Botswana national U-19 boy’s cricket team is having mixed fortunes at the on-going ICC –Africa Division 2 World Cup qualifiers in South Africa. Botswana opened the campaign with a loss against Ghana before turning the tables around in the second game with a win over Rwanda. The young boys put up an impressive fight to score 301 runs for 4 wickets. Rwanda was bowled out for 105 runs giving Botswana a 196 run win. Botswana captain Tharindu fall short of a deserved century when was run out at 98 runs. Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) CEO Girish Ramakrishna is so far happy with the way the team is coming up. Ramakrishna, however, feels Botswana would have won the Ghana game if there were no drop catches during match. “We had six drop catches in the match and if we did not have these we would have won the game,” he said.
In the third game played yesterday (Wednesday) the boys brushed over Tanzania to keep alive the chances of getting promoted to Division 1 category. Batting first Botswana recorded 216 runs for 6 wickets and Tanzania managing only 157 all out. This means Botswana won by 59 runs. The teams that finish in position one and two will be promoted at the end of the tournament. According to Ramakrishna, it is too early to say whether Botswana will qualify but he said for that to be possible the team has to beat Nigeria. Botswana plays Nigeria today (Thursday) in the fourth match which Ramakrishna says decide the teams fate of qualifying for promotion. The two teams that get promoted will have the opportunity to play for direct qualification to the 2018 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup. The tournament has pitted seven countries. These include Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana. Nigeria and Sierra Leone are considered favourites for promotion.
Botswana is currently at position three in the group with four points. The team is behind Ghana and Nigeria which have 8 and k6 points consecutively. At fourth place is Sierra Leone with four points followed by Zambia with two points. Tanzania and Rwanda are at position six and seven both with no point.