The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifiers had a similar start and end to it as all matches on the opening day and the final day got abandoned due to poor weather conditions in Kampala, Uganda. In the end, based on the completed round of matches, Namibia and Kenya have secured their spots into the global qualifiers in UAE in Oct/Nov 2019, remaining unbeaten in all three of them.
The final day action was crucial for Nigeria’s chances, as they were placed 3rd in the points table with their final scheduled game against Uganda and while they would have loved to have a go at victory, it would have required either of Namibia or Kenya to have a bad day at the office in their scheduled game to give the Nigerians to catch one of the team’s on equal points and perhaps, leapfrog them in terms of net run-rate.
While Namibia were very convincing in their victories over Ghana, Uganda and Botswana, Kenya and Uganda played out the most exciting match in the tournament, which went down to the wire till the final ball, with Kenya managing to scrape through with a 1 run victory over their arch-rivals in the recent past. Nigeria registered their men’s maiden T20I wins over Botswana and Ghana in the tournament to finish 3rd in the points table.
Uganda were left disappointed over the lost opportunities due to weather conditions, as they finished 4th in the points table, with victories over Botswana and Ghana in their 4 completed games. Had they managed to win over Kenya, it would have them advancing to the global qualifiers instead of Kenya.
Botswana and Ghana had disappointing campaigns during the tournament, as they lost in all their completed matches in the 6-nation event.
In terms of individual performances, Kenya’s Rakep Patel scored 2 T20I half-centuries (55 & 51 n.o), while there were single half-centuries for Namibia’s Kirk Birkenstock (59, also the highest individual score in the tournament) and Stephen Baard (52 n.o) and Uganda’s Riazat Ali Shah (53 n.o). Riazat Ali Shah ended as the tournament’s highest run-scorer with 140 runs to his name, followed by Rakep Patel (106 runs in 3 matches) and Uganda’s Arnold Otwani (89 runs in 4 matches).
Namibia’s Christi Viljoen (9 wickets from 3 matches) was the top wicket-taker in the tournament, which included a 5-fer against Botswana, followed by Uganda’s Charles Waiswa (8 wickets from 4 matches), Botswana’s Aditiya Rangaswamy (6 wickets from 3 matches) and Ghana’s Isaac Aboagye (6 wickets from 4 matches).