BY INNOCENT NDAWULA
Result - Game 9
Kenya 214 runs for 2 wickets in 20 overs (Alex Obanda 108 off 61, Dhiren Gondaria 58 off 39, Rakep Patel 33 off 14; Jitin Pratap Singh 1/19 in 2) beat Tanzania 158 runs for 8 wickets in 20 overs (Salumu Jumbe Ally 48 off 26, Kassim Mussa Nassoro 35 off 36; Nehemiah Ngoche Odhiambo 2/28 in 4, Shem Ngoche 2/35 in 4) by 56 runs.
Man Of Match: Alex Obanda (Kenya)
Result - Game 10
Uganda 201 runs for 7 wickets in 20 overs (Riazat Ali Shah 96* off 42, Roger Mukasa 25 off 26; Eric Niyomugabo 2/39 in 4, Clinton Rubagumya 2/48 in 4) beat Rwanda 107 runs for 9 wickets in 20 overs (Eric Niyomugabo 22 off 24, Orchide Tuyisenge 17 off 24; Irfan Afridi 3/22 in 4, Bilal Hassan 2/15 in 4, Charles Waiswa 2/20 in 3) by 94 runs.
Man Of Match: Riazat Ali Shah (Uganda)
ICC WORLD T20 AFRICA ‘B’ QUALIFIER
TABLE STANDINGS AFTER MATCH DAY 5
TEAM M W L PTS NRR
KEN 5 5 0 10 3.680
UGA 5 3 2 6 3.151
TAN 5 2 3 4 -1.384
RWA 5 0 5 0 -5.069
Fixtures - July 14
Rwanda vs. Tanzania 9.30am, Gahanga
Uganda vs. Kenya 1.50pm, Gahanga
Thank God for Riazat Ali Shah!
The final scores at the end of the Rwanda versus Uganda game at the Gahanga Cricket Stadium show that the Cricket Cranes coasted to an easy 94-run win.
But that is just half the story.
After Uganda 'connived' to lose to Tanzania a couple of days ago, Riazat exhibited a fearless brand of cricket never seen before to ensure there was no more faultering and ‘drama’ for the Cricket Cranes at the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier in Kigali, Rwanda.
When Uganda skipper Roger Mukasa won the toss and elected to bat, there were early jitters with Hamu Kayondo (4 off 3) dismissed in the first over. The pair of Ronak Patel (6 off 10) and Dinesh Nakrani (23 off 14) followed soon after as Uganda struggled for rhythm at 21 for 2 in 3.3 overs and 60 for 3 in 8.1 overs respectively.
And when the batting all-rounder, Riazat, walked in, his captain Mukasa (25 off 26) played a nothing-shot; guilty of getting caught in two minds as he played a rushed pull-shot to leave Uganda in a deeper hole at 78 for 4 in 10 overs.
Nicknamed Rizu, the 20-year-old, thereafter played a lead role in all partnerships as Uganda recovered to amassed 123 runs at 12.3 per over to set hosts Rwanda a mammoth target of 201 runs.
Hard-running between the wickets got them 82 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership with Deus Muhumuza (24 off 19) in 7.3 overs, there was another 28-run partnership off just 11 balls with Irfan Afridi (13 off 6) for the sixth-wicket combo before wrapping it up with a 13-run one with vice captain Brian Masaba for the unbeaten eighth-wicket stand during which he scored all the runs.
Off spinner Eric Niyomugabo (2/39) and Clinton Rubagumya (2/48) were impressive for Rwanda with the ball as Riazat narrowly missed out on scoring the tournament’s second century - ending unbeaten on 96 off 42 balls with five boundaries and seven sixes.
Coach Steve Tikolo returned some elderly statesmen in Uganda’s bowling arsenal for this particular game and they didn’t disappoint as they hustled and stifled Rwanda, who finished on 107 runs for nine wickets in their allotted 20 overs.
Returnees Frank Nsubuga’s four-over spell cost on 14 runs, left-arm seamer Charles Waiswa made his presence felt with 2 for 20 in 3 overs and right-arm fast Bilal Hassun (2/15 in 4) claimed vital scalps as the hosts tried to up the scoring ante.
Afridi was also amongst the wickets; snaring three scalps whereas Shah bowled at the back-end of the match and whereas he had nothing to show for his efforts in the wicket column, he did well to keep things under control with fine economy with figures of 0 for 13 in 2.
Only Niyomugabo (22 off 24) went past the 20-run mark as Uganda completed their sweet double over Rwanda.
East African derby
And Mukasa will ask the same of his bowlers in tomorrow’s (July 14) pseudo final against Kenya, who progressed to next year’s ICC World T20 Africa Qualifier Finals, with a comfortable 56-run win over ‘stubborn’ Tanzania.
Their latest victory, against Tanzania, was sealed thanks to the first century of the tournament, struck by the powerful Alex Obanda, who pummelled 108 from just 61 balls.
Obanda hit eight sixes and as many fours, as he and Dhiren Gondaria (58) put on a strong opening stand of 113, inside 13 overs.
Obanda was the only other wicket to fall for the Kenyans, as they eventually made their way to yet another score that breached the 200-mark, closing on 214 runs for 2 wickets in 20 overs.
Right from the onset of their innings, Tanzania were under scoreboard pressure. Opener Jitin Pratap Singh and Raahil Amarshi were dismissed for ducks.
And despite a strong fightback from the middle and lower order; Muhammad Fazar Khan (33), captain Kassim Mussa Nassoro (35*) and Salumu Jumbe Ally (48 off 26), the Tanzanians could only finish on 158 runs for 8 wickets in 20 overs.
For Uganda, they will have a score to settle with the Kenyans in a blitz that is expected to be a sure deal cracker after both sides cranked up an aggregate of 481 runs in the tournament’s opening fixture that the later nicked late by five wickets with three balls to spare.
Man Of Match (Rwanda vs. Uganda)
Riazat Ali Shah of Uganda
“I don’t feel bad about missing out on the century. It will come next time or even in the next game. It was a good feeling to score runs for the team and getting the team to victory. The wicket was good for batting and it was a good way to come back strong from the loss to Tanzania.”
Man Of Match (Kenya vs. Tanzania)
Alex Obanda of Kenya
“I tried to bat for 10 overs and once I did so, I knew I would get the century. We have stamped our authority and we want to finish with victory against Uganda tomorrow. We want a clean sweep.”
Rwanda Captain - Eric Hirwa
“I am happy with our show today since last time Uganda bowled us out for 34. Today we attacked their best bowler (Irfan Afridi) and we continue to learn. The coach (Martin Suji) says we are on track. Our last game against Tanzania will be our final.”
Tanzania Captain - Kassim Mussa Nassoro
“First and foremost, we thank God for enabling us to play this beautiful game of cricket. We have done well in this tournament and surpassed some expectations. The talent is there in our side and we just need to start executing. We are looking at the Rwanda game to end with at least three wins.”