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Kwara Win North-Central Under-17 Zonal Cricket Championships Finals


Team Kwara on Sunday defeated Team Kogi in the final matches of both the male and female events of the U-17 zonal championships organised by the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF).

Both teams reached the finals of the two events after defeating other North-Central rivals on Saturday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

The championship, sponsored by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), saw Team Kwara win the toss and elected to bat, scoring 147 runs for the loss of four wickets in 20 overs, in the male event.

Team Kogi returned in the second innings with 100 runs for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs, for Kwara to win with 47 runs.

In the women’s game, Kogi won the toss and opted to bat, scoring 46 runs with all wickets out in 15.1 overs. The performance meant an easy walk for the Kwara female team as they needed only 8.1 overs to score 48 runs for the loss of a single wicket, winning by nine wickets.

After the game, coach Awoboola Yusuf of the Kwara Cricket Association said he was glad that their teams played according to instructions.

“We give thanks to God that we emerged victorious in the games today and kudos to the players for putting in so much effort to execute the plan. We have been working hard, training four to five times a week. We don’t wait for competition before we train and this effort has paid off. We are happy,” Yusuf added.

On his part, coach Edisha Omolaiye of the Kogi Cricket Association said his team would go back to the drawing board and prepare for subsequent events.

"Kwara have very good sides and we tried our best. We will go back home and prepare better ahead of a future event,” said Omolaiye.

Meanwhile, the best players in each state team in the North-Central geopolitical zone would be selected to represent the region in the finals of the event in February.

Ahead of the finals next month, Yusuf who will lead the zone to the event as the winning coach said they would prepare better ahead of the event.

“We will have tough opponents, and no team from the other zones will be a push-over. So, we will prepare better and give it our all. There is a rise in cricket’s grassroots development in all the zones. So, I am expecting a fierce battle and hopefully, we will come out victorious,” he added.

Team Kwara also dominated the individual awards at the competition. Abdulazeez Abdulquadri emerged the best batter in the men’s event. In the women’s event, Queen Joseph emerged the best batter while Sofiat Abdulwaheed received an award as the best bowler, both from Kwara.

The two-day qualifiers were concurrently played in one state each in the six geo-political zones of the country.


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