BY INNOCENT NDAWULA
ICC WORLD TWENTY20 AFRICA ‘B’ QUALIFIER
Result - Game 11
Tanzania 196 runs for 7 wickets in 20 overs (Jatin Kumar Chandubhai 79 off 49, Muhammad Fazar Khan 60 off 40; Eric Hirwa Dusabemungu 2/28 in 4) beat Rwanda 116 runs all out in 19.2 overs (Eric Niyomugabo 26 off 22; Aaryan Amin Premji 3/14 in 4, Jitin Pratap Singh 2/17 in 2) by 80 runs
Man of Match: Jatin Chandubhai of Tanzania
Result - Game 12
Kenya 188 runs for 5 wickets in 20 overs (Collins Obuya 67 off 45, Dhiren Gondaria 37 off 20, Shem Ngoche 31 off 14; Bilal Hassun 2/34 in 4, Riazat Ali Shah 2/34 in 3) lost to Uganda 189 runs for 3 wickets in 18.5 overs (Dinesh Nakrani 102* off 50, Ronak Patel 40 off 39; Shem Ngoche 1/13 in 3) by 7 wickets
Man Of Match: Dinesh Nakrani (Uganda)
FINAL TABLE STANDINGS
TEAM M W L PTS NRR
KEN 6 5 1 10 2.924
UGA 6 4 2 8 2.725
TAN 6 3 3 6 -0.429
RWA 6 0 6 0 -4.887
Dinesh Nakrani is not a monster-basher of the ball. In this Uganda side, that title goes to a man code-named Agent 10 - Irfan Afridi.
And Nakrani is neither a pretender to Afridi’s throne. The 26-year-old is a redefinition of the phrase of ‘controlled aggression’.
To put it into proper perspective, Nakrani is a beast. And indeed he was in beast-mode as he single-handedly pounded Kenya for an unbeaten ton of 102 off 50 balls to script a famous seven-wicket win for Uganda in the final match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier at Gahanga Stadium on Saturday (July 14).
This was a grudge match for Uganda after Kenya made a mockery of their 240-run target set in tournament’s opener enroute to a five-wicket triumph achieved with three balls to spare.
And to ascertain Nakrani’s invincibility on the day, he plundered only four boundaries, but there were 12 towering sixes in his innings that saw Uganda rebuild from 22 for 2 in 3.1 overs for a 146-run third wicket combo with Ronak Patel (40 off 39) in 14 overs (84 balls).
The left-hander commanded most of the strike throughout the innings - the dabs and glides mixed with sweetly-timed strokes every time the Kenyan bowlers hit wrong lengths.
Only once did Nakrani keep silent in the match and that was when Riazat Ali Shah (20* off 7) walked in to bat at 168 for 3 in 17.2 overs. Shah took the pressure off Nakrani to score the remaining 21 runs with 16 balls remaining.
Riazat chanced his arms at anything within his reach for a seven-ball 20 as Uganda reached 189 for 3 with seven balls to spare.
Each of the Kenyan bowlers received cold treatment with the exception of spinners; captain Shem Ngoche (1/13 in 3) and Pushpak Kerai (0/12 in 2). Lucas Oluoch (1/52 in 3.5) and Collins Obuya (0/19 in 1) suffered most in Uganda’s unrelenting chase.
When Uganda captain Roger Mukasa won the toss and stuck in Kenya, coach Maurice Odumbe’s men worked in tandem partnerships enroute to setting 188 runs for 5 wickets in 20 overs.
Obuya was the dangerman with 67 off 45 balls littered with five boundaries, and four sixes alongside Dhiren Gondaria (37 off 20) and Ngoche (31 off 14), who struck two lusty blows for maximums off Charles Waiswa (1/30 in 3) in the last over.
But Nakrani stamped his authority on the match by bowling hard-lengths with a spell of 0 for 25 in 4 overs and was ably backed by right-arm fast Bilal Hassun (2/34) as Steve Tikolo’s troops savoured the loudest and last laugh at the 10-day long four-nation showpiece.
Champions Kenya and Uganda progressed to the ICC World T20 Africa Qualifier scheduled for early next year joining Nigeria and Ghana, who qualified from Zone A (West Africa Region) early this year. Two more countries will make the grade from Zone C (Southern Africa) later this year.
Man Of Match (Uganda vs. Kenya)
Dinesh Nakrani of Uganda
“I am very happy because we have qualified for the Africa finals next year. I am also thankful to coach Steve Tikolo for helping with my batting because this is my first international tournament. Without his help and assistant coach Jackson Ogwang, I would not have been able to score this hundred. I will continue working hard at my game because as Uganda we have big goals for the future.”
Kenya Coach - Maurice Odumbe
“We are the champions and that gives me joy. Thanks to all our fans that turned up today. Also well played to Uganda, it was a good game. Unfortunately we could not win the last game but all in all I am so happy with the way the game went and the fact that we won the overall title.”