Scotland to give Uganda final dress rehearsal

Hitting Out. Pace bowler Bilal Hassun tries out the switch hit during practice as wicketkeeper Fred Achelam looks to collect. Coach Sharma may be tempted to push Hassun up the order as he has been a useful contributor of quick runs lately. PHOTOS/EDDIE CHICCO

What you need to know:

Major Plea. Coach Abhay Sharma and Consultant Craig Williams focused intensely on the batsmen during yesterday’s session at the Brian Lara Academy, aiming to address the issues that plagued the middle-order batters against Namibia.

Things are not supposed to be easy for Uganda at the maiden International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA. But with the team still negotiating their warm-up fixtures and trying to find their groove, they should have been hoping for some sort of relief.

Unfortunately, there are no easy games at the World Cup. For the lowest-ranked team in this massive 20-nation event, it is going to be a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

 Ranked 22nd, Uganda lost to 14th-ranked Namibia by five wickets in the early hours of Tuesday morning under the floodlights at the iconic Brian Lara Academy Oval. At the same venue today, they square off against Richie Berrington’s Scotland on an anticipated hot and humid day that could also welcome passing showers.

 Poor history

The Scots are ranked 13th in the world and history shows that they have triumphed in the last three meetings between these two nations between 2010 and 2012, including a one-over eliminator.

 Such is what lies in store. Uganda will want to flip the history page first as they look to forge forward and focus on their processes.

 The Ugandan batsmen’s blushes were masked by Roger Mukasa’s unbeaten 51 off 41 balls and makeshift opener Robinson Obuya’s 38 off 27 in the opening fixture against Namibia, as Uganda crawled to 134. Now, the clock is winding down on them. The preparations can only go on until a designated time.

 Scotland will be unrelenting and Uganda have their work cut out. Coach Abhay Sharma has thus made a major plea to his batting brigade, especially the middle-order batsmen.

Simon Ssesazi joined the team. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

“Our middle-order batting firepower was lacking,” said the 55-year-old coach. “Roger and Robbo (Robinson) batted very well, but initially they chewed a lot of dot balls, although they managed to recover in the middle with good hitting. I will continue to work with them on momentum, rotation of strike, awareness, and how to find gaps in the field when batting. The start must be explosive.”

 State of affairs

Vice-captain Riazat Ali Shah was the other batsman to reach double digits, with the sextet of Ronak Patel, Dinesh Nakrani, Kenneth Waiswa, Alpesh Ramjani, and captain Brian Masaba coming a cropper.

Simon Ssesazi, the stylish left-hand opening batsman, arrived Wednesday morning and participated in a light training session after a long journey.

It will be interesting to see if the coaches immediately throw him into the mix against Scotland.

The traveling reserves, Innocent Mwebaze and Ronald Lutaaya, too, arrived on Tuesday night and have already had a day of acclimatizing.

By press time, Uganda, alongside all the other teams in Trinidad & Tobago, were headed for the opening ceremony at the ancient and historic Mille Fleurs, home of the National Trust in Trinidad & Tobago, built by the Prada family.


Thursday – Warm Up Game - 5.30PM (EAT)

Scotland vs. Uganda, Brian Lara Cricket Academy