Uganda, Namibia shift focus to 50-over format

In action. Opening bowler Cosmas Kyewuta. Photo / Innocent Ndawula

What you need to know:

  • And whereas the Cricket Cranes went down by 52 runs in the decider, the result only told half the story as Namibia had only one standout player in all-rounder Johannes Jonathan Smit, who single-handedly won the match.

Laurence Mahatlane, the Cricket Cranes coach, was quick to applaud his troops after their 2-1 Castle Lite T20I Series defeat to Namibia on Sunday evening.

“I’m very proud of how the boys have performed,” said the 45-year-old gaffer. “Nambia are a World Cup team. For us testing ourselves against the best, we have showed a lot of improvement. We can only continue to tick more boxes.”

Last Saturday was a special day for Uganda, after a historic victory – their first ever – against 16th ranked Namibia in Twenty20 Internationals.

And whereas the Cricket Cranes went down by 52 runs in the decider, the result only told half the story as Namibia had only one standout player in all-rounder Johannes Jonathan Smit, who single-handedly won the match.

Game changer

Namibia were in a spot of bother at 60 runs for the loss of 4 wickets at the halfway stage (10 overs) of their innings when JJ Smit engaged a high gear to pound Uganda’s bowlers to all corners of the Trustco United Cricket Club oval in a 35-ball blitz that yielded 71 runs.

When Uganda looked like they were still on course at 107 for 5 in 15 overs, JJ Smit bowled a gem of spell; prizing out six Ugandan wickets, including a hat-trick, for just 10 runs in four overs.

Uganda’s last five wickets fell for 26 runs, to be bundled out for 133.

“JJ Smit was the difference. He batted brilliantly and then made early in-roads into our batting line-up. He is a big player and hopefully our guys can learn and mature their individual games like he (JJ Smit) has done,” chipped in skipper Brian Masaba.

Fringe players

And with the T20I Series out of the way, Mahatlane and Masaba will be hoping Uganda can continue to tick the boxes when the two nations lock horns in the two-match 50-over format starting today.

Mahatlane is expected to give a couple of fringe players, including tour debutant Emmanuel Hasahya, a run out in the middle as well as agile bowler Richard Agamire after teenager Juma Miyagi, who was among the top five bowlers at January U-19 World Cup in West Indies, impressed in T20I series decider, including castling Namibia skipper Gerhard Erasmus.

UGANDA PROBABLE XI

1.Brian Masaba (C), 2. Juma Miyagi, 3. Dinesh Nakrani, 4. Riazat Ali Shah, 5. Fred Achelam, 6. Henry Ssenyondo, 7. Emmanuel Hasahya, 8. Kenneth Waiswa, 9. Richard Agamire, 10. Simon Ssesazi, 11. Frank Akankwasa

12th man: Cosmas Kyewuta

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