Day 2 Review - Uganda, Kenya & Namibia Start Qualification Campaigns With Comfortable Wins, Tricky Ties Looming

Day 2 Review - Uganda, Kenya & Namibia Start Qualification Campaigns With Comfortable Wins, Tricky Ties Looming

By Innocent Ndawula

 ICC T20 World Cup Africa Final

Uganda 142/7 Botswana 90/10

Uganda won by 52 runs (with 12 balls remaining)

 Nigeria 105/5 Kenya 106/2

Kenya won by 8 wickets (with 16 balls remaining)

 Ghana 91/7 Namibia 92/1

Namibia won by 9 wickets (with 55 balls remaining)

TUESDAY, MAY 21 - FIXTURES

Namibia vs.  Uganda,  9.30am, Kyambogo

Kenya vs. Ghana,  1.50pm, Kyambogo

Botswana vs. Nigeria,  1.50pm, Lugogo

Table Standings - ICC Men's T20 World Cup Africa Region Final 2019

TEAM

M

W

L

T

N/R

PTS

NRR

Namibia

1

1

0

0

0

2

3.942

Uganda

1

1

0

0

0

2

2.600

Kenya

1

1

0

0

0

2

1.595

Nigeria

1

0

1

0

0

0

-1.595

Botswana

1

0

1

0

0

0

-2.600

Ghana

1

0

1

0

0

0

-3.942

 At the end of the day, the status quo was maintained and that is if the word ‘pre-tournament favourites’ is anything to go by - for now.

The big boys; Namibia and Kenya as well as the hosts Uganda were chest-thumping after earning convincing victories to get their campaigns started as they had wished for after a previous day to forget on Sunday when rain had had the last laugh.

Cricket Cranes pay back fans faith

The last game of the day involved Uganda’s Cricket Cranes against the Baggy Blues of Botswana. Uganda emerged victorious with a comfortable 52-run win achieved with 12 balls remaining.

But the start to the afternoon was less than comfortable after the tournament referee Gerrie Pienaar from South Africa asked the match umpires of the day; David Odhiambo of Kenya and Emmanuel Byiringiro of Rwanda to postpone play for 30 minutes to allow some parts of the ground dry further.

Many Ugandan fans filled the Lugogo Stadium Pavilion and it was very evident that they had taken 'French Leave' from their office schedules on a more often tough Monday.

But when the toss happened and the anthems were sang with the crowd trickling in, most arguably from their offices, the worst of the weather demons had been exorcised. Phewww!

And despite Uganda’s captain Roger Mukasa losing the toss and being asked to bat first by his Botswana counterpart Karabo Motlhanka, the fans were not moved even for an inch by the early loss as they were going to watch some action finally.

Early wickets loss

Uganda lost early wickets with Zephaniah Arinaitwe (1 off 6) and captain Mukasa (4 off 8) sent packing inside three overs and it looked like the Cricket Cranes would crumble to pressure for a below-par score at 19 for 2. But Hamu Kayondo (30 off 31) and Arnold Otwani (44 off 27) played smart cricket enroute building a third-wicket partnership off 65 runs off just 50 balls to help Uganda rebuild.

When both fell to left-arm orthodox Karabo Modise (3/18)’s wily deliveries, Dinesh Nakrani (18 off 14), Riazat Ali Shah (24 off 21) and Deus Muhumuza (10 off 9) registered double figures to ensure Uganda set a defendable score of 142 for 7.

Botswana opener Modise used his big bat to good effect but it was only for a brief cameo of 10 off 4 balls before he holed out to Frank Nsubuga at long on off the bowling of Charles Waiswa (2/20). Frank Nsubuga (2/19 in 4), Emmanuel Isaneez (1/16 in 4), Deus Muhumuza (1/15 in 2) and Dinesh Nakrani (1/1 in 1) wrapped up the tail with Vinoo Balakrishna, the only man to score more than 20 - ending on 26 runs - as Botswana folded for 90 all out on a tough wicket at Lugogo that evidently offered assistance to the bowlers - especially those that give the ball a tweak.

Kenya captain Shem Ngoche receiving the match award, a gift hamper from Great Lakes Safaris and Uganda Lodges, from Umpire Emma Byiringiro of Rwanda for his parsimonious spell that cost just six runs against Nigeria.

Rotate the strike

Man of Match Arnold Otwani remarked that it was a case of going game-by-game for the Cricket Cranes. “I am happy for my award. The wicket was a bit slow. It wasn’t easy to play the big shots so I just had to rotate the strike and score heavily for the balls in my zone,” said wicket-keeper batsman.

For Uganda skipper Mukasa, he was full of praise to the team and the fans that turned out in big numbers on a working day to support them.

“I want to thank the supporters and we need them when we play our next game against Namibia. One win in the basket and we are taking it step by step. The first win is a good thing because it gives us rhythm for the rest of the tournament,” said Mukasa.

But there is no party time for Uganda though as tournament favourites Namibia are their next opponents at the University Oval in Kyambogo on Tuesday morning.

Tough fixtures ahead

Namibia, who recently secured One Day International (ODI) status following triumph at the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division Two in Windhoek on April 27, were off to a flyer with an easy nine-wicket win after chasing 92 runs in 10.5 overs against Ghana in Kyambogo on Monday afternoon.

Stephen Baard stroked a half century - the first of the tournament - to guide the Namibia Eagles to victory against Ghana's Black Batters in the opener.

Namibia top order batsman Stephen Baard led the way with 52* runs off 34 deliveries but Mukasa and company must have their eyes across the entire opposition especially JJ Smit, who was Most Valuable Player last month.

In Day Three’s other fixtures, Kenya, who picked an eight-wicket victory over Nigeria in a blitz reduced to 15 overs, face a hungry Ghana that will be itching for a scalp or two. And for Joseph Angara's Botswana, they will be  hoping they can recover when they meet the Yellow Greens from Nigeria at Lugogo in the afternoon.

The top teams will qualify for ICC T20 World Cup Global Qualifier in United Arab Emirates from October 11 to November 3 as they aim to inch ever close to the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.