BY INNOCENT NDAWULA
Africa T20 Cup
Result - Sunday, September 16
Western Province 152/ 6 lost to Uganda
156/4 by 6 wickets (with 27 balls remaining)
Monday, September 17
Build up - 50-over match
KZN Inland vs. Uganda
9.30am, The Oval
Uganda showed that they can actually compete and duly share a meal at the table of men with the South African franchise sides in Group A dubbed ‘Pool of Death’ at the ongoing Africa Twenty20 Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
After slow start that saw them lose two matches on Day One, the Cricket Cranes put their resilience on display in full throttle with two successive wins against table toppers Easterns and highly rated Western Province.
The latter victory - a six wicket-win over Western Province on Sunday (September 16) - showed that the first win - a five-wicket triumph over Easterns on Saturday (September 15) - wasn’t a flash in the pan because it was well executed.
South Africa legend Paul Adams' franchise was off to a flier reaching 48 for no loss in four overs as Qaasim Adams (65 off 47) and George Linde (52 off 31) kept the scoring rate high after ‘master blaster’ Janneman Malan (15 off 11), who was fresh from hitting a century against Kwazulu Natal Inland on Saturday, was sent early packing.
But that rocket-high run-rate was cut short by Ugandan skipper Roger Mukasa, who introduced his effective slow bowlers, that worked their magic to stem the runs flow.
Blood brothers Frank Nsubuga (2/22) and captain Mukasa (2/26) plus wily left-armer Henry Ssenyondo (1/23) and leggie Brian Masaba (1/32) bowled lines of deceit to deny the South African side any chance of a late carnage.
And with 153 need for victory, all of Uganda’s batsmen came to the party. Hamu Kayondo (27), Dinesh Kumar (46), Riazat Ali Shah (36*), Kenneth Waiswa (17*) and skipper Roger Mukasa (13) contributed to ensure safety for Uganda in 15.3 overs against a bowling attack that included legendary Makhaya Ntini's son Thando Ntini and South Africa International Dane Paterson.
Dinesh and Riazat made valuable contributions with the bat
Uganda’s match report at the end of their debut appearance at the continental showpiece read 2 out 4, a more than healthy 50% considering they were lowly rated and mere dark horses for this showpiece.
They will walk with their heads high as they embark on the 50-over format for the three-match friendly series against Kwazulu Natal Inland starting Monday September 17 at The Oval.