What you need to know:
- This particular ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Rwanda – dubbed ICC T20 Africa Finals – has equally lived to the billing.
International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments are every inch cut-throat events. Right from the World Cup to the global pathway and development competitions, there is no dull moment when it comes to cricket as several thrills, frills and spills are served in equal measure.
This particular ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Rwanda – dubbed ICC T20 Africa Finals – has equally lived to the billing. There hasn’t been a dull moment hovering over the showpiece with the top four teams on the continent; Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda exchanging pleasantries in the pursuit of the African title.
Nigeria are still winless going into the tournament’s final day, Tanzania who were unbeaten and top of the log on Day One, are third log with four points after they were humbled and brought back down to earth with two resounding losses on Day Two into the final day of the tournament.
Kenya and Uganda showed good bounce-backability, the latter rallying from a 49-run loss to Tanzania to humble their latest nemesis by 7 wickets whereas Uganda have now won three matches on the trot after painfully going down to their ‘noisy neighbours’ Kenya by one run in the opening match of the showpiece at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Oval in Kicukiro.
Both countries are tied on six points but Kenya (0.921) is atop the standings courtesy of a better Net Run Rate (NRR) by 0.152. That NRR might count for nothing though as both teams have to face off in the last match of the weeklong event that will also play out as a virtual final with its winner progressing to the ICC T20 World Cup Global Qualifier scheduled for mid-next year in Muscat, Oman.
“Big games always go down to some of the simplest basics in the game,” said Uganda captain Brian Masaba.
“We want to execute the basics better in that game against Kenya. We have read our bible of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and trust the processes. We are not worried about Kenya. We just want to back up our strengths and deliver some joy to the country. We are playing for the badge.”
His opposite Shem Obado Ngoche, though, is looking to the experience in his side to come good and seal their dominance over Uganda.
“We have no pressure. We have a good balance in the side and the senior players will take us over the line. The game will be interesting because Uganda are also a good side,” said the spinner and hard-hitting all-rounder.
But that anticipated clash could count for nothing if both Kenya and Uganda don’t make light work of Nigeria and Tanzania respectively in their morning blitzes.
ICC T20 Africa Finals
Saturday | Live on ICC TV
Uganda vs. Tanzania 10.15am
Uganda vs. Kenya 2.45pm
Nigeria vs. Kenya 10.15am
Tanzania vs. Nigeria 2.45pm