A 127-run third wicket partnership between Alex Obanda and Prashanth Srinivas steered Kenya to a comfortable five-wicket victory over Namibia on the opening day of the Africa U/19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Benoni, South Africa on Saturday.

Obanda scored a fine 95-ball 71 with eight boundaries while Srinivas contributed an elegant 67-ball 52 with seven fours as Kenya achieved the victory target of 198 for the loss of five wickets with 27 balls to spare.

Kenya missed the last two ICC U/19 Cricket World Cups in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka while Namibia participated in South Africa in 1998, Sri Lanka in 2000, New Zealand in 2002 and last year in Sri Lanka.

Elsewhere, Uganda, which played in the last two ICC U/19 Cricket World Cups, made a winning start in its quest to complete a hat-trick of appearances when it defeated Tanzania by three wickets, while Bostwana registered a 244-run victory over Nigeria and Zambia defeated Ghana by four wickets.

Scores in brief:
Uganda beat Tanzania by three wickets
Tanzania 91 (Charles Waiswa 4-20)
Uganda 92-7

Botswana beat Nigeria by 244 runs
Botswana 286-6 in 50 overs (Karabo Modise 65 not out, Nadeem Tajbhay 55, Karan Kapoor 47)
Nigeria 42 (Manan Barot 4-16, Taroesh Trivedi 4-48)

Kenya beat Namibia by five wickets
Namibia 197-9 in 50 overs (Ewald Steenkamp 82 not out; Pritesh Lalji Patel 3-21, Peter Kituku 2-26)
Kenya 200-5 (Alex Obanda 71, Prashanth Srinivas 52)

Zambia beat Ghana by four wickets
Ghana 164 in 45.5 overs (Obed Harvey 33)
Zambia 166-6 in 42.4 overs

The ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup is a vital part of the ICC Development Program and provides a vehicle for the best young cricketers in the world to parade their skills.

Many of the future stars of the game experience their first true international exposure at this tournament and players such as Brian Lara, Michael Atherton, Yuvraj Singh, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Chris Cairns, Michael Clarke, Graeme Smith and Sanath Jayasuriya have used the event as a stepping stone to full international honours.

First staged in Australia in 1988, the tournament was initially organised on an occasional basis, but since the commencement of the ICC Development Program in 1997 it has become a biennial fixture.

The 2010 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup will be held in Kenya while the 2012 tournament will be staged in Canada and UAE will host the 2014 edition.

Sami-ul-Hasan is ICC Communications Officer