MUSCAT. Oman rubbed more salt onto Uganda’s barely treated wounds with a 10-wicket annihilation in the latter’s last match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III showpiece Muscat Sunday.
The champions, who were already assured of their ticket to Nambia for the Division II showpiece in April 2019, were all over Uganda like a bad rash right from the onset after captain Roger Mukasa called right the toss and elected to bat first at the Oman Cricket Academy (OCA) Turf 1 Oval in Al Amarat Stadium.
The hosts’ opening bowling pair of Bilal Khan (4/12 in 7.3) and Mahmood Kaleemullah (1/8 in 7) had the Cricket Cranes in deep trouble at 4 for 9 early on after just 4.5 overs.
Then Deus Muhumuza (18* off 53) and Riazat Ali Shah (9 off 48) played out 17 overs for a sixth-wicket partnership of 21 runs which was ended with some reckless umpiring that saw the latter being dismissed caught behind on a Kalemullah ball that he barely touched.
The reckless umpiring decisions that have been a mainstay from the ICC officials at this tournament continued when left-hander Dinesh Nakrani (12 off 34) was given caught down the leg in bizarre fashion off his pads soon after hitting a monstrous six to mid-wicket.
It was then on reduced to a lunch-time affair with Uganda’s last chance to accelerate extinguished at 51 for 6. What followed was a breeze through the tail-enders orchestrated by Man of Match Fayyaz Butt (5 for 22 in 7) who snared the tournament’s first hat-trick. The three victims all fell for nought; Bilal Hassun’s leading edge caught in covers and then the pair of Frank Nsubuga and Charles Waiswa getting yorked while attempting drives. Khan hit the last nail into Uganda’s coffin by bowling out last man Henry Ssenyondo for 1 as the East Africans ended on 59 all out in 28.3 overs.
The Arabians’ chase was as cool as an evening stroll at the Gulf of Oman seashore with opening batsmen Jatinder Singh (36* off 54) and Twinkal Bhandari (22* off 50) remaining unbeaten as they coasted to the desired target under 18 overs for a commanding 10-wicket triumph.
And as Oman made merry after sealing their campaign with a 100 per cent record, Uganda were left to ponder what went wrong at a meet they had earlier been earmarked as favourites to progress by several pundits.
For the hosts, it was perfect climax to an event they have meticulously hosted and a reward for the Sultanate of Oman on its 48th National Day and their leader - Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said’s 78th birthday.
ICC WCL DIVISION III IN MUSCAT, OMAN
Uganda 59 all out in 27.4 overs
Oman 63 for no loss in 17.2 overs
Oman won by 10 wickets (with 196 balls remaining)
Man of Match: Fayyaz Butt of Oman (5 for 22 in 7 overs including a hattrick)