Muted Celebrations For Cricket Cranes After Kenya Heist As Bermuda Looms

Muted Celebrations For Cricket Cranes After Kenya Heist As Bermuda Looms

BY INNOCENT NDAWULA

ICC CWC CHALLENGE LEAGUE B

Today’s Fixtures - December 6 (9am)

Uganda vs. Bermuda, OC Turf 1

Italy vs. Jersey, OC Turf 1

Yesterday’s Results

Kenya 253/6 Uganda 254/7

Uganda won by 3 wickets

Jersey 173/10 Hong Kong 177/6

Hong Kong won by 4 wickets

 

TABLE STANDINGS

TEAM        

 

M   

W    

L   

PTS    

NRR

H. Kong              

 

  2

 0 

 4

0.470

 

Uganda            

  2

2

 0 

 4

0.294

Italy

1

1

0

2

0.289

Bermuda

1

0

1

0

-0.139

Kenya

2

0

2

0

-0.197

Jersey

2

0

2

0

-0.618

Phew! The curse has finally been exorcised!

It’s not often that Uganda beat fierce close door neighbours Kenya, let alone in a run chase. And yet that is exactly what the Cricket Cranes did in a nail-biting stiff chase by three wickets at the lush-green Oman Cricket Academy Turf in Al Amerat yesterday.

 The win at the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup (CWC) Challenge League B ended untold years of hurt of Uganda waiting to beat Kenya in a competitive ICC 50-over format event.

Kenya set 253 for the loss of 6 wickets in the allotted 50 overs on a placid wicket and there were some heart-stopping moments in the second innings as Uganda stuttered at 22 for 2 in 6.2 overs.

Credit to the architects

But leftie Shahzad Kamal once again dropped an anchor with a classy 84-ball 60 in a tandem third-wicket combo of 127 runs with Man of Match Ronak Patel (86 off 106).


Ronak Patel, who featured in a 127-run partnership for the third wicket with Shahzad Kamal (60), deservedly picked the match gong for his defining innings

Kenya’s trio of returning Nehemiah Odhiambo (3/53 in 8.2 overs), Jadavji Bhimji Malindi (1/49 in 10) and 46-year-old Lameck Onyango (1/22 in 10) applied the brakes to Uganda’s flow at timely intervals with priceless wickets.

In that period Uganda fell from 182 for 4 to 220 for 7 but skipper Brian Masaba (22*) and veteran Frank Nsubuga (12*) stood firm for an unbeaten match-winning stand of 34 off just 25 balls to steer Uganda to victory with four balls remaining.

“I have been struggling with form and I thank my teammates for backing me up. This victory is sweet not because I contributed to it but because we haven’t beaten Kenya in a long while. Today will be memorable,” said Ronak soon after receive his gong.

Muted celebrations

And many a time such a triumph of vengeance over an eternal rival calls for some champagne-popping moments even if it’s a friendly.


Kenyan debutant Naman Patel (60) and skipper Irfan Karim (37) combined for solid opening stand of 88 in 22.4 overs but their teammates never capitalised on it to set a mammoth score.

But a quick glance around Uganda’s dug out, there were no exaggerated high fives. Just mere congratulatory handshakes and pats on the back among the team’s support staff and players.

“After this (Kenya) win, it is important we keep our feet grounded. We have to come back again here tomorrow (today) against Bermuda, look to do it all over again and bag another win. We need to keep the momentum going forward,” said 28-year-old skipper Masaba, who calmed the nerves with a big six to take the required rate from 20 runs off 17 balls to 14 off 16.

Frank Nsubuga catches danger-man Dhiren Gondaria for 53 off 50 balls off his own bowling. The veteran off-spinner was once again impressive with figures of 2 for 38 in 10 overs.

The big hitting Islanders from Bermuda will be anxious to make an impact after they failed to defend 291 runs against Hong Kong in their opening clash. Victory for Uganda today will give Steve Tikolo’s boys good cushion in their bid to reach the next qualifying stage of the 2023 World Cup in India.

 

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