New Cricket Cranes skipper Brian Masaba is a man known for few words, serenity and precise judgment.
After guiding a new-look Team Uganda to an opening eight-wicket victory over Tanzania on Friday, Masaba believes his side can go on and produce a miraculous show at the Pepsi ICC Africa Division One Twenty20 Championship in Benoni, South Africa.
“In spite of the obvious lack of experience in our side, we are still going out to win every game,” Masaba told Sunday Monitor via phone from the team base at Garden Court in Johannesburg.
“That’s how the game of T20 should be played,” the former U-19 skipper said. Such mentality is what Masaba will instill in his teammates today when they face Botswana in tournament Day Three at the Sahara Willowmoore Oval in Gauteng.
“We want to take one game at a time and slowly win back full trust from our fans back home,” he said. There could be bowling changes against the Karabo Modise-led side with Masaba opting for more spin as the wickets offer much turn.
And further, all debutants impressed coach Peter Kirsten in the victory over the Tanzanians which has ignited a growing aura of confidence in the team camp.
Particularly, the South African tactician lauded Kamal Shahzad’s work rate after he took 1/32 as Tanzania set 128 for 7.
However, spinners Frank Nsubuga (2/12) and Henry Ssenyondo (2/8) stood out most with pivotal spells including the prize wicket of Abhik Patwa who was dropped early and went on to clobber four boundaries and five maximums for a 51-ball 73. Uganda’s reply received an early blessing when Arthur Kyobe (34 off 22) was dropped in the third over (23-0). The left-hander went on to put up an opening stand of 60 with his Challengers’ counterpart Arnold Otwan.
The latter briefly shared the crease with Shahzad (13 run-a-ball) and Otwan earned a precious maiden international half-ton of 51* off 40 deliveries in a match-winning 43-run third-wicket combo with explosive Jonathan Ssebanja (29 off 13) in the 15th over.
More decent batting against the Batswana could illuminate the Cricket Cranes’ chances in the quest for a berth at the ICC Global T20 Qualifier due Scotland from July 9 August 2.