BY NORBERT ABBI
Uganda 119/4 in 18.3 overs (Getrude Candiru 43 not out, Immaculate Nakisuyi 27 in 28) beat Netherlands 118/3 in 20 overs (Sterre Kalis 43 in 48, Heather Siegers 46 in 43) by 6 wickets
Player of Match: Getrude Candiru
In the 1st play-off semi-final game that sees the bottom two teams in each group tussle for placements, Uganda took on the hosts Netherlands and won giving them a shot at finishing 5th.
Netherlands won the toss and elected to bat first hoping to set a score and defend against a Ugandan side that has struggled with the bat in the tournament. Sterre Kalis 43 (48) and Heather Siegers 46 (43) heavily featured with for the Dutch setting up an 85 run partnership for the 1st wicket in 13.4 overs with a run rate just above 6 an over.
At this point, Netherlands looked set to score well above 120 runs which they knew they could easily defend. Fortunately for Uganda, Rita Musamali struck a decisive blow to dismiss the on form Dutch skipper Heather Siegers out bowled with 4 runs short of making a half ton, and the flow of runs was effectively stemmed.
Netherlands then went on to add another 33 runs for another 2 wickets in 6.2 overs leaving them at 118 for 3. Skipper Kevin Awino similarly got in on the action running out Sterre Kalis 43 (48) denying her a chance at a 50, and stumping out Denise Hannema 13 (16) to further limit additional runs.
Needing 119 runs to win, opener Racheal Ntono finally showed her worth scoring 19 in 24 balls including a full delivery she whacked over mid-on for the first and only SIX of the match. Despite the early wickets of Ntono and Mbabazi falling, it was the dream pair of Getrude Candiru 43 not out and Immaculate Nakisuyi 27 (28) who steadied the ship with a 51 run partnership before the latter fell.
Candiru then added another 30 run partnership with Najjumba for a 4th wicket stand to see Uganda at 110, needing just 9 runs in 14 balls. 19-year-old Rita Musamali then came in and held her nerve to notch up 7 runs in 4 balls with a well swept ball down square leg for a boundary. Uganda was then gifted a wide with an extra for the win with 9 balls to spare in the innings.
This win means the hosts Netherlands have lost all four games while Uganda grabbed progressed to the finals of the playoffs. The fight for 5th will be contested between Uganda and the victors between UAE and Thailand on Saturday 14th July, 2018.
Would Uganda fancy a rematch with Thailand or would they fancy their chances against a UAE side they lost to in their only warm up game?