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Ahoy! Its Peter (Again) Steering the Nigerian Ship to Safety

October 25, 2021

Whatever is written (and said) about the six-match bilateral encounter between Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the lone run of youngster Peter Aho will form the fulcrum of the analyses henceforth.

Six wickets in 3.4 overs, one maiden, and five runs! You just can’t have a better game than that - at least says the International Cricket Council’s T20i statistics page.

For now, the sun revolves around the shy bowler and he seems to have enough frame to carry the weight of his achievement. He has few words to describe his feat: “I thank God” and a flash of a smile.

For those just leaning back into the reality of the game, sorry, you’ve been missing on a new wave of optimism that the game has been riding. But the enthusiasm has been revved up by the clean ride it has garnered from the bumpy covid season of 2020.

A lot has happened and the game has had so many highs including of late, the story of grass wickets, Under-19 World Cup Qualification in 2019, hiring of a new Chief Coach and High-Performance Manager, Asanka Gurusinha.

Where the excitement about the sensational Aho will make more sense is when you understand that he is somehow connected to all of (or at least most) of the great new story building about the game building from Nigeria.

Aho is a “cricket rat” (if there is any word like that), he’s probably the most constant creature you will find at the Edo Boys High School, (former Adolor College) since it regenerated into a turf wicket.

In fact, the turf was the experimental turf wicket the country built in a bid to locally transmute from the concrete alternative that has continually put a limit on the expression of local talent on the global stage.

In July 2019, when Nigeria picked the Under-19 World Cup ticket after an unstoppable ride from Division 2 qualifying series, Peter intermittently showed up with some saving performances that in the last game against Sierra Leone, Aho bowled super to save the game and qualify the country.

For emphasis, it was 91 for 7 chasing 139 against Sierra Leone (Under-19s), he showed up and delivered a two-wicket victory for the country, that eventually qualified the country for her first ever World stage appearance in Crciket, (and knocked Namibia, who were lurking to benefit from the imminent defeat, off).

On the side: You can lay every bitterness the Namibians have for Nigeria from the event on Aho’s table, that just who he is: a match-winner.

In two years, and a few months Aho has graduated to the national team at the behest of Asanka, who has drawn his plans around a number of the victorious U-19s of 2019 (emphasis is mine).

So, on matchday five of the six match encounter Sunday, October 24, in a match that would have been an easy coast for the team, the Yellow-Green left their batting low at 94 and needed to pin the SAROs down with their bowling prowess to set a win.

Then comes Peter...

Perhaps what has not been described by the calm-headed youngster is his focus and sense of cricket, but with a high pitch Asanka as his Coach, Peter’s instinct has been tuned up.

His ravaging of the Sierra Leonian wickets has now placed him on the top spot of the ICC’s best bowling figures in an inning, a ranking that has no Nigerian on it before now, and has earned him a spot among the greats of the game.

The Sierra Leonian Bilateral Series is a sequel to the ICC African T20 Qualifying Series later in Rwanda by November. Aho holds an ace, same for a number of his mates, but if anything, Nigeria can rely on him to help demolish some wickets and drive fear into the opponents.

Here we come Ahoy! It's Peter’s ride.



  • avatar image

    Victor Ome

    October 25,2021 at 13:15:26

    In Coach Pasarela's words (Sweet Calipso) In Coach Uteh's words (Cool Stuff) In my own words (Bumper 2 Bumper)

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