Former Uganda President Idi Amin Dada is famously remembered for urging national sportsmen - The Bombers in particular - never to leave their fate in the hands of referees.
“Don’t allow your opponent to complete the fight so that the referee decides who the winner is. Just knock them out. I am also a sportsman and I know how it should be done,” Amin would say while unleashing a mock powerful upper cut to show how it is done.
And after Uganda suffered a controversial nine-run loss to Malaysia in the opener on April 29 courtesy of some poor umpiring decisions, the Cricket Cranes turned up for the clash against Bermuda as if they had received a call from the slain President.
Show of character
They didn’t want to play the blame game as defeat would somewhat rule them out of contention this early. Steve Tikolo’s men were also intent on showing they are in a different class as tournament top seeds.
There was going to be no two ways about it and Bermuda duly suffered Uganda’s backlash as the East Africans coasted to massive 189-run win in ruthless style at the UKM-YSD Oval in Bangi yesterday to stay in contention for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division IV title.
Even after losing the toss and being stuck in to bat, skipper Roger Mukasa showed his ingrain strong character with a knock of 97 runs off 135. And together with Hamu Kayondo (55 off 95), the pair’s half tons dashed any hopes of the Bermudans nicking the rubber with a solid 137-run partnership for the second wicket.
Game, set & match
By the time Mukasa departed, Uganda had 216 runs on board for 4 in 46.5 overs and the match was literally over as a contest.
With the late lusty hitters helping Uganda to 249 for 5 in the allotted 50 overs, Bermuda were always going to have to do something extra special to ‘steal’ this encounter from Uganda’s grasp.
But it was never going to happen as mystery spinner Mohammed ‘Afridi’ Irfan rose to the fore.
He delivered the sucker punch with international career best figures of 6 for 23 in 10 overs to notch the Man of Match award.
Veteran ace Frank Nsubuga (2/23 in 10), Brian Masaba (1/2) and Henry Ssenyondo (1/7) ably supported the cause as Bermuda collapsed for a netball score of 60 runs in 22.4 overs to boost their Net Run Rate (NRR) to 1.800 - something that could prove vital at the business end of the meet as has been the norm at previous WCL events.
Elsewhere at the Royal Selangor Club, Denmark had the rain to thank for the seven-wicket Duckworth Lewis Stuart (DLS) win over Jersey in a rain-shortened affair.
Meanwhile, hosts Malaysia left it late, once again, with a 23-run triumph over winless Vanuatu at the Kinrara Academy Oval.
Today is a Rest/Reserve Day with Round Three scheduled for May 2.