The Cricket Cranes will have no further interest in the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Division III tournament here in Muscat, Oman.
Coach Steve Tikolo’s boys were bundled out of contention for honours and denied a chance to progress to the coveted Division II showpiece scheduled for April 18-28 in Windhoek, Namibia after Singapore humbled them by 63 runs at the Oman Cricket Academy Turf 1 at the Al Amarat Stadium yesterday.
The loss left Uganda rooted in fourth on the log with just two points - attained in the clinical five-wicket win over Denmark last Friday - and with just one more match to play against the hosts Oman on Sunday.
“We have struggled with the bat,” admitted Cricket Cranes skipper Roger Mukasa.
“Especially me. I was supposed to lead from the front since I am the opening batsman. But all the batsmen didn’t come to the party when the team needed them to rise to the occasion. But so many other things that I am not allowed to talk about didn’t go our way. It has been really tough for us since we came here both on and off the field.”
But amid the gloom, there was a milestone for former Baby Cricket Cranes captain Kenneth Waiswa who stroked his first-ever international half century to help Uganda rally from 35 for 6 while chasing 205 runs for victory.
The 20 year-old hit eight boundaries and two beautiful sixes in his unbeaten knock of 61 off 63 balls but it was all in vain as he ran out of partners at 141 with their Singapore pair of Janak Prakash (3/20) and Amjad Mahboob (2/26) ensuring a second win for the Asian side.
“It feels nice to achieve this feat,” said Waiswa about his brave knock that justified the youngster had come of age.
“I was confident of winning the game for my side. Unfortunately some got unlucky with the type of dismissals they fell to. The failure to get runs from our top order has also cost us a chance to remain competitive. Now we must end on a high against Oman on Sunday.”
Uganda won the toss and chose to field first – a decision that appeared to pay off handsomely when they took three quick wickets to leave Singapore on 36/3.
Aritra Dutta (24) was the only top-order batsman to have any joy as Uganda’s Frank Nsubuga (2/16) helped himself to a couple of early wickets with his right-arm off-breaks.
But the middle order then came to the fore with captain Chetan Suryawanshi (57) and Manpreet Singh (59) both hitting half-centuries as Singapore finished on 204 – two balls short of reaching 50 overs.
Riazat Ali Shah (3-41) and Deus Muhumuza (3-46) were the pick of the bowlers for Uganda, who got off to the worst possible start in their reply.
But skipper Mukasa and Arnold Otwani both lost their wickets without scoring whereas vice captain Brian Masaba also went for a duck as Uganda were left on 21/5. In the last tie against Oman on Sunday, Uganda will throw the kitchen sink to the opposition as they seek to bow out on a high.
*Singapore 204 all out in 49.4 overs
*Uganda 141 all out in 42 overs
Singapore won by 63 runs
(with 48 balls remaining)
Man of Match: Chetan Suryawanshi of
Singapore (57 off 61 & 1/11 in 5 overs)