Team Uganda’s hopes of a maiden slot at the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup are still abound after they won the regional continental qualifier last weekend.
The Cricket Cranes came from a 1-0 down to win five matches on the bounce before lifting the Africa T20 Cup after beating Kenya by six wickets via Duckworth & Lewis (D/L) Method at the Gahanga International Cricket Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda.
“It has been a tough tournament,” winning Brian Masaba remarked after Uganda topped the four-team round-robin standings with 10 points.
“With just a day’s break in between, that’s a testament for our fitness levels,” he said.
Tied with Kenya on eight points apiece after Saturday morning’s matches, Uganda was up against their eastern neighbours in a purported ‘final’.
And despite having coach Laurence Mahatlane and his assistant Jackson Ogwang away with bouts of malaria, the Cranes’ avenged their tournament opening one-run loss to Kenya.
After Kenya elected to bat, Uganda worked hard with the ball and in the field to keep the opposition at bay and the scoreboard read 29-3 after 6.2 overs after wickets of Rushab Patel, Irfan Karim and Alex Obanda had fallen.
But Collins Obuya (29* off 40) and Rakep Patel (62* off 46) built a recovery partnership of 94 runs to help Kenya reach 123-3 after the allotted overs.
Uganda had Dinesh Nakrani (1/26) and spinning pair of Henry Ssenyondo (1/14) and Frank Nsubuga (1/9) to thank for their combined 44 dots.
Uganda’s innings were interrupted by a downpour and despite being 22-2 after 26 balls, Riazat Ali Shah (43* off 31) and Nakrani (28* off 25) delivered the result with eight balls to spare.
“The team has put in a lot of work in the last one year. We have come a long way. The team has matured really well,” noted Masaba.
Uganda will now wait to compete at one step via a Global Qualifier either in Oman in February or in Zimbabwe later in May before the World Cup in Australia.
“The work doesn’t stop. We look to improve as a team and be good ambassadors for cricket in Africa,” added Masaba.
ICC T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA QUALIFIER
Tanzania 68/10 Uganda 74/4
Uganda won by 6 wickets
Kenya 123/3 (117) Uganda 118//4
Uganda won by 6 wickets (D/L Method)
Nigeria 112/9 Uganda 114/2 (16.2 overs)
Uganda won by 8 wickets
Tanzania 140/8 Uganda 141/2 (18.2 overs)
Uganda won by 8 wickets
Uganda 147/9 Nigeria 50/2 (9.2 overs)
Uganda won by 12 runs (D/L Method)
Kenya 161/5 Uganda 160/7
Kenya won by one run
INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS
Sanjay Kumar Thakor of Tanzania (10 wickets)
Alex Auma Obanda of Kenya (231 runs)
Player of the Tournament:
Riazat Ali Shah of Uganda (106 runs, 8 wickets & 4 catches)
Final Table Standings
TEAM M W L Pts NRR
Uganda 6 5 1 10 1.024
Kenya 6 4 2 08 1.002
Tanzania 6 3 3 06 0.523
Nigeria 6 0 6 00 -2.610
*NRR denotes Net Run Rate
CRICKET CRANES CONTINGENT
Brian Masaba (Captain), 2. Deus Muhumuza (Vice-Captain)
, 3. Ronak Patel, 4. Simon Ssesazi, 5. Dinesh Nakrani, 6. Frank Akankwasa, 7. Riazat Ali Shah, 8. Kenneth Waiswa, 9. Bilal Hassun, 10. Frank Nsubuga, 11. Saud Islam, 12. Richard Agamire, 13. Henry Ssenyondo, 14. Fred Achelam (wicket-keeper)
Laurence Mahatlane (Coach)
, Jackson Ogwang (Assistant Coach)
, Shamim Nassali (Physiotherapist),
Alvin Bagaya (Analyst), Innocent Ndawula (Media Manager)
Jackson Kavuma (Team Manager).
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This writer is a global broadcaster and as well, a scribe with Daily Monitor Newspaper and sports presenter with Radio One FM 90 in Kampala. Follow him on Twitter: @AllanDarren and his Facebook Page: Darren Allan Kyeyune
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