Cricket Cranes shed skin with bronze medal finish

Joy At Last. Cricket chairman Michael Nuwagaba (C) and CEO John Walusimbi (standing R) followed Cricket Cranes campaign at the 13th African Games in Accra where the national team restored some dented pride with a bronze medal finish.  PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE

What you need to know:

The Cricket Cranes were left disheartened after a 24-run defeat to Namibia in a crucial semifinal fixture. 

ACCRA. The mission was gold. And yet despite falling short of that mark, Team Uganda found a sense of satisfaction as they concluded a largely successful campaign at the 13th African Games with a bronze medal.

The Cricket Cranes were left disheartened after a 24-run defeat to Namibia in a crucial semifinal fixture. While this loss dashed Uganda's hopes for a medal, Coach Jackson Ogwang's squad demonstrated resilience by bouncing back to defeat Kenya by 106 runs in the third-place playoff, thus reclaiming some lost pride.

Achilles Heel

Uganda's batting struggles were evident in the loss to Namibia, with only Roger Mukasa Galiwango standing out with 36 runs, as no other batsman managed to surpass 15 runs. However, a stern team discussion and a reminder of their responsibilities revitalised the team's spirits.

Mukasa, who emerged as the Best Batsman of the tournament with 230 runs, provided a solid foundation with 25 runs, while Simon Ssesazi's 66 off 44 balls marked his 16th T20I half-century, propelling the Cricket Cranes to 125 runs in 14 overs. Contributions from Robinson Obuya (28 off 15) and Dinesh Nakrani (51* off 21) helped Uganda post a mammoth total of 206 for 6.

The team's bowling unit also shone, with Player of the Match (POTM) Cosmas Kyewuta leading the statistics with four wickets for 13 runs in his four-over spell, supported by left-arm orthodox bowler Henry Ssenyondo's two wickets for 25 runs. Alpesh Ramjani, another Slow Left-Arm Orthodox bowler, clinched one wicket for 13 runs, securing the title of the tournament's Best Bowler with a total of 13 wickets.

Way to go

"This is who we are," remarked coach Ogwang following the team's victory against Kenya in the third-place playoff match. "Our lapse of concentration against Namibia in the semifinals was a setback. However, after a candid team discussion, the players realised their potential and the urgency required. Our batting display against Kenya exemplifies our approach, and our bowling intensity is what we aim to maintain."

The final was won by Zimbabwe, who convincingly defeated Namibia by eight wickets after the latter set a target of 113 runs for the loss of seven wickets. Tadiwanashe Marumani's impressive 58 off 41 earned him the Player of the Match title in the final, while bowling sensation Owen Mzondo was crowned Player of the Tournament for his impactful performances, claiming 11 wickets for 90 runs in 18 overs.

13th African Games

Result - Bronze Medal Match

Uganda 206/6 Kenya 100/9

Uganda won by 106 runs

Result - Gold Medal Match

Namibia 113/7 Zimbabwe 114/2

Zimbabwe won by 8 wickets



Player of The Match - Final

Tadiwanashe Marumani of Zimbabwe (58 runs off 40 balls & 1 catch)

Best Fielder

Niko Jakobus Davin of Namibia (8 fielding dismissals)

Best Bowler

Alpesh Ramjani of Uganda (13 wickets)

Best Batsman

Roger Mukasa Galiwango of Uganda (230 runs)

Player Of The Tournament

Owen Mzondo of Zimbabwe  (11 wickets, 17 runs & 2 catches)