Match: ICC Cricket Challenge League B Jersey
Jersey v Uganda
Time: 13:00 (EAT)
Cricket Cranes Team Captain Deus Muhumuza joined up with the rest of the squad that has been in Jersey for the last three days ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B final round that officially bowls off today.
The leader of the side missed the warm-up game on Tuesday but should be available for selection today. Deus Muhumuza was missed during the second round in Kampala when he suffered a side strain in the opening game against Jersey in Kampala, but he returns to the side to not only play a role in the middle order but also lead in absence of Brian Masaba.
The task is simple for Team Uganda! Five wins will guarantee them a passage into the next round of the qualifiers but if that isn’t achievable, four wins might just be sufficient if other results also go their way.
A clean sweep in the 1st round in Oman in 2019 set up the team and if the home tie had gone well for Uganda they could have been in a strong position for this final round. Jersey pushed the envelope in Kampala collecting 10 points that got them close to the top and also greatly improved their net run rate.
The stakes in this tournament are very high for the team that finishes top of the table as a shot at ODI cricket is a realistic opportunity at the next round of qualifiers. The World Cup dream for the 2023 50-over edition in India is the secondary target, but ultimately playing for any of these teams would greatly raise the profile of the game in their respective countries.
The ODI opportunity that the side moves from playing 15 List A games over a three-year cycle to playing 36 ODI games in a year.
Simon Ssesazi scored three half-centuries during the second round in Kampala and he has provided some stability at the top of the order however, he has not had a stable partner with both Arnold Otwani, and Emmanuel Hasahya, and Brian Masaba tried at the top in Kampala.
Arnold Otwani should be the chosen partner for him during the final leg. Ronak Patel is the second highest run scorer in the Challenge League B with 402 runs with an average of 44.6 and his consistency over the last two legs will be very important for Uganda. Dinesh Nakrani and Riazat Ali Shah are both match winners and provide the steel in the middle. Their ability to switch gears at the back of innings can help Uganda close out games.
Youngsters Juma Miyagi and Cosmas Kyewuta were decent in Kampala doing no harm to their young careers and with a senior such as Bilal Hassun, they have the wisdom that will be required when it comes down to fine margins. Henry Ssenyondo and veteran Frank Nsubuga are the slow bowling options available with Riazat Ali Shah and Vice Captain Kenneth Waiswa providing a different dimension in case it is required.
Summertime in Jersey so no chance of rain but the mornings provide something for the bowlers to work with, however, it’s mostly very good weather for cricket. The rest of the day, typical English wickets which means short pitched unless well directed will have little impact.
The plan for the bowlers should be to keep it nice and straight if they are to get something out of the wicket. The action will be live on the icc.tv for the cricket cranes fans.
*Credit: Uganda Cricket media