Playing for pride

Sunday November 18 2018

A few happy moments.  Uganda players

A few happy moments. Uganda players celebrating a wicket in the loss against USA. PHOTO BY INNOCENT NDAWULA 

By Innocent Ndawula

Having come here in Muscat for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III as the chest-thumping Division IV champions after their Malaysia heroics in May this year, Uganda will return home on Tuesday with their tails back between their legs after a humbling experience in the Sultanate of Oman.

But before they fly out of the gulf, the Cricket Cranes can heal some wounds especially those of their long-suffering fans and also restore some dented pride when they play hosts Oman in their final fixture at Oman Cricket Academy Turf 2 at the Al Amarat Stadium today.

The game will have no bearing on the tournament with Oman having already qualified for the Division II event scheduled for April 18-28, 2019 in Windhoek, Namibia after going unbeaten in their four games so far. For Uganda, they will have to make do with a consolation in the ICC’s newly initiated structured ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League which is going to be a long and treacherous journey to the 2023 World Cup in India.

“We have nothing to lose,” said skipper Roger Mukasa. “We will not be under any pressure. And we want to win the match for the fans and our coach (Steve Tikolo). We have disappointed them but know that we can make up with his victory and give them some joy in what has been a tough campaign.”

Oman, already poised to step up on the dais and collect their piece of silverware, will not want to end what has been a flawless campaign with a loss in-front of their home fans.

“We want to win. We have so much at stake although we have already qualified. We want to continue winning because it is a good habit. Taking the winning habit to Division II will be good. Uganda is also a strong squad,” said Zeeshan Masqood, the Oman captain.

Kenya have an outside chance of progressing when they take on Denmark at OCA Turf 1. However, they must win with a healthy Net Run Rate (NRR) as it has been their undoing since they were meekly bowled out for 96 against United States of America.

Work cut out. Kenya have an outside chance of progressing when they take on Denmark at OCA Turf 1. However, they must win with a healthy Net Run Rate (NRR).

TABLE STANDINGS AFTER DAY 8

Team P W L Pts NRR
Oman 4 4 0 8 0.486
USA 4 3 1 6 1.126
Singapore 4 2 2 4 0.454
Kenya 4 2 2 4 -0.823
Uganda 4 1 3 2 -0.415
Denmark 4 0 4 0 -0.923

FIXTURES IN AL AMARAT

Denmark vs. Kenya, OCA Turf 1
Oman vs. Uganda, OCA Turf 2
*All matches start at 8.30am Ugandan time.

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