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Cricket of Friday, 13 February 2009

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Ghana Face Rwanada in World Cup Qualifiers

Ghana has been drawn to face Rwanda in the opening fixture of the 2010 International Cricket Council (ICC) U-19 World Cup preliminary qualifiers in Mozambique.

The qualifiers run from February 27-March 5 and are expected to attract the likes of Sierra Leone, Gambia, Swaziland, Rwanda and Mozambique.

Like all the other teams, Ghana is expected to touch down in Mozambique on February 27 before taking on Rwandathe following day.

Rwanda is well aware that the odds are against them as they have never beaten Ghana in an international game.

The two sides have met twice; in the 2004 and 2008 ICC/ACA World Cricket League Div 3 tournaments in South Africa.

In 2008, the sides met at the semi-finals and Rwanda were beaten hands down. Not used to playing swing bowlers, Rwanda crumbled to a paltry score of 23, her lowest ever score in an ICC game.

However, Rwanda's U-19 coach Martin Ondeko is optimistic his charges will give Ghana a run for their money.

Ondeko is currently taking a provisional squad of 18 youngsters through drills at Kicukiro.

"I have a couple of talented guys in the team but on a whole, I'm impressed with the team's fielding and bowling," said Ondeko who also happens to be one of Uganda's celebrated cricketers.

The winner in Mozambique will proceed to Zambia to contest with Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia for the lone 2010 U-19 World Cup slot at stake.

The 2010 World Cup will be hosted in Kenya.

ICC WC qualifier

Format- Round Robin, 50-over Matches

Rwanda's fixtures

Feb 28: vs Ghana

March 1: vs Mozambique

March 2: vs Gambia

March 3: vs Sierra Leone

March 4: vs Swaziland