By Marion Malinga
Kenya 151/9 20 overs
Uganda 129 all-out 19/20 overs
Kenya won by 22 runs.
Link to full scorecard: https://cricclubs.com/Uganda/fullScorecard.do?&matchId=1090&clubId=5335
The opening day of the Pearl of Africa T20 Series was a day of mixed fortunes for Uganda, as the morning game was washed by a shower and the afternoon game didn't go to script for the team. Uganda endured a 22-run loss to the visitors of Kenya as the host failed to get their game together.
Kenya won the toss in the afternoon and backed themselves to put on a decent total despite a slow and wet outfield.
Laurence Mahatlane's men took to the field with the hope of inflicting another defeat to Kenya. They indeed started brilliantly, picking up the first wicket in the opening over Alex Obanda sent for an early shower by Bilal Hassun. However, a second-wicket 89 run partnership from Irfan Karim (61) and Gurdeep Bhagat (27) settled the ship for the visitors as they tore away at the Ugandan bowlers. However, the hosts came back at the back of the end to tidy things up and pick up 8 more Kenya wickets to put the chase at 151 runs. Dinesh Nakrani (2/20), Henry Ssenyodo (2/25), and Deus Muhumuza (2/29) were the pick of the bowlers.
However, the chase didn't go according to the script for Uganda as they were quickly reduced to 23/3 inside 5 overs as the visitors created pressure on the batting lineup. Saud Islam (61) was the top scorer for the hosts despite struggling at the start. Riaza Ali Shah (31) and Brian Masaba (10) were the only other batsmen to get into double figures as the hosts fell short by 22 runs.
I think Saud batted well for us today he was able to anchor the innings for most of the chase but unfortunately we were not clinical enough. We shall take the lessons from this game and make sure we can bounce back like we did in the One Day series. We pray Nigeria tomorrow and we shall make sure we give a good account of ourselves obviously we dont take them for granted because they are a fast rising team. Head Coach Laurence Mahatlane.
The abandoned game in the morning due to a wet outfield was rescheduled to the reserve day, the action continues tomorrow as Kenya takes on Nigeria in the morning and later the hosts Uganda take on Nigeria in the afternoon.