Sunday at Lugogo, Kampala
Kenya: 220/10 (47.1/50 ov)
Uganda: 224/3 (45.1/50 ov)
*Uganda won by 7 wickets
Uganda men’s national cricket team, Cricket Cranes beat Kenya by seven wickets in their final game of the second round of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) Challenge League B tournament on Sunday at Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala.
Uganda who were made to field first after losing the toss posted 224 runs for the fall of three wickets in 45.1/50 overs, successfully chasing down Kenya’s score of 220 runs and all out in 47.1/50 overs.
Weekend victory over their East African neighbors means that Uganda lead the five-team table of the tournament with 16 points off eight wins from 10 matches and are two points ahead of second placed Jersey though Hong Kong who are third placed with 13 points by press time play their final game against Kenya today.
Against Kenya, batsman Simon Ssesazi stood out for the hosts as he returned 87 runs from 112 balls and in him Uganda never lost a wicket. He was deservingly named man of the match.
Dinesh Kumar Nakrani posted 55 runs from 47 runs and wasn’t out and his partnership with Ssesazi had the home fans get so merry as the calm pair gave the Kenyan bowlers and fielders a good run for their money.
Cricket Cranes skipper and opening batsman of the day Brian Masaba had 22 runs from 34 balls before he was bowled out by Eugene Odhiambo Ocheng.
The other two wickets Uganda lost were all caught by Irfan Karim, that is; Ronak Patel (50 runs from 73 balls) and Kenneth Waiswa (4 runs from 7 balls).
For Kenya’s innings, one of the biggest highlight was when Cricket Cranes veteran Frank Nsubuga caught Collins Obuya’s high flying ball at the Eastern side of the oval. Obuya had 11 runs from 17 balls and though he was less of a threat the art at which Nsubuga got him out had the fans on their feet.
Nsubuga who came in for Emmanuel Hasahya from the team that played Italy at Kyambogo was at it again when he stopped Rakak Patel’s run of 72 runs from 72 balls. Patel was the only Kenyan to cross the half century mark and his fall was very significant.
Irfan Karim was another stand out player for Kenya (33 from 66) but he was caught by Fred Achelam while Tanzeel Sheikh (31 from 39) was bowled out by Riazat Ali. Alex Obanda (28 from 34) was caught by Arnold Otwani.
The match attracted a huge crowd that cheered on the boys right from the time they were fielding and even better when they were batting.
The tournament is a pathway to the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India but most importantly a voyage that could end with Uganda securing the much-vaunted One-Day International (ODI) status.
The home side will have a two-day break and will them shift their focus to preparations for the third round of the tournament scheduled for July/August in Jersey.
If Uganda maintain their lead at the top after the third round, they will not only attain an ODI status but also progress to another level of qualifier for the global showpiece.