Batting being Uganda’s Achilles heel over the years, there is now a growing perception that that the current U-19 national cricket side will probably not catch the same disease.
Evidence to this comes at a time when this team is preparing to compete at the week-long ICC Africa U-19 World Cup Qualifiers in Nairobi starting Saturday.
Having made early birds to the Kenya capital on Monday, the Baby Cricket Cranes have now played two warm-up matches, beating the Nairobi Select by 187 runs on Tuesday.
But the teenagers fell to the Kenya Select side by 33 runs yesterday but it is their spirited fight that evidenced their batting potential at the Kanbis Sports Club in Eastleigh.
“The boys batted very though we somehow fielded badly,” Uganda U-19s skipper Kenneth Waiswa told this paper via phone after his side failed to meet the target of 324 runs.
Kenya Select, comprising eight senior players, set a mammoth 323 score whilst relying on Gurdeep Singh’s half-ton of 78 runs off 65 balls. However, it is Zahid Abbas’s controlled aggression that produced 12 boundaries and two sixes for a near-perfect 66-ball 94*.
The Baby Cricket Cranes will remain delighted as they ably crossed the 250-run mark yet again despite losing the battle.
A now familiar slow start from openers Zephania Arinaitwe and Ronald Opio was covered up by Steven Wabwose’s quick-fire 73 off 71 and Eddy Agaba’s stand-out 80 off 119 deliveries.
After this pair had shared 115 runs for the third wicket, there was no bigger force that came through except Rogers Olipa who continued his purple patch with 49 runs off 45 balls.
ICC AFRICA U-19 WC QUALIFIER
Kenya Select 323/9 Uganda U-19s 290/8
(Kenya Select won by 33 runs)
Uganda U-19s 272/9 Nairobi Select 85/10
(Uganda U-19s won by 187 runs)