The Cricket Cranes wrapped up their campaign at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Twenty20 Sub-Regional World Cup Qualifier with a 100 per cent record over the weekend after drubbing Seychelles by 95 runs in Kigali to emerge the meet’s champions and book a place to the Africa Finals scheduled for November 15-21 in Rwanda.
Anywhere in the world, such a flawless six-out-of-six record calls for wild celebrations. But skipper Deus Muhumuza and his teammates kept it simple, patting themselves on the back and joining the other teams to clap themselves as they stepped onto the dais to receive their medals and trophy from Rwanda Cricket Association chief Stephen Musaale.
“We only regained our rightful place at the top of group,” said Muhumuza, who alongside his teammates felt that Uganda above the sub-regional qualifier grade.
“But cricket can be funny. If we hadn’t come here, we wouldn’t have been able to go back to the Africa Finals. So, for us, we came here (Kigali) to do one job (qualify) and we will be back to do one job again (qualify for Global Qualifiers).
Throughout the showpiece, coach Laurence Mahatlane’s brigade left nothing to chance as they piled on wins in commanding style save for one match against Eswatini, who prized out four wickets as Uganda had to recover from 22 runs for 7 wickets to chase their target.
“I am super proud of how the boys played and bounced back from that game,” said the South African tactician.
“To allow their last three wickets score 50 runs was unacceptable and our batting was a bit disappointing. But hindsight being a perfect art; obviously we were mentally challenged with the weather around as we tried to do too much quickly and didn’t keep it simple.
“But largely we have showed who we are. Especially in the game against the other contenders Ghana who we restricted to less than 100. We respected every opposition here and were always switched on.”
Assistant coach Jackson Ogwang was happy with the attitude, discipline and mental strength shown by the team.
“We were always looking to come back stronger in every match. Bio bubble life drains in every way but the mental strength shown by the team was stellar,” he said.
“The 14 selected guys played to their level and standard like professionals whenever they were called upon. We want to continue improving and executing the games plans in every match.”
The six wins from the Sub Regional Qualifier took Uganda to a record 11 successive victories in T20Is to ascend to third in the world with Afghanistan and Romania atop the log with 12 wins.
Final table standings
Team P W L T PTS NRR
1.Uganda 6 6 0 0 12 4.669
2.Ghana 6 5 1 0 10 2.220
3.Malawi 6 4 2 0 8 -0.026
4.Rwanda 6 3 3 0 6 -0.516
5.Seychelles 6 2 4 0 4 -2.345
6.Eswatini 6 1 5 0 2 -2.064
7.Lesotho 6 0 6 0 0 -3.830
P=Played, W=Win, L=Loss, T=Tie, NRR=Net Run Rate