Zimbabwean top franchise Takashinga came to town and carried top honours at the 2016 Uganda Quadrangular Seriers as expected on Saturday.
But it was Uganda, who fielded two sides (Uganda XI and Uganda Select), that were celebrating most after they comprehensively defeated the Kenya XI side and run the Zimbabweans close during the eight-day tour.
Davis Karashani’s Uganda XI and Takashinga finished on 25 points. Takashinga’s Net Run Rate (NRR) of 1.686 was however better than that of Uganda XI (1.516) by just 0.07 hence granting the vistors the title by the slimmest of margins.
Winston Shingirai Masakadza’s tournament haul of 178 runs, nine wickets and eight fielding dismissals made all the difference for the southern Africans and duly notched the Man of Series Award.
Takashinga showed immense awareness by chasing down Uganda Select’s set target of 157 in just 25.3 overs at Kyambogo Oval to surpass the NRR of Uganda XI, who had earlier scored 225 and bowled Kenya XI for 85 for a 140-run win at Lugogo Oval. But although Ugandan captains Karashani and Brian Masaba said that they would have loved the trophy to stay at home but they were not shedding any tear.
“Any sharp person has picked something from this Series,” said Karashani, who captained Uganda XI that was coached by Steve Tikolo and Jackson Ogwang. “The exposure we got is priceless. Guys got good time out their in the middle to express themselves and know exactly which areas they need to work on. Such tours build momentum.”
Masaba, too, was happy that many ‘rookies’ looking to get into the senior side had got a chance to play against top quality opposition and gauge their potential.
“Uganda benefited most from the tournament,” said Masaba, who was skipper for the Uganda Select side. “The more game time we get, the better for us. The guys looking to get a look in, it served as a good eye opener. Also picking up advice and tips from Takashinga guys after the game was great for the boys.”