A partnership of Simon Ssesazzi and Arnold Otwani scored 280 runs as Uganda beat Hong Kong in the final game of the Challenge League B, on Sunday to finish second in the ICC tournament.
The cranes won the toss and elected to bat first at the Farmers cricket ground, St Martin in Jersey.
397/3 in 50/50 overs
119 in 38.1/50 overs
Uganda won by 218 runs
“It was a good win for us, we had a big margin, and basing on the wicket, it had played a lot of games, we believed it was the last batting juice we would get out of it. So we decided to bat first when we won the toss.” The Captain explained.
Uganda however failed to qualify for the next round which is the qualifier play-offs despite the outstanding performances against Bermuda on Saturday and Hong Kong on Sunday.
Team captain Deus Muhumuza describes this as a bitter pill to swallow but the squad has positives as well.
“Generally it was a good tournament for us, we take alot of positives. Yes we swallowed a hard pill that we didn’t qualify but alot has come out if the tournament. There are things we had planned to work on and we believe we have achieved them.” Deus said to the press.
Some of the achievements Deus referred to are; the coming through of the under-19 skipper Juma Miyagi who was exceptional in the last two rounds of the tournament, the team having three centuries and scored up to 300 runs in the last two games which he describes as good enough for Uganda cricket.
In their game against Hong Kong yesterday, Dinesh Nakrani and Riazat Ali Shah scored a half-century each, to give Hong Kong a big margin and an advantage for Uganda in the second innings.
Head Coach Laurence Mahatlane has always been proud of his pack and here is what he had to say about the performance.
“The boys were brilliant, I have spoken alot over the last year and a half about how good we are and how much potential the squad has. I was super proud of the boys Otwani and Simon Ssesazzi gave us a great start 280 run partnership at the front and the way Dinesh Nakrani and Riazat Ali Shah batted at the end was so special to get 397.”
Mahatlane has been with the team for the second and final round of the challenge League B since his inception in 2020, and from his assessment, it has been tough as the team pedals towards attaining ODI status.
“It’s been tough. We can look back and say so close yet so far. Some of the injuries we’ve had especially to senior batsmen and leadership group has really affected us over those two tournaments so it is a bitter pill to swallow.”
The team finished second on the log behind Jersey with whom they had similar points, 22 both but were separated by a narrow margin net run rate (NRR). Jersey 1.537 and Uganda 1.062.
A lose against neighbors Kenya thinned Uganda’s chances to feature in the qualifier play-offs after they had beaten Italy and lost to Jersey but were still at the top before the result pulled them down.
The focus for the team now turns to the T20 world cup qualifiers coming up in less than five months but after back-to-back tournaments and games, the team will go in for a break, according to Head Coach.