The Ghana national cricket team began the defence of the North-West African Ahmed Tejan Kaba Trophy they won last year on a good note when they took charge of their first innings yesterday with 210 runs in 49 overs for 10 wickets over Sierra Leone.
The results put their West African neighbours in a desperate position to chase Ghana to brighten their chances.
Ghana's game was the second after hosts, The Gambia, powered by 59 runs from dangerous batsman, Zacchaeuss Osseh Akila who is also the Vice Captain, shot into 288 runs for three wickets in 31 overs.
Akila's threat to the Malians was, however, erased after he was bowled out by fast bowler, Diaby Mahamadou Tiafour.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Ghana's Jamaican Coach, Philip 'Ras Bingi' Taylor, said his boys could not afford to lose any game.
"We are here to prove ourselves as worthy champions, and nothing should stand in our way. Nigeria, for instance, arrived here three days before we did so they have had more time to prepare but we are the stronger side, so the challenge is for us to defeat Nigeria ," he said.
Ghana defeated both Sierra Leone and Nigeria to win the last edition of the West Africa Quadrangular tournament played in Accra last year.
Ghana plays Nigeria today while Morocco will play Mali.
Meanwhile, in a telephone interview, Mr P.D. Vanderpue Orgle, Chairman of the Ghana Cricket Association (GCA), expressed gratitude to Stanbic Bank for sponsoring the team's tickets.
He also thanked Global Media Alliance, who were instrumental in negotiating for Slok Air's discounted tickets.
Mr Vanderpuye Orgle is expected to join the team in Banjul tomorrow. A 24-man contingent left Accra last Friday against the backdrop of financial difficulties.
Story by Nathaniel Attoh