Uganda look for quick response

The Cricket Cranes return to action on June 20, 2022. PHOTO/COURTESY 

What you need to know:

  • Head to Head: Uganda have lost three of their four meetings with Hong Kong but won the last in 2019 by 6 wickets

Both the fans and the senior national men’s cricket team had the weekend to fully concede to Friday’s 62-run opening loss to Jersey at round two of the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B.

That the Cricket Cranes still top the six-team log on 10 points from six matches (five wins from round one in Oman 2019) partly explains why decibels of concern didn’t go high up after the Lugogo Oval debacle.

Hong Kong test

However, coach Laurence Mahatlane’s side is quick to get back on track when they face Hong Kong at the University Oval in Kyambogo this morning.

“It’s a test of character and I believe this team has got it,” skipper Brian Masaba said about the team’s potential to bounce back.

Hong Kong are second on the table with nine points after beating by 58 runs at Lugogo on Saturday and a win for the Asians in Kyambogo could let the pressure valve loose in the Cricket Cranes’ quest for a slot at the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup slated to be in India.

Having built some enviable momentum over the last 15 months, this is not something either the players nor Mahatlane and his technical team desire.

Hence, a quick response is inevitable. On a flat deck which later slowed down, Uganda failed to chase down Jersey’s 255-6 score in the batting arena of Lugogo.

Masaba needed to rotate four bowlers to find the first wicket after 17 overs. In total, he used seven bowlers, including himself, to slow down Jersey who had eight wickets in hand at 141-2 after 30 overs.

In Kyambogo, the wicket normally offers a lot to the bowlers in the morning and fielding first looks to be ideal. 

But, Masaba lost medium-fast bowler Deus Muhumuza to injury after his elbow hit his thigh bone while attempting to grip a catch.

The assistant captain Muhumuza retired hurt first while batting and even if he later returned to run between the wickets in pain, Muhumuza sat out during the team’s warm-up in Kyambogo yesterday.

And last evening, team media manager Denis Musali announced he is out of the tournament. He has since been replaced by top-order batsman Arnold Otwani.

Still with the ball, it is likely left-arm orthodox bowler Henry Ssenyondo will start to back up either of young pace men Cosmas Kyewuta or Juma Miyagi, Dinesh Nakrani and Riazat Ali Shah.

Then veteran spinner Frank Nsubuga definitely will hope to concede less than half of the 56 runs which Jersey batsmen got out of his spell.

With the bat, Otwani’s inclusion puts more meat to the bone after all, he struck the winning knock of 66* runs off 112 balls to beat Hong Kong by six wickets during the first round on December 11, 2019 in Oman.

Otwani is expected to bat one down after left-hander Simon Ssesazi and experienced Ronak Patel have faced the new ball. 

It means Emmanuel Hasahya, who opened with Ssesazi on Friday, could give way to former U-19 captain Kenneth Waiswa who will bat at four while Masaba drops to number five.

Hong Kong’s man to watch is Kinchit Devang Shah, who struck a ton of 102 runs off 97 balls as they set 283 enroute to victory over Italy. The Hongkongers have won three of the past four meetings against Uganda since 2011.

In Lugogo, Jersey takes on Kenya who bowled out Bermuda for a 107 runs thanks to Elijah Otieno’s 5/21 before chasing the score for the loss of four wickets in Kyambogo on Saturday. Rushab Patel got 49* off 51 to seal the chase in 19 overs.

ICC World Cup League B

Today | 10am
Jersey     vs.     Kenya    
Hong Kong     vs.     Uganda

Weekend results 

Bermuda 107/10 Kenya 109/4
(Kenya won by 6 wickets)
Hong Kong 283/10 Italy 225/10
(Hong Kong won by 58 runs)
Jersey 255/6 Uganda 193/10
(Jersey won by 62 runs)