Quadrangular Series: Karashani, Masaba eager to get momentum

Uganda Select skipper Brian Masaba (R) lashes out in his unbeaten knock of 40 off 65 as Uganda XI wicket-keeper Lawrence Ssematimba looks on at Kyambogo Oval yesterday. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO Uganda Select skipper Brian Masaba (R) lashes out in his unbeaten knock of 40 off 65 as Uganda XI wicket-keeper Lawrence Ssematimba looks on at Kyambogo Oval yesterday. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO

There was a feeling of satisfaction and dissatisfaction in both camps after Uganda XI overwhelmed Uganda Select by 120 runs at Kyambogo Oval on Day Two of the Quadrangular Series.

The day offered a reprieve for Davis Karashani’s Uganda XI men who got off the mark in the tournament after going down to Takashinga by three wickets in a low-scoring thriller at Lugogo on Sunday.

And it came at the expense of Brian Masaba’s Uganda Select side, who had a chance to go 2-0 up in the tournament, after a resounding 130-run victory over Kenya XI on Sunday.

Both Ugandan skippers Karashani and Masaba concurred that whereas one of the teams found its groove, the other (Uganda Select) played to a wrong script that left coaches Michael Ndiko and Steve Tikolo with a bitter taste in their mouths.

“The win came a little easy for us,” said Karashani, who scored 9 off 17 as his team set 228/9 and proceeded to bowl out their ‘understudies’ Uganda Select for a fluctuating 108 all out in 31 overs.

“We expected it to be a little tighter because these are guys we train with and know that can play good cricket.

They started well and restricted us but when we got to bowl to them they buckled under pressure.

“But we are delighted with the win. It means we are back in the tournament and must beat Kenya tomorrow (today) as we look forward to the Takashinga game on Thursday.”

Roger Mukasa (60 off 91) and Shahzad Kamal (47 off 69) rode their luck in a game-changing fourth-wicket partnership of 110 runs.

Irfan Afridi (3/31 in 10), Emmanuel Isaneez (2/34) and Trevor Bukenya (2/49) shined with the ball only for their batsmen to play second fiddle in the chase of what seemed as a ‘very gettable score’.

“We didn’t give a good account of ourselves,” concurred Uganda Select skipper Masaba, who was unbeaten on 40 runs as his team suffered defeat.

“The guys were a bit timid and our coach (Ndiko) has had a word with them. If we had played as we did yesterday (Sunday), we would have won.

“But the loss gives us a chance to wake up and came back strong against Takashinga.” Today’s contests will be tournament defining with Kenya, who ran the Zimbabweans close before losing by three wickets yesterday, taking on Uganda XI at Kyambogo.

But the bigger crowd is expected to be in Lugogo, where many faithful will be hoping Masaba and his ‘rookies’ can inflict pain on a unscathed Takashinga.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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