BY INNOCENT NDAWULA
Uganda 181 runs for 4 wickets in 20 Overs (Ronak Patel 66* off 45, Hamu Kayondo 42 off 19, Roger Mukasa 42 off 33; Harsh Ramaiya 2 for 22 in 4) beat Tanzania 117 runs for 7 wickets (Muhammad Zafar Khan 33 off 31, Raahil Krishna Amarshia 26 off 20; Irfan Afridi 3 for 9 in 4 overs, Dinesh Nakrani 2 for 24 in 3) by 64 runs
Man of Match: Irfan Afridi (Uganda)
Gahanga is well connected with city centre of Rwanda - Kigali - as well as the under-construction Bugesera International Airport that is a bird’s view from Gahanga Cricket Stadium.
Plans are also underway to erect a Bird’s Nest like Stadium in Gahanga similar to the magnificent and historic Beijing National Stadium in China.
To say that development in Gahanga is fast-paced would be an understatement. It is flying!
Well, well, well…look likes someone talked to the batsmen of the four-teams; Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and hosts Rwanda competing in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier, about the high-end developments going on in and the neighborhood of Gahanga.
Why? Because flying was the order of the day for the second successive day as batsmen continued to dominate on Day Two of the East African showpiece.
With even the wicket playing funny; double-paced (up and down), just after one-day of action, Uganda’s game against Tanzania ended with 31 boundaries and 14 maximums.
All About Power
Power-hitting is what is going to win teams this tournament and Uganda having outscored Rwanda with 18 fours and nine maximums were able to power their plane to take-off mode for the first win of the tournament.
Flights of different sizes were on the runaway of Gahanaga Stadium, but after winning the toss and electing to bat, captain Roger Mukasa (42 off 33), Hamu Kayondo (42 off 19) and Ronak Patel (66 off 45) with three, two and three monstrous sixes apiece powered Uganda safely to their destination; 181 for 4 in the alloted 20 overs.
Then the seven-man bowling arsenal that Mukasa used on the day showed that they can right the wrongs of the previous day with brainy spells to limit Tanzania to 117 for 7 in 20 overs.
Man of Match Irfan Afridi, 3 for 9 in 4 overs, starred with Dinesh Nakrani wrapping up the tail of Tanzania after supporting casts from Henry Ssenyondo (1/18 in 4), Frank Nsubuga (0/20 in 4) and Mukasa (1/9 in 2).
The flying continued later on in the day during Kenya’s blitz of hosts Rwanda by 123 runs. The ‘mighty’ Simbas set 270 for 6 and then restricted Rwanda, who entertained their partisan fans that turned up in good numbers with some clean-hitting in their own innings, to 147 for 8.
That game, the fourth of the tournament, had 31 fours and 26 sixes. Overall the tournament, now, has seen the batsmen plunder 109 boundaries and 86 flying sixes.
The bowlers will surely do with a break, as July 9 is an official Rest/Reserve Day, to re-energize and re-think their strategies on the small unforgiving Gahanga Airport…err sorry Gahanga Cricket Stadium ahead of Tuesday, July 10th fixtures.
Uganda captain Roger Mukasa:
“It was nice for us to bounce back in the manner we did because we know what is at stake. The batsmen once again showed their form and the bowlers bowled better than in the first game against Kenya. For us, we have told ourselves that every game is a final from now - same situation we were in while in Malaysia.”
Uganda coach Steve Tikolo:
“It is still early days in the tournament but my philosophy is to take it one game at a time. We still have another four games. The strategy was to have one of the main four batsmen be there at the end and for the bowling to click. It happened today. Two points in the bag for us. We grind on.”
Man Of The Match: Irfan Afridi
“I didn’t bowl well in the first game but I am happy how I bowled well in this game. The wicket was very slow and I knew I would do well because I also batted in the first innings and noticed the wicket was slow. All I did was to bowl wicket to wicket. Insha Allah (read God Willing), I am sure we will win the trophy.”