BY INNOCENT NDAWULA
Result - Game Seven
Uganda 155 runs for 8 wickets in 20 overs (Roger Mukasa 38 off 39, Ronak Patel 33 off 41, Dinesh Nakrani 32 off 11; Kassim Mussa Nassoro 2/15 in 3, Zamayoni Ramadhani Jaboneke 3/28 in) lost to Tanzania 158 for 4 wickets in 20 overs (Abhik Patwa 47 off 36, Zafar Khan 40 off 36, Zamayoni Ramadhani Jaboneke 32* off 12; Riazat Ali Shah 2/20 in 5) by six wickets and five balls remaining.
Man Of Match: Zamayoni Ramadhani Jaboneke (Tanzania)
Result - Game Eight
Rwanda 125 all out in 19.3 overs (Bob Bashir Songa 43 off 31; Pushpak Kerai 4/25 in 4, Eugene Ochieng 3/19 in 3.3, Shem Ngoche 2/13 in 4) lost to Kenya 126 runs for 5 wickets in 16.1 overs (Collins Obuya 44 off 35, Alex Obanda 30 off 17; Vyan Mitali 2/30 in 3, Eric Niyomugabo 1/16) by five wickets and 23 balls remaining.
Man Of Match: Pushpak Kerai (Kenya)
ICC World T20 Africa Region Qualifier B Table
Points Table After Match Day 4
TEAM M W L PT NRR
KENYA 4 4 0 8 3.954
UGA 4 2 2 4 2.758
TAN 4 2 2 4 -0.956
RWA 4 0 4 0 -5.166
No one saw this coming. If there was any, then that person wasn’t part of Uganda’s 23-man strong contingent here in Kigali, Rwanda for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier at Gahanga Stadium.
It was mind-blowing as Tanzania stunned Uganda by six wickets on Match Day Four to bring the curtains down on Uganda’s title hopes , open up theirs and leave the Cricket Cranes gnawing for survival with two match-days left.
But guess who dealt Uganda the sucker punch! It was dread-locked Zamayoni Ramadhani Jaboneke, a 24-year-old multi-faceted sportsman.
Nicknamed Zamo King, the former Taifa Stars (Tanzania) U-20 Soccer Team and Azam FC striker, exploited the crumbling wicket that had degenerated into a slow sub-continent pitch to suffocate Uganda’s fickle batsmen as they attempted to engage a scoring gear in vain.
Alongside his captain Kassim Mussa Nassoro, who picked the East African meet’s first hat-trick to finish with figures of 2 for 15 in 2 overs, King Zamo bossed the match; bowling a mixed bag as his right-arm medium pace became impossible to play on the day enroute to impressing with figures of 3 for 28 in 3 overs.
Cricket Cranes captain Roger Mukasa was dropped twice on the day but could still manage only 38 runs off 39 balls, Ronak Patel was pedestrian with 33 off 43 balls and when Dinesh Nakrani (32 off 11) stepped on the accelerator, it was a little too late as Uganda recovered from 42 for 1 in 10 overs to finish on 155 for 8 in 20 overs.
The pair; Nassoro and Jaboneke were at it in the second innings; Nassoro’s brains worked overtime as he expertly shuffled his batting line-up and then Jaboneke lifted the roof off Gahanga with an unbeaten 12-ball 32 that was coloured with two fours and three sixes to seal the surprise win.
Earlier opening batsman Abhik Patwa (47 off 36) and Fazar Khan (40 off 36) had laid a solid platform for the chase to ensure Jaboneke blazes home with the knowledge that the wickets column favoured his side.
Kenya in cruise control
Maurice Odumbe’s Simbas became the first team to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 Africa Qualifier scheduled for early next year after outlasting a fighting Rwanda by five wickets - the host nation’s fourth successive loss.
Uganda-born Rwandan Bob Bashir Songa top scored with a 31-ball 43 comprising of two fours and three sixes as the host nation set 125 all out in 19.3 overs. Man of Match Pushpak Kerai (4/25 in 4) and Eugene Ochieng (3/13 in 3.3) made their presence felt with the ball.
Kenyan mainstay Collins Omondi Obuya (44* off 35) and Alex Obanda (30 off 17) defied the impressive Rwandan bowlers whose brave spells earned them five prized scalps.
The top two finishers at this event will progress to the six-nation ICC World Twenty20 Africa Qualifier scheduled for early next year. Ghana and Nigeria have already qualified from the West Africa region, two will move closer to the Australia 2020 World Cup from the Southern Africa zone, who play their ‘Qualifier’, at the back-end of this year.
Both teams take a rest and bounce back on Friday with Tanzania taking on Kenya in the morning whereas Uganda lock horns with Rwanda in the afternoon.
Uganda will now have to win its last two games against Rwanda on (July 13th) and Kenya (July 14th) in some style to ensure Tanzania does not ‘steal’ their place amongst the top two finishers.
Uganda captain Roger Mukasa
“This has been a bad day in office. Apart from winning the toss, nothing went our away. The wicket was double-paced when we batted and then it did nothing for our bowlers. We still have two games and have to come hard and ensure that we finish among the top two. It is painful that the trophy is now out of our reach.”
Uganda coach Steve Tikolo
“I think we were probably 15 to 20 runs short on such a ground where the ball flies too much and outfield is quick. We now need to bounce back and win our last two games. The morale is not low in our camp, my guys are seasoned campaigners and we will have a chat about the game and come back hard.”
Tanzania captain Kassim Mussa Nassoro
“We thank God who has given us this victory. Our bowlers bowled impeccable lines. Now we have two wins and we have to keep fighting who knows what happens next. I am also delighted with my hat-trick. Credit to my teammates who helped me pull it off "
Rwanda coach Martin Suji
“The guys were more composed today and showed that they can bat first irrespective of the opposition. It is always a good thing to believe in yourself and abilities. The boys were motivated by the journey and memories of how far the game has grown in this country.”
Rwanda batsman Bob Bashir Songa
“It feels nice when you score runs for your country. Kenya is a big cricketing nation and when you score runs against them, you feel proud of yourself. Today was an experience to our side and we are learning a lot in this tournament. We have lost but remain proud of ourselves because we applied ourselves and didn’t suck in the pressure.”
Kenya coach Maurice Odumbe
“It is nice to know we have qualified for the finals. We will still come hard in the remaining games. We didn’t come here to lose matches. Some people will be given a rest but I am also happy for Rwanda with the way they expressed themselves.”
Man of Match - Pushpak Kerai (Kenya)
“The wicket was good to bowl on. It was slow and had some turn. Such performances inspire one to feel that they are an integral member of the team. Hopefully I can win another award before the end.”