By Jacob Ajom
Ibeju Lekki Cricket Club of Lagos began the defence of the Iris Smart Technologies CCC league title they won last season with a hard-earned three wicket victory over hard-fighting Federal Government College Warri, Old Boys Cricket Club at the Tafawa Balewa square cricket oval Lagos.
It was a historic event for Nigerian cricket as it marked the first official limited overs cricket match played in Nigeria with coloured clothing and a white ball.
Newcomers to the top division FGC Warri Cricket club batted first and ILCC quickly showed their intention to retain the title this season with their bowlers bowling a testing line and claiming a couple of early wickets.
FGCWOSA CC found scoring difficult, chalking up just over 20 runs in the first 10 overs. Despite losing wickets steadily, FGCWOSA CC batsmen hung in albeit with some difficulty and their innings ended on 127 runs for the loss of all 10 wickets.
ILCC resumed their innings expecting to chase down the 127 runs easily.
However, FGC Warri, newcomers to the top divisionÂ quickly showed they intended to hold their own in the title-chase this season, quickly reducing ILCC to 8 for 3.
This very quickly became 44 for 6 and they looked on their way to winning the match handsomely. ILCC batsmen, Jide Bejide and Leke Oyede however had other ideas. With plenty of overs in hand, they steadily built a 7th wicket partnership which took their team within close sight of the win before Oyede through away his wicket with a careless shot. ILCC however managed to keep their heads down and take the match home in an exciting finish to a great day of cricket.
Organisers of the league, Club Cricket Committee have promised that the exciting tempo will be maintained this season with the focus on continuous improvement inÂ the quality and quantity of cricket being played so as to encourage attendance at its matches.
The CCC Chairman confirmed that CCC in conjunction with the National Cricket
Federation is working with the University of Lagos authorities to refurbish
the Unilag Cricket Oval and bring the facilities up to par.