Murungi hand not enough to feed U-19s

Glimmer of potential. Miyaji’s blazing 38 off 21 defined Uganda’s gallant effort.

What you need to know:

  • The game was done as a contest in the 42nd over when Humphreys (4 for 25) sent back to the showers Murungi with an lbw.

Uganda indeed do belong. Yes, for long periods of Saturday’s ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup opening clash with Ireland, they were not out of place after 16 years away.

In the end, the Baby Cricket Cranes lost to the Irish by 39 runs in Group B. The task doesn’t get any easier as they face giants South Africa and India in the next five days.

However, in defeat, coach Ivan Thawithemwira was proud. This is Uganda’s third appearance at the event, 18 years after their debut, accumulating two wins in 12 games.

That pride was underlined by captain Pascal Murungi. Set 237 to win, Murungi scored 63 runs off 82 balls while also picking two wickets for 44. Striker bowler Juma Miyaji picked 2 for 26 and blazed 38 off 21, including four sixes, as Uganda threatened to pull the rug out from the fire.

“We played very well, with a lot of heart,” Thawithemwira said. “We showed we aren’t far away from the best in the world.”

After winning the toss, Uganda elected to field against the Irish who qualified for the first time since 2018. Vindication was quick.

Uganda slump
Miyaji bowled opening batsman Liam Doherty to reduce Ireland to 1/1. Spinners Joseph Baguma (2 for 34) and Matthew Musinguzi (2 for 35) plucked out the rest of the top order. But wicketkeeper-batter Joshua Cox countered with an unbeaten 111 off 113 balls to set up Irish victory, during which he plundered eight fours and a six.

In the chase, left arm spinner Matthew Humphreys began Uganda’s downfall with two wickets in third over, dismissing both openers cheaply. Ronald Lutaaya (1) was caught and bowled while Ronald Opio (10) was given leg-before-wicket (lbw) as Uganda slid to 12/2. The slump continued unabated. In the 29th over, Humphreys got Pius Olaba to reduce Uganda to 97 for 6.

A 43-run stand between Murungi and Baguma (15 off 39) reduced the skid.

“We picked a lot of positives. It’s about showing the world that we can play the game. We are not far off. We tried our level best,” Murungi noted.

The game was done as a contest in the 42nd over when Humphreys (4 for 25) sent back to the showers Murungi with an lbw.

Ireland     236/9 
Uganda     197 
Ireland won by 39 runs
India     232 
South Africa     187 
Indian won 45 runs
Zimbabwe     321/9 
Papua N. Guinea     93
Zimbabwe won by 228 runs

Today’s fixtures – 4pm
West Indies     vs.     Scotland
Australia     vs.     Sri Lanka
Pakistan     vs.     Zimbabwe


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