KIGALI. Up in the air! That’s what happened to Uganda’s title hopes at the ongoing International Cricket Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier when they went down by six wickets with five balls remaining to Tanzania at Gahanga Stadium yesterday.
Baptised as banana skins in the build-up to the tournament, Tanzania lived up to their billing - dumping Uganda out of title contention in spectacular fashion and then giving themselves an outside chance to sneak into a qualifying position.
The top two finishers will progress to the six-nation ICC World Twenty20 Africa Qualifier scheduled for early next year. Ghana and Nigeria have already qualified from the West Africa region, two will move closer to the Australia 2020 World Cup from the East African region here with another two slated to progress from the Southern Africa zone, who play their ‘Qualifier’, at the back-end of this year.
“This has been a bad day in office,” said Uganda captain Roger Mukasa without mincing his words. “Apart from winning the toss, nothing went our away. The wicket was double-paced when we batted and then it did nothing for our bowlers.”
No blame game
Mukasa refused to blame any of his bowlers after the bizarre game during which he team crawled from 42 for 1 in 10 overs to reach 155 for 8, thanks to his gritty innings of 38 off 39 and those of Ronak Patel (33 off 41) and Dinesh Nakrani (32 off 11).
Tanzania captain Kassim Nassoro, with the first hat-trick of the tournament to finish with figures of 3 for 15 in 2, and Zamayoni Ramadhani Jaboneke(3/28 in 3) stifled Uganda during the first innings, and were back at it in the second innings, too.
Nassoro’s brains worked overtime as he expertly shuffled his batting line-up and then Jaboneke lifted the roof off Gahanga with an unbeaten 12-ball 32 that was coloured with two fours and three sixes to seal the surprise win.
Uganda will now have to win its last two games against Rwanda (tomorrow) and Kenya on Saturday in some style to ensure Tanzania does not ‘steal’ their place amongst the top two finishers.
Results - Yesterday
Uganda 155/8 Tanzania 158/4
Tanzania win by 6 wickets