Derby loss sets Uganda WC push on the backfoot

Consolation. Dinesh Nakrani was both hero and villain as Uganda fell to neighbours Kenya yesterday at the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Finals in Rwanda.PHOTO/ EDDIE CHICCO

The Uganda-Kenya derby once again lived up to its billing with the Cricket Cranes suffering a painful one-run loss to the ‘noisy-neighbours’ as both sides started their campaigns at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Finals.
The match at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC) Oval in Kicukiro District, Kigali City was a replica of the 2019 derby of the same event  at Lugogo Oval when Uganda went down by the same margin.

Little consolation
 Fate is indeed fate. 
Somehow, Dinesh Nakrani, again, was both hero and villain - taking Uganda so close with a 32-ball 67 runs but again guilty of throwing away his wicket with the bowling at his mercy and Uganda forthwith in the driver’s seat at 119 runs for 5 wickets in 15 overs.
The match officials gave the  Man-of-Match Award to Nakrani but it was only consolation to Uganda who also looked on painfully as their record of 11 unbeaten matches in Twenty20 Internationals halted by coach David Obuya’s pumped up troops who were sporting a new red jersey.

“Bad start,” said Uganda coach Laurence Mahatlane. “Fair enough but it is not the end of our hopes to qualify for the Global Qualifiers. We have to find a way of kicking on from here because there is no time to mourn. The loss is all about the small things we didn’t do here and there but we have to forget that and go back to our processes.”
Kenya won the toss and started shakily with managing just 23 runs in the powerplay for the loss of two wickets and then crawling to 35 at the halfway stage before running amok with 13 runs per over in the last 10 overs to set 161 runs for 5 wickets.

Classy veterans
40-year-old Collins Obuya (44 off 35), Irfan Karim (36), Rakep Patel (28 off 12) and captain Shem Ngoche (21 off 12) did the repair job to perfection for Kenya with Uganda’s classy veteran Frank Nsubuga returning figures of 2 for 7 in his 4-over spell.
Uganda’s chase got off to the worst possible start with none of their top-order batsmen contributing as the scoreboard read 4 for 4 in 2.3 overs. Deus Muhumuza, who batted on one leg, was unbeaten on 59 off 48 balls but his effort was in vain as Uganda fell short by one run.
The winner of this tournament will proceed to the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup Global Qualifier in Oman next year.

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