Day 3 Review - Uganda On Knife-Edge After Loss To Namibia, Kenya In Good Nick Ahead Of Anticipated Migingo Derby

Day 3 Review - Uganda On Knife-Edge After Loss To Namibia, Kenya In Good Nick Ahead Of Anticipated Migingo Derby

By Innocent Ndawula

ICC T20 World Cup Africa Final

Day Three Results

Namibia 167/7 Uganda 125/8

Namibia won by 42 runs

Nigeria 119/10 Botswana 108/7

Nigeria won by 11 runs

Kenya 141/5 Ghana 88/10

Kenya won by 53 runs (with 15 balls remaining)

WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 - FIXTURES

Nigeria vs. Ghana,  9.30am, Kyambogo

Namibia vs. Botswana,  1.50pm, Kyambogo

Uganda vs. Kenya,  1.50pm, Lugogo

ICC Men's T20 World Cup Africa Region Final 2019

TEAM

M

W

L

T

N/R

PTS

NRR

Namibia

2

2

0

0

0

4

3.000

Kenya

2

2

0

0

0

4

2.125

Uganda

2

1

1

0

0

2

0.250

Nigeria

2

1

1

0

0

2

-0.219

Botswana

2

0

2

0

0

0

-1.575

Ghana

2

0

2

0

0

0

-3.082

There is a thin line between strategy and execution. Team Uganda will know this and much more after their 42-run humbling defeat to Namibia at the University Oval in Kyambogo that left the hosts on the brink.

For the Cricket Cranes, they’re literally one loss away from failing to progress to the coveted International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier scheduled for October this year in United Arab Emirates.

And their must win - a rescheduled fixture from the rain interrupted opening day on Sunday - is against Kenya at Lugogo Cricket Ground tomorrow (Wednesday, May 22).

Roger Mukasa and Co. will be hoping that the game hasn’t come either too early or very late - whichever way you want to look at it - since their opponents on the day; Kenya are brimming with confidence after two clinical wins against West Africa’s representatives (Nigeria and Ghana).

Unfortunately the same cannot be said about Uganda, who heavily relied on Arnold Otwani and a collective bowling effort to oust ‘minnows’ Botswana by 52 runs at Lugogo on Monday and then followed up that display with an insipid show against pre-tournament favourites Namibia.

Cranes catch cold

Gerhard Erasmus, Namibia’s captain, called right at the toss and wisely chose to bat first. Even when his team struggled at 53 runs for 4 wickets in 8.4 overs, the Eagles never pressed the panic button.

Stephen Baard (10) left with the scores at 17 for 1, Nikolaas Davin (11) at 25 for 2 in 3.2 overs, captain Erasmus (11) at 46 for 3 in 6.3 overs and Zain Green (3) at 53 for 4 in 8.4 overs. Uganda’s bowlers had their tails wagging then but Cristoffel Viljoen (33 off 30) and Karl Birkenstock (59 off 28) took the game to them with a fearless approach in an exhibition of clean hitting with a 61-run partnership off 36 balls to get Namibia back on its feet and rolling to formidable total.

All Namibia's batsmen played with purpose and tried to force the pace; chipping in to the cause with quick cameos as they piled on 167 runs despite Uganda snaring seven wickets.

Johannes Smit (16) and vice captain Jan Frylinck (19) added the finishing touches as Namibia ended on 167 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs with three Ugandan bowlers sharing five wickets coupled with two run-out dismissals.

And with Uganda needing 8.4 runs per over to win, they got off to a dream start with youngster Zephaniah Arinaitwe (15 off 11) and Hamu Kayondo (15 off 15) garnering 31 runs in the first three overs.

But when both departed after playing needless and extravagant shots, the wheels came off Uganda’s bus in spectacular fashion. The long batting line-up assembled by Steve Tikolo put up a bit-part show with abysmal returns. No batter reached 20 runs with Riazat Ali Shah top scoring with 19 and No.10 Charles Waiswa finishing unbeaten on 14 in a losing cause as Uganda ended on 125 for 8.

Aftermath reactions

The fair crowd that turned up at Kyambogo stayed rooted in their seated in their shades, coaches Tikolo, Ogwang and Tim Kearsey cut broken postures whereas the players put on brave faces in the face of adversity at the post-match presentation - a scenario best described as one of a team that knew they had the ability to do better on a ground they practice on at a daily basis and have always managed to register and chase down even better scores, albeit during warm-up matches.

Ugandan legend Sam Walusimbi hands over the Player of the Match award to batsman Rakep Patel for his half ton that helped Kenya set a defendable 142.

Uganda were guilty of several nap-off moments in the match; sloppy fielding, bowling many boundary balls and a slow-batting tempo when the set batsmen should have employed controlled aggression, in phases.

“We lost to a very good and strong Namibian team. They did everything better than us,” said assistant coach Ogwang.

And Ogwang could have been right since Namibia are the ICC World Cricket League Division Two champions - bragging rights they scooped a couple of weeks ago in Windhoek.

Uganda captain Roger Mukasa opined further; “It was just a bad day in office. We are going to keep our heads up. It’s (Kenya) a big game for us to stay in the tournament. We urge our fans to come in big numbers and cheers us for what is our final.”

The critics will be quick to see if Tikolo can ring some changes and give tournament debuts to either teenager Rogers Olipa, Fred Achelam or Brian Masaba.

Nigerian Isaac Danladi put up a superb all-round performance to guide the Yellow Greens to a stunning victory over the Baggy Blues.

For Namibia captain Erasmus, he wasn’t about to get carried away by the result - their second victory in the tournament that keeps them atop the six-team log with a better Net Run Rate (NRR).

“We had to adapt to these conditions and still have to do that. The bigger picture is winning this tournament,” said Erasmus ahead of the Eagles next match against Botswana at Kyambogo.

Last chance saloon

But against Kenya, no excuse will be good enough to convince the partisan and hurting Ugandan fans, if the Cricket Cranes fall to their eternal foes in a fixture that has been christened ‘Migingo Derby’ whenever the two nations lock horns across any sport.

Uganda have the strategy to bounce back to winning ways and now, they don’t need any motivation to execute their roles as per the strategy in this must-win clash.

Kenya will be buoyed by a rich top-order of Dhiren Gondaria, Alex Obanda, Irfan Karim, Collins Obuya and Rakep Patel. Coach Maurice Odumbe and David Obuya’s guns will be itching to add more salt in the hosts’ wounds and forthwith eliminate them for contention.

Botswana captain Karabo Motlhanka is lost in thought and left ruing a missed chance after his team suffered a second successive loss that literally has them playing for pride now.

But Day Four will not be all about Uganda showcasing their survival skills. Nigeria, Botswana and Ghana will be eager to keep their campaigns alive.

Botswana and Ghana are winless thus far whereas the Yellow Greens from Ogaland must beat their nemesis (Ghana) to stay alive in a cut-thoat tournament as is the case in these ICC events.

The top teams will qualify for ICC T20 World Cup Global Qualifier in United Arab Emirates from October 11 to November 3 as they fight to inch ever close to the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

 

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