What you need to know:
- As Uganda drop to the Plate Cup with a final group game to come against four-time winners India on Saturday, Thawi believes his boys are going to pick a lot more from this too cricket class.
Being bottom of any table is not rosy for anyone in sport. And whereas Uganda is now out of the quest for the main trophy at the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, coach Ivan Thawithemwira still has his held held high.
Uganda’s return to this showpiece after a 16-year absence began with a 39-run loss to Ireland but Thawi’s charges were humbled more by Test Nation South Africa who won by 121 runs in the Trinidad & Tobago capital Port of Spain on Tuesday.
The East African teenagers put their hearts out in both contests. “The boys fought,” Thawi said after his side fell short in the pursuit of 232 runs against the Junior Proteas.
“They have put up their hands but were just not as good as South Africa.”
Nicknamed the ‘Young AB’ and tipped to follow the lines of former Proteas’ skipper AB de Villiers, teenager Dewald Brevis struck a pivotal 110-ball 104 century comprising 11 boundaries and a maximum to back up his captain George van Heerden’s decision to bat first.
Uganda’s captain Pascal Murungi (3/58) and opening bowler Juma Miyaji (3/33) skittled through the late order, sharing five wickets for 24 runs but Brevis’s damage had done it all, setting 231-9.
Murungi had inspired a fight back against Ireland with a half-ton of 63 runs but against the South Africans, even if Thawi made three changes, batting woes surfaced again.
He had dropped openers Ronald Lutaaya and Ronald Opio for Ronald Omara and Fahd Mutagana but it didn’t work efficiently. “We’ve been losing wickets upfront but that happened again,” the gaffer stated.
Omara was dismissed by left-arm fast bowler Aphiwe Mnyanda (2/24) after eight balls and while Mutagana (16 off 21) shared 32 runs with Isaac Ategeka (29 off 72) for the second wicket, the team crumbled fast from 33-2 after 7.2 overs to 68-5 after 19.2 overs.
With the steam gone, the task appeared to be too big for Cyrus Kakuru (14 off 21) who had been brought in down the pile.
Orthodox bowler Liam Alder had been impressive with 2/13 and three maidens in 10 overs while Brevis took 2/18 and a maiden in 34 deliveries as Uganda was bowled out for a paltry 110 runs in 33.4 overs.
As Uganda drop to the Plate Cup with a final group game to come against four-time winners India on Saturday, Thawi believes his boys are going to pick a lot more from this too cricket class.
“To learn as much as they can as they go toe-to-toe with some of the world’s best kids,” he said of the bits to take going forward.