Ssesazi sets platform for huge win over Namibia

Classy Rookie. Juma Miyagi bowled a superb final over in Namibia's innings to restrict them to 267 runs. Photo | Innocent Ndawula

What you need to know:

  • Namibia nicked the T20I series 2-1 but Uganda rallied to level the 50-over Series at 1-1 having been bundled out for 68 runs enroute to a 7-wicket loss in the opening fixture on Tuesday.

Uganda will fly out of Windhoek on Good Friday evening without either a T20I Series or the 50-over Series victory in the bag but nevertheless happy with their shifts at the just concluded 10-day Tour of Namibia that comprised five matches.

Namibia nicked the T20I series 2-1 but Uganda rallied to level the 50-over Series at 1-1 having been bundled out for 68 runs enroute to a 7-wicket loss in the opening fixture on Tuesday.

With the odds stacked against them, Uganda unfurled a superb team effort in the tour’s final match to level the series in a tense-filled affair to clinch a 3-wicket victory.

The skipper of the day Kenneth Waiswa won the toss, asked Namibia to bat first and the hosts duly responded by registering 267 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in the allotted 50 overs.

Namibia were spurred on Craig Williams’ batting masterclass. The elderly statesman stroked 90 runs from 107 balls including five boundaries and six fours, and he was supported by returning Karl Birkenstock who rode his luck for 73 runs off 77 balls.

First innings

Wicketkeeper Lo-handre Lowrens added 44 runs off 57 balls at the top of the order and last year’s World Cup find Ruben Trupelmann added the final flourish with 19-ball cameo of 22 runs as Uganda’s bowlers; Cosmas Kyewuta (1/48), Dinesh Nakrani (1/53), Riazat Ali Shah (1/57) and Henry Ssenyondo (1/48) took one wicket apiece.

But the true standout bowler for Uganda was 19-year-old rookie Juma Miyagi whose eight-over spell went wicketless but cost just 39 runs including conceding a paltry six runs in the final over of Namibia's innings.

From one tournament debutant to another, Emmanuel Hasahya, only playing his second game for Uganda, courageously opened the innings and contributed 19 vital runs in a fruitful opening partnership of 66 runs in 10.1 overs before he got caught trying to go over the top.

His partner at the other end – Simon Ssesazi –stayed firm and anchored innings with 82 runs off 86 balls and by the time he fell at 136 runs for 3 wickets in 26.4, the game was well-poised.

“I have been on form for almost three years because I try to keep my job as simple as possible. It feels good to be able to do this for the team,” said the 25-year-old left-hander.

Waiswa and wicketkeeper Fred Achelam put up their hands with 20-odd runs apiece during which they featured in 50-run partnerships with match winners Nakrani (45) and Shah (43*).

Perfect game

“It was a good game of cricket. We knew that for us to win, we had to bat out our overs and we did just that. Ssesazi put up his hand and he was unlucky not to get 100,” said the 23-year-old all-rounder.

Kyewuta contributed seven vital runs but it was Ssenyondo’s couple of singles that well-timed and handed over the strike back to Shah who chanced his arms at anything in his vicinity to help Uganda reach 269 runs for the loss of 7 wickets and forthwith seal a famous win with three balls remaining.

Jan Frylinck with two scalps was the pick of Namibia’s bowlers who toiled like their Ugandan counterparts on a day that saw their 17-year-old bowling maestro Dylan Leicher return good figures of 0 for 45 despite finishing wicketless.

“Our young bowlers like Louis Peters (1/30 in 5) got a good work out with the ball. But we were very sloppy in the field. We put down two chances in the powerplay and more so at the end. It could have been a different story,” reasoned Namibia captain Nicol Loftie-Eaton.

Uganda used the series to prepare for International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Challenge League B that they will host from June 14-28 with Italy, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Jersey, and neighbours Kenya in the fray.

CASTLE LITE 50-0VER SERIES

RESULT – TUESDAY

Uganda 68/10 Namibia 71/3

Namibia won by 7 wickets (with 199 balls remaining)

 RESULT – WEDNESDAY

Namibia 267/6 Uganda 269/7

Uganda won by 3 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)

 Cricket Cranes & Eagles Series Tied 1-1

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