket for the World cup qualifier next year. Results did not go as expected but the young team can be proud of their experience and take the positives as Nigeria will return to the drawing board.

Already out of contention for the qualification ticket, Nigeria had to complete the tournament with final matches against Kenya and Tanzania on Saturday 20th November.


Kenya won the toss and elected to bat first hoping to set a big total which they did. Still in contention for a chance to pick the qualification ticket in the tournament, the danger man from the last game against Nigeria Alex Obanda, settled into his strides quickly with 29 runs off 18 balls, supported by Rushab Patel with 22 runs off 12 balls to leave Kenya on 56 runs for the loss of 3 wicket after 6 overs of power play. Kenya eventually finished with a huge score of 168 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs.

Irfan Karim was the star player on the day for Kenya by scoring 52 runs off 38 deliveries, supported by Alex Obanda with 29 and Rushab Patel will 22 runs as the best bating figures for Kenya.

Ridwan Abdulkareem got 2 wickets conceding 18 runs in 3 overs as the best bowling figures for Nigeria.

In the second innings, Ademola Onikoyi looked inspired firing on all cylinders scoring a whopping 22 runs off the 1st over to give Nigeria a dream start. However, uncomplimentary efforts from Segun Olayinka, Joshua Ayannaike and Asmit Shrestha very quickly quenched whatever charge from the Nigeria team in an effort to chase down the required total. Onikoyi fell for 27 runs off 12 balls and the run chase was as good as over. In the middle of the pack Sessan Adedeji and Samuel Mba tried to put up some fight with 24 and 20 runs respectively while Ridwan Abdulkareem late 10 runs consolation at the tail end could only propel Nigeria to 108 runs all out in 16.2 overs.

Vraj Patel took 5 wickets 1 maiden over, conceding 12 runs in 4 overs strongly supported by Emmanuel Bundi with 4 wickets, conceding 16 runs in 3.2 overs for Kenya.

*Kenya won by 60 runs*


Tanzania won the toss and elected to bat first sending in Nigeria to field. Nigeria produced their best bowling performance of the tournament as Tanznia lost 3 wickets in the power play overs. Nigeria bowlers continue to pile the pressure and wickets fell every other over to leave Tanzania on 67 runs for the loss of 6 wickets at the end of the 12th over. A late surge from Kassim Nassoro  40 off 25 balls and Ally Kimote 32 off24 balls propelled the Tanzania team to eventually finish with 136 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in 20 overs.

Sesan Adedeji got 2 wickets for Nigeria while Mohammed Taiwo, Peter Aho, Isaac Okpe, and Chima Akachukwu all settled for just 1 wicket each.

In the second innings, Nigeria had a dream start and poised to win their first game of the tournament when they sat comfortably on 41 runs for the loss of 2 wickets after 6 overs of power play. Like a pack of cards, the Nigeria bating line up crumbled with no resistance at any point to leave the team with a tournament lowest score of just 67 runs all out in 14 overs.

Only Samuel Mba’s 23 runs off 22 balls and Sesan Adedeji’s 12 runs off 14 were the only double figures for Nigeria in their attempted run chase.

Jatinkumar Darji took 4 wickets conceding 10 runs in 4 overs for Tanzania, supported by Sanjay Takhor with 3 wickets, conceding 30 runs in 4 overs as the best bowing figures for Tanzania.

Tanzania won by 69 runs

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Igoche Mark Congratulates President Tinubu, Showers Econiums on Ugboaja for Bagging National Honour.



The Initiator of Mark D Ball Basketball Champion, Mr. Igoche Mark has congratulated the new president of Africa’s largest democracy, Nigeria’s leader, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR; as the Sports Administrator also paid glowing tributes to a former Nigerian Basketball Player, Ejike Ugboaja on his conferment of national honour, Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) by former president Mohammadu Buhari.

Mark in a congratulatory message he personally signed on Wednesday, praised President Tinubu’s blueprint, which he described as a “game changer” for sports transformation in the country.

The message reads, “Dear Mr.President, I have gone through your manifesto titled “Renewed Hope 2023,” your plan for sports development was weaved around training, athletes funding, sports as business and tool for national unity.This to me is highly commendable, because if properly implemented, it will be a Game Changer.The sports ecosystem has the capacity to improve the country’s GDP if things are done properly; this is when the right people are in charge of running sports, unlike the present suitation.

However, it is worthy of note to state that the issue of corruption, greed and selfishness by sports administrators have crippled the sector.
While we pledge our support to be a partner in progress, we pray for wisdom to achieve all set goals.” Mark’s message reads.

The basketball philanthropist was full of praise for his former player at Mark Mentors, Ejike Ugboaja MFR for receiving a national according to Mark, “You have become a standard for every aspiring domestic basketball player who desires to play at the biggest stage.From playing in our domestic league to Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA; and your exploits at the national level were never unnoticed, hence this honour.Congratulations as we expect others to come.”Mark stated.

The former power forward was drafted to the NBA in 2006, and became a board member of the Nigeria Basketball Federation NBBF, between 2017-2021.

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