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Simango hat-trick sends Mozambique into knockout stage

Mozambqiue celebrate
The biggest question ahead of Wednesday's fixtures in the ICC Under19 World Cup Africa Division 2 qualifiers was which team in Group B would join Nigeria in the knockout stages.

In amongst that, Tanzania produced the first two centurions of the tournament, pipping Nigeria's fancied top-order to the honour. The West African giants had already qualified for the knockouts, thanks to wins over Ghana and Mozambique, and they confirmed their status as tournament favourites by overwhelming Lesotho in a match that required a total of just 25 overs.

In the other Group B clash, however, there was a lot more at stake. Ghana and Mozambique were in an effective eliminator, and it was Mozambique who held their nerve. Ghana took first strike at Senwes Park, but their batting let them down at the most crucial stage.

Bernard Simango turned the match in its head in a solitary over, as he helped himself to a hat-trick, and closed the Ghanaian innings abruptly. Before he bowled, the Black Stars might have still hoped for a total of around 140, to test Mozambique.

But Simango took wickets with his fourth, fifth and sixth deliveries as Ghana slipped from 99 for seven to all out in a matter of minutes. The top-order then took that confidence to the crease, and Bernardo Sambo's 43 off 44 balls was the anchor that was needed, as Mozambique won by six wickets, with more than half of their overs still to spare.

Nigeria bundled out Lesotho for just 46, in 18.1 overs. Isaac Danladi and Shehu Audu doing the damage with the ball, with the former taking four for 5 in just 5.1 overs, and the latter chipping in with three for 11. As it was, they only required 6.5 overs to clip off the runs.

In Group A, Sierra Leone continued with their impressive start to the competition, holding off a nuggety Botswana by six wickets. Botswana put up a target of 141, but Sierra Leone barely broke a sweat, winning with ten overs to spare.

Muaz Arooz's 40 had given Botswana something to work with. But, they needed a lot more against a side that is as balanced as their opponents.

13-year-old John Bangura was the star for Sierra Leone, with the keeper/batsman notching a perfectly calm 55 not out, belying his tender years. Emmanuel Akpo, not yet 15 himself, joined Bangura in a stand of 95, which took the game away from Botswana.

Akpo weighed in with 36, also taking his time in a partnership full of maturity. Sierra Leone's win proved that they will be no pushover in the latter stages of the tournament.

In the final match of the day, Tanzania thumped Swaziland by 163 runs, thanks to centuries from Krutik Thakkar (103) and Aahil Jasani (100 not out). Jasani left it late to get to his landmark, while Thakkar was the anchorman for the side.

Their partnership of 185 for the fourth wicket blew Swaziland's attack away, and it was a question of how big the margin of victory would be, as Tanzania reached 262 for five. In reply, only Jawad Muhammad put up a fight for Swaziland, though his 40 was in vain.

The rest of the order fell around him, as Jasani added three scalps to his century, capping a fine day all-round. Swaziland collapsed to 99 all out, as Tanzania completed the most comfortable of victories.

Scores in brief:

Ghana vs Mozambique

Ghana 99 all out (B Simango three for 1, J Bulele three for 18)

Mozambique 100 for four ( B Sambo 43)

Mozambique won by six wickets


Nigeria vs Lesotho

Lesotho 46 all out (I Danladi four for 5, S Audu three for 11)

Nigeria 47 for one (S Runsewe 17 not out)

Nigeria won by nine wickets


Botswana vs Sierra Leone

Botswana 140 all out (M Arooz 40, K Machailo 31, S Conteh three for 11)

Sierra Leone 141 for four (J Bangura 55 not out,  Akpo 36)

Sierra Leone won by six wickets


Tanzania vs Swaziland

Tanzania 262 for five (K Thakkar 103, A Jasani 100 not out)

Swaziland 99 all out (J Muhammad 40, A Jasani three for 18)

Tanzania won by 163 runs

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Points Tables

Group A

Team Played Won Lost Tied No Result Points NRR
Tanzania 3 2 1 0 0 4 0.957
Sierra Leone 2 2 0 0 0 4 0.953
Botswana 3 1 2 0 0 2 -0.252
Rwanda 2 1 1 0 0 2 0.830
Swaziland 2 0 2 0 0 0 -2.650


Group B

Team Played Won Lost Tied No Result Points NRR
Nigeria 3 3 0 0 0 6 5.087
Mozambique 3 2 1 0 0 4 1.807
Ghana 3 1 2 0 0 2 -0.679
Lesotho 3 0 3 0 0 0 -5.299


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