Majestic Uganda Cricket Cranes Toast To Sensational Success In Oman

Majestic Uganda Cricket Cranes Toast To Sensational Success In Oman

BY INNOCENT NDAWULA

ICC CWC CHALLENGE LEAGUE B

Wednesday Results

Hong Kong 147/10 Uganda 150/4

Uganda won by 6 wickets

Bermuda 110/10 Jersey 114/4

Jersey won by 6 wickets

TABLE STANDINGS  (before last two games)

TEAM

M

W

L

N/R

PtS

NRR

UGANDA

5

5

0

0

10

0.743

HONG KONG

4

2

1

1

5

-0.157

JERSEY

5

2

3

0

4

0.759

KENYA

4

1

2

1

3

0.027

ITALY

4

1

2

1

3

-0.985

BERMUDA

4

0

3

1

1

-1.610

Thursday fixtures - (8.30am)

Kenya vs. Hong Kong, OC Turf 1

Bermuda vs. Italy, OC Turf 2

Superior tactical nous, application and game awareness stood out amongst the Cricket Cranes players as Uganda wrapped up a successful campaign at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup (CWC) Challenge League B showpiece in Muscat, Oman on December 11.

Uganda sealed their fifth straight win after comfortably dispatching pre-tournament favourites Hong Kong by six wickets in a low-scoring thriller played at Oman Cricket Academy’s lush green oval in Al Amerat.

Captain of the day Arnold Otwani, leading the side for the second straight game of the tournament in the absence of bedridden skipper Brian Masaba - diagnosed with typhoid, was the hero with a flawless all-round display.

Otwani oozes class

The wicketkeeper, after winning Uganda’s first pre-match toss of the tournament, read the conditions well and opted to bowl first. He then went on to shuffle his bowlers expertly and hold onto four sharp catches as the Asians folded for a fluctuating 147 in 47.4 overs.


Captain of the day Arnold Otwani carried his bat for a solid and patient knock of 66 runs off 112 balls to steer Uganda to victory.

And when the chase got tricky at 40 for 4, Otwani didn’t allow to get entangled into the other top order batsmen’s mess, managing to carry his bat for a watchful match-winning knock of 66 runs.

Such was Otwani’s impact on the day, Hong Kong didn’t have to bowl the last 82 balls (13.4 overs) of the match.

“It has not been easy for us. But we have left everything on the ground in every match and God has rewarded us with success. It is the best Christmas gift we can give our long suffering but passionate fans,” said Otwani, who played out 112 balls and was there in the end when Uganda crossed the line in 36.2 overs.

“We as a team pumped up each other to dedicate the match to our skipper Masaba who is down and bring a smile on his face. Hopefully we have done so.

“The 10 points mean that we are in the driver’s seat in the bid to progress to the next qualifying stage but most importantly it also means that we will be the hunted in Kampala in the second leg,” explained the 24-year-old.

Bowlers day out

Bilal Hassan (3/33 in 9) and 20-year-old Richard ‘Shone’ Agamire (2/26 in 10) bowled impeccable delivers. The opening bowling pair, Agamire, in particular, missed the opposition’s bat-edges by the thinnest of margins - justifiable by his three maidens in his non-stop spell.

Richard 'Shone' Agamire was in his element with a 10-over non-stop spell during which he picked 2 wickets for 26 runs including 3 maidens.

Shone, indeed, excitedly saw his star shining super-bright as he claimed his first two international wickets with well crafted deliveries after setting up both top order blades Adit Gorawara (19) and Shahid Wasif (6).

He drew Wasif into a drive with a ball on the fourth stump length to leave coach Trent Johnston’s troops at 37 for 2 and then hit one delivery on back of a length to catch Gorawara in no man’s land at 56 for 4 in 19.4 overs. On both occasions, Otwani was well-position to collect.

Hong Kong’s only meaningful partnerships were their opening stand of 24 runs between Nizakat Khan (14) and Adit Gorawara (19) plus their last of 23 runs featuring Nasrulla Rana (20) and Aftab Hussain (4*).

Waqas Barkat ended up as their top scorer with a 43-ball 27 before getting clean bowled by left-arm orthodox spinner Henry Ssenyondo (2/24 in 8 overs).

Victory moment

And when Uganda’s top order of Shahzad Kamal (4), Ronak Patel (1), Kenneth Waiswa (2) and Roger Mukasa (7) connived to make a fuss of the chase at 40 for 4 in 13.3 overs, Otwani found able and willing support from leftie Dinesh Nakrani.

Nakrani stroked a 66-ball 57 littered with seven boundaries, hitting the winning four in the process to deliver Uganda home safe and sound.

Uganda's party started in earned with a tradition folklore song and dance in the middle of the Oman Cricket Academy oval that was led by assistant coach Jackson Ogwang.

Uganda’s growing family of fans in Muscat celebrated with a bout of endless selfies with the players and the fraternity, too, back home was ecstatic as evidenced on their social media pages.

Although there is still another round of matches left, no one can unseat the Cricket Cranes from the driver’s seat until 2020, for now!