By losing the opener by seven wickets to Namibia on Thursday, Uganda inevitably dug themselves into a pit and will need to quickly bounce back at the on-going ICC Africa U-19 World Cup Qualifiers in Rwanda.
If the wobbling batting display at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC) oval in Kicukiro is not averted then a third appearance at the ICC Boys’ Youth Cricket World Cup will remain a pipe dream.
Baby Cricket Cranes’ coach Ivan Thawithemwira grimaced after his team’s poor batting display which folded for 125 runs when Namibia won the toss and opted to bowl first.
“We didn’t execute as expected,” Thawi described his team’s display. “There are some areas we can improve on,” he said ahead of the team’s second match against hosts Rwanda at the Gahanga International Stadium in Kigali today.
The biggest partnership was only 33 runs and for the 10th wicket between skipper Pascal Murungi (30 off 33) and Pius Oloka. Cyrus Kakuru (31 off 37) had top-scored in the middle but there had been disappointingly very little to write from the top-order.
Only opener Ronald Opio (17 off 16) had appeared to stand the storm when Namibian spinners led by off-break bowler Jan Balt (3/28) made most of the turning wicket.
Yet Uganda had appeared to crack Namibia’s innings with two quick wickets from Juma Miyaji’s over, leaving the scoreboard at 20-2 after 24 deliveries only for the rain to ride away the East Africans’ momentum.
Against Rwanda, who lost their opener to Tanzania by four wickets, top-order batsmen Ronald Lutaaya, Isaac Ategeka and Ismail Munir must now wake up before the ticket to the West Indies 2022 show vanishes out of sight. Furthermore, Thawi and his assistant Robinson Turinawe may also be forced to make some tactical changes on the slow wickets.
ICC AFRICA U-19 CWCQ
Today’s Fixtures - 10.30am
Rwanda vs. Uganda, Gahanga
Nigeria vs. Tanzania, IPRC
Rwanda 118/6 Tanzania 122/6
Tanzania U19s won by 4 wickets
Uganda 125  Namibia 112/3 Namibia won by 7 wickets