In Summary
  • Barring a disaster of epic proportions, Uganda’s Cricket Cranes should be vying for the ICC World Cricket League Division Four title as you read this piece.
  • The overwhelming sense of self-righteousness Cricket Cranes fans conferred on their team suggested that they couldn’t countenance anything less.
  • Elsewhere, it has been greatly pleasing watching Brian Masaba and Deus Muhumuza grow into their twin all-rounder roles.

Barring a disaster of epic proportions, Uganda’s Cricket Cranes should be vying for the ICC World Cricket League Division Four title as you read this piece. The overwhelming sense of self-righteousness Cricket Cranes fans conferred on their team suggested that they couldn’t countenance anything less.

Such was the heightened sense of dissatisfaction following relegation from division three that any backward movement in Malaysia would have rightly been construed as plumbing the depths. Thankfully, the dramatic one-run (D/L method) win over Denmark midweek staved off relegation fears that had been stoked by a controversial nine-run loss to Malaysia.

The Cricket Cranes came up against Jersey yesterday with the knowledge that any misstep would jeopardise plans to gain promotion to division three. It was no doubt a delicate situation, but no way close to what they encountered when Denmark bludgeoned 52 runs in 4.2 overs after a rain delay.

Needing five runs from six balls, and with four wickets in hand, it was foolhardy hedging a bet on Uganda’s attack. Skipper Roger Mukasa, however, backed his part-time offspin from around the stumps into Denmark’s right-handers (Mukasa said the Danes like the ball coming to the bat, “so I had to make it had for them”) and the rest is history. The contours of that thrilling last-ball win still don’t map logically in the books of many not least the Danes. Six balls, two runs and, crucially, four wickets! It was the stuff of dreams!

Whatever happened yesterday against Jersey (and you can’t put anything past the Cricket Cranes), Cricket Cranes players can’t be accused of not putting up their hand. Mukasa put it neatly when he said his charges “fight until the last ball.” There should be a lot of fight in the young explosive opener Simon Ssesazi who at the time of writing this had endured lean times with the bat. Cricket Cranes selectors and backroom staff should continue to put their collective arm around Ssesazi’s shoulders as he continues to learn the ropes of international cricket.

Elsewhere, it has been greatly pleasing watching Brian Masaba and Deus Muhumuza grow into their twin all-rounder roles. And also, after many had written his international cricket epitaph, Frank Nsubuga enjoyed a bit of an Indian Summer in South East Asia. The frontline spinner used his flight and variations admirably well when handed the new ball.