Uganda’s World Cup dream over

Friday March 22 2019

Bad day. The triumphant Namibia team share

Bad day. The triumphant Namibia team share commiserations with the Baby Cricket Cranes as they walk off the Trustco United Ground after defeating the latter by 109 runs yesterday. Uganda have won won and lost two games. PHOTO BY INNOCENT NDAWULA 


Having started out on a promising note, Uganda were left mulling after going down by 109 runs to Namibia to miss out on the lone spot to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under 19 World Cup in South Africa next year.
After going down to Nigeria by 30 runs on Wednesday, Uganda were looking to bounce back against the hosts Namibia in this ICC U-19 Africa World Cup Qualifier in Windhoek at the Trustco United Ground yesterday.
And after winning the toss, Uganda captain Frank Akankwasa stuck in the Namibians who were celebrating their 24th Independence Anniversary.There were debuts for Nyakasura School captain Pascal Murungi and Busoga College Mwiri’s Ramathan Ochimi, who literally just stepped off the plane and onto the playing field, but there was no good start for Team Uganda.
There was a 61-run opening stand between Ramon Wilmot (14 off 38) and Henry Brink (55 off 68) in 15 overs.
But only five wickets fell as Namibia piled on 250 runs for the loss of five wickets in the allotted 50 overs.
Divan la Cock (91 off 97) and Matthew De Gouveia (50 off 56) punished Uganda’s loose bowling at the death on the small ground with leg-spinner Simon Oketcho finishing with respectable figures of 2 for 45 in 9 overs.
The chase was one-way traffic as Uganda sought to chase down the target in quick time to improve their Net Run Rate (NRR). Cavalier opening batsman Zephaniah Arinaitwe’s gung-ho style had Uganda at the fore-front and momentarily silenced the fair crowd at Trustco United.

Arinaitwe, who made his debut for Uganda at the Four Nations Quadrangular in Nairobi (September 2016), muscled eight boundaries and four sixes in his 30-ball cameo of 69. But when he fell at 74 for 2 in 7.2 overs with Uganda moving at 10 per over, none of the other Ugandan batsmen found their hitting range.
Mauritius Valentine Ngupita cause Uganda’s batsmen problems with figures of 3 for 21 and slow left arm orthodox Ettiene Beukes (2/34 in 6) wreaked havoc with their pin-point spin spells plus Mell Theunissen (3/35) shared eight wickets to leave Uganda at sea.
In the end, Uganda folded for 141 under 26 overs yet they were moving at healthy run rate of 5.45 runs per over. Coach Jackson Ogwang’s boys now have to play Tanzania in the final match of the tournament with hope that they can end on a high.

Yesterday’s result

Namibia 250/5 Uganda 141/10
Uganda lost by 109 runs
Sierra Leone 225/7 Kenya 194/10
Kenya lost by 31 runs
Nigeria 211/3 Tanzania 60/10
Tanzania lost by 151 runs