BY INNOCENT NDAWULA
AFRICA T20 CUP
KZN Coastal 163/5 Uganda 143/8
Uganda lost by 20 runs
KZN Inland 227/2 Uganda 94/10
Uganda lost by 133 runs
Saturday (September 15)
Uganda vs. Easterns, Pietermaritzburg University (3pm)
Sunday (September 16)
Western Province vs. Uganda, The Oval Pietermaritzburg (10.30am)
Avoidable opening day losses, have left the Cricket Cranes not only ruing a missed chance but also reflecting on their problem areas as national team set-up.
The ability to maintain momentum and take pressure while batting was tested to the limits in the painful 20-run opening loss to Kwazulu Natal Coastal franchises at The Oval in Pietermaritzburg.
Then in the afternoon fixture played at the University Oval, Uganda exhibited full-blown naivety in the 133-run loss to defending champions Kwazulu Natal Inland.
It was all bizarre for Uganda, who arrived late to the Oval after losing their way in the mid-afternoon traffic of the Kwazulu Natal capital.
There was hardly any warm up and to make matters worse the toss was lost. The sight of Roger Mukasa and Co. trying to find their groove was nightmarish as the home batsmen run amok in a carnage of an innings.
Cody Chetty (94* off 56), Gareth Dukes (24* off 6) and Kyle Nipper (77 off 45) spared no Ugandan bowler as KZN Inland set a mammoth 227 for 2.
Brian Masaba’s leg spin was equally ineffective in the onslaught
In total, the hosts pounded 19 fours and 11 monstrous sixes, and like the Ugandan bowlers, the batters, too, had no answer in the second stanza as wickets tumbled in quick succession.
No Ugandan reached 20 and it was justified by Uganda’s aggregate of 94 all out in 18.4 overs. Such was Uganda’s insipid show.
But it is not all gloom and doom for the side as there are two more games; Easterns (Saturday, September 15) and Western Province (Sunday, September 16) to play.
Restoring the dented pride and getting off the mark in this continental showpiece will be high on the agenda for the Ugandans, who are using this showpiece to prepare for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III meet scheduled for Oman in November.
The Ugandan technical bench will be hoping teenager Zephaniah Arinaitwe (35 off 20), who on his competitive debut, exhibited flashes of brilliance in an opening partnership with captain Roger Mukasa (24 off 21) of 72 runs in 7 overs against KZN Coastal.