Records tumble but Uganda fall just short of ODI status

Arnold Otwani and Simon Ssesazi celebrating their centuries against Hong Kong in the last match of the ICC CWC Challenge League B at Farmers CCG in St Martin on Sunday. PHOTOS/ICC

What you need to know:

  • That feat was attained by left-hander Simon Ssesazi, who took the Man of Match Award for his 134-ball innings of 137 runs, alongside fellow centurion Arnold Otwani who stroked 129 from 127 balls in 42.4 overs.

For the first time in the history of Uganda raked up totals of 300 plus in successive games. A mammoth 314 for 4 in the 153-run victory against Bermuda on Saturday (August 13) and a colossal 397 for 3 in the 218-run mauling of Hong Kong on Sunday.

It will also be hard to unfurl Ugandan cricketing folklore and find the last time two batsmen put on a double-century opening stand of 290 runs. 

That feat was attained by left-hander Simon Ssesazi, who took the Man of Match Award for his 134-ball innings of 137 runs, alongside fellow centurion Arnold Otwani who stroked 129 from 127 balls in 42.4 overs on Sunday.

The two young openers started cautiously but gradually engaged the gears to combine for 132 runs (18 fours & 10 sixes) in boundaries as each stroked nine fours but Ssesazi taking a notch further to hit more sixes (6).

There will never be a prettier batting scorecard in Uganda Cricket Association (UCA)’s archives than that one of August 14 as the other two batsmen to get some time out in the middle; Dinesh Nakrani (50 off 20) and Riazat Ali Shah (50 off 23) also registered career milestones with their quickest half tons.

NRR issues

Despite all the records that tumbled on the day, the final day of the three-legged International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup (CWC) Challenge League B will be remembered for the wrong reasons.

Uganda failed to progress to the next qualification round to the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India and most hurting the nation’s desire to play some One Day International (ODI) cricket once again fell flat.

Despite finishing level on points (22) with hosts Jersey, who lost their last match to Kenya by four wickets, Uganda's remarkable efforts were undone by the little matter of Net Run Rate (NRR) of 0.479.

“It is tough. You can look  back and say so close, yet so far,” said coach Laurence Mahatlane in his assessment of the team’s performance.

“Falling short by half-a-run on Net Run Rate is so tough. You can go back in the tournament and see that we missed Deus Muhumuza’s runs in the middle order in Kampala.

Seeking positives

“Some of the injuries we have had especially to senior batsmen and leadership group have really affected us. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. We got bowled out for 92 by Hong Kong in Kyambogo during the second leg. That makes you look to start trying to find that half-a-run.  But it is what it is and that is water under the bridge. We need to look forward.”

Uganda needed to make light work of pre-tournament favourites Hong Kong – something which they literally did on Sunday but fate wasn’t in their hands as they needed Kenya to pound Jersey. At the end of the day, Kenya had just managed to beat Kenya by 4 wickets to end the tournament as the form side with four wins out of five matches.

Jersey progressed with a NRR of 1.541 as Uganda’s read 1.062 – less than half a run short making Sunday’s matches literally dead rubbers and results forthwith null and void.


ICC CWC CHALLENGE LEAGUE B

WEEKEND RESULTS
Uganda 314/4 Bermuda 160/10

Uganda won by 153 runs

Uganda 397/3 Hong Kong 179/10

Uganda won by 218 runs

Jersey 349/4 Italy 104/10

Jersey won by 145 runs

Jersey 172/10 Kenya 173/6

Kenya won by 4 wickets



FINAL TABLE STANDINGS
TEAM                     M       W       L        N/R    Pts     NRR

1. JERSEY              15      11      4        0        22      1.541

2. UGANDA            15      11      4        0        22      1.062

3. HONG KONG      15      9        5        1        19      0.548

4. KENYA               15      7        7        1        15      0.188

5. ITALY                 15      5        9        1        11      -0.626

6. BERMUDA          15      0        14      1        1        -3.192


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