Baby Cricket Cranes face South Africa

Ivan Thawithemwira, Uganda U-19 coach. 

What you need to know:

  • Now Thawi is demanding that his key batsmen turn up, especially if they are asked to set a score. 

Uganda have been away from the ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup stage for 16 years but the Baby Cricket Cranes are already feeling a great sense of belonging despite the opening 39-run loss to Ireland on Saturday in the West Indies.

“We managed to push the envelope, we managed to push our boundaries,” said coach Ivan Thawithemwira. “That is what we keep asking them, ‘change the boundary all the time.’”

There is however little time to look over the small achievements. Thawi and the fans back home think the boys can play. And there is hope Pascal Murungi and team can do better when they face South Africa at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago today.

“There are many positives to take, very good building blocks from which we can construct our house,” Thawi, a former U-19 national team batsman, said.

Uganda had had the Irish at 95-4 after 21.4 overs following the dismissal of their skipper Tim Tector but the opponents were rescued to a safe 236-9, thanks to Joshua Cox’s unbeaten 113-ball 111 century.

Yet Uganda got a reply led by captain Pascal Murungi’s half-century of 63 runs off 82 balls and Juma Miyaji’s four big maximums and a boundary in a quick 21-ball 38 blitz but it wasn’t enough. They were bowled out for 197 runs with 11 balls remaining.

Uganda had been 36-3 after 14.1 overs as slow left arm orthodox Matthew Humphreys (4/25) caused damage. Had the top-order fashioned better in that chase, probably there would have been less pressure for the tail-enders.

Task at hand
Now Thawi is demanding that his key batsmen turn up, especially if they are asked to set a score. 

“We just need to look at our starts, especially when we are batting. So, we just want to see if we can improve that part of our game. We are hopeful we shall be able to rectify this,” he added.

The bigger concern there should be opener Ronald Lutaaya. He struggled in the warm-up against Sri Lanka (1 off 9) and the Irish meal wasn’t any sweeter (1 off 6). Ronald Omara could be an option.

Other anchor-men Isaac Ategeka, Brian Asaba and Cyrus Kakuru should equally be thirsty for runs against the Junior Proteas.

However, the 2014 winners, who have produced big names like Kagiso Rabada, got off to a bad start as they were beaten by India by 45 runs in pursuit of 233 runs thanks to orthodox bowler Vicky Ostwal’s magic of 5/28.

Now the South Africans will look to recover through their opening fast bowlers Matthew Boast and Aphiwe Mnyanda as well as Dewald Brevis with the bat.

ICC U-19 Cricket W. Cup

Today's fixtures - 5PM (EAT)
GROUP A:     Canada     vs.     England
GROUP B:     Uganda     vs.     South Africa
GROUP C:     Afghanistan     vs.     PNG


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