From Akanimo Kufre (The New Diplomat’s A/Ibom|C/River Correspondent)
Cricket team from Edo state has emerged winner of the South-south zonal U17 Cricket Boys Championship after defeating Akwa Ibom with 9 wickets.
At the tournament organized by Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) and sponsored by PwC, Akwa Ibom boys had defeated team Rivers to secure an encounter with a more experienced Edo side. Edo on the other hand won team Delta, hence prepared hard to meet a seemingly fearful Coach Patrick Edidiong’s boys from Uyo.
At the Sunday finals, Edo fielders choked Akwa Ibom batsmen, denying them opportunity to score runs (points) with slow pace bowlers and spinners.
The fast hitting Akwa Ibom boys were reduce to score only 69 runs and all out in 14.5 overs. Subdued, Edo team had an easy chase, taking advantage of the pressure on Akwa Ibom, making steady singles and fours with loss of only one wicket. They eventually won by 9 wickets according to Cricket parlance.
The tournament hosted in Rivers State at the University of Portharcourt Cricket Pitch saw Six states in the South-South Zone compete to represent the Zone at the National Championships which will be staged in Edo State.
In the Female NCF/PwC U17, held at the same venue last week, Team Edo State defeated host state Team Rivers in the finals of 20 Overs.
A selected team from South-south, had 7 players from Edo, Akwa Ibom 3, Delta, Rivers, Cross River, 1 and Bayelsa 1.
Coach Theo Ibedome had been appointed South-south Head coach, while Coach Patrick Edidiong serves as Team Manager.
The National Finals would be played in the newly constructed turfwicket oval of Edo Boys High School, Benin City Edo State from Thursday 29th of January- Sunday 31st January 2021, while the Male Finals will begin Thursday February 4th- Sunday February 7th 2021.
Meanwhile, the National Championships will see outstanding male players drafted into the Nigeria Under 19 Cricket team while the female players selected will drafted into the The Nigeria Female Cricket team.
Another excitement for the players besides the presentation of trophies, cash and medals was the presentation of kits bag by NCF Vice President, Mr. Uyi Akpata to all six States who participated in the eliminations for cricket development programs.
SOUTH-SOUTH U17 CRICKET AWARDS
Most Valuable Player (MVP): Prosper Useni- Edo State.
Best Batter: Selim Salau- Edo State.
Best Bowler: Daniel Mfom- Rivers State.
Best Fielder: Solomon Chilemanya- Edo State.
Best Behaved: Godswill Effiong- Akwa Ibom State.
SOUTH-SOUTH REGIONAL TEAM LIST.
1. Chilemanya Destiny. Captain.
2. Elijah Saturday- Vice Captain.
3. Salau Selim- Wicketkeeper 1.
4. Useni Prosper- Edo State.
5. Asia Osaro- Edo State.
6. Daniel Mfom- Rivers State.
7. Umoh Saviour- Akwa Ibom State.
8. Joshua Asia- Edo State.
9. Eweka Ogbemudia- Edo State.
10. Oghebefediro Ighomrude- Rivers State.
11. Onyemgba Isaac- Edo State.
12. Goodswill Effiong- Akwa Ibom State.
13. David Abiebhode- Edo State.
14. Emmanuel Okpor- Delta State.
1. Bright Monroe- Bayelsa State.
2. Agabi Michael- Cross Rivers State.
3. Solomon Chilemanya- Edo State.
4. Damian Akporubere- Delta State.