Monday July 9 2018

Cricket Cranes find balance in Gahanga

Brains At Work: Uganda’s opening batsman Hamu

Brains At Work: Uganda’s opening batsman Hamu Kayondo mixed brute force and finesse in his quick-fire knock of 42 off just 19 balls to help Uganda set 181 enroute a 64-run victory over Tanzania. PHOTO BY ICC/DON MUGISHA 

By INNOCENT NDAWULA

KIGALI. Fairytales are steadily becoming mystical myths in the world of sport with the ever increasing use of video technology.
On the opening day of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier at Gahanga Cricket Stadium in Kigali, Uganda lived to justify the power of technology in influencing results.
They watched on in disbelief as Kenya chased down their set target of 240 runs for 3 wickets in 19.3 overs.
It was a rude-awakening to Steve Tikolo’s boys, who after setting the oval record then, couldn’t believe as Kenya unleashed firepower orchestrated by 23-year-old Dhiren Gondaria (90 off 46) to cruise home with three balls remaining - enroute to set a new record.

Talking positives
But rather than sulk and cry over spilled milk, Uganda’s team talk later at the exquisite Ubumwe Grande Hotel was all about positives and bouncebackability.
No wonder the Cricket Cranes showed desire and hunger enroute to crafting a clinical 64-run win against potential banana skins Tanzania, on Day Two, yesterday.
On what had been a tough two-paced wicket, Hamu Kayondo (42 off 19), captain Roger Mukasa (42 off 33) and Ronak Patel (66 off 45) earned their runs as Uganda’s top order grafted their way to 181 for 4 in 20 overs.
Then the seven-man bowling arsenal that Mukasa used on the day showed that they can right the wrongs of the previous day with brainy spells to limit Tanzania to 117 for 7 in 20 overs.

Supporting casts
Man of Match Irfan Afridi, 3 for 9 in 4 overs, starred with Dinesh Nakrani wrapping up the tail of Tanzania after supporting casts from Henry Ssenyondo (1/18 in 4), Frank Nsubuga (0/20 in 4) and Mukasa (1/9 in 2).
One loss and one win in the bag, the Cricket Cranes take some deserved rest, today, optimistic that their mission to not only qualify among the top nations for the continental qualifier due next year but also to win this East Africa regional showpiece.

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