- Published in International Competitions
Friendly tours are not all about winning. But in sport, winning is, most of the time, everything. And if results are anything to go by on this Bilateral Cricket Series, Uganda can count themselves victors since they have triumphed over the senior men’s Qatar side twice after four games.
The East Africans blemish has been the two losses to the Qatar President’s XI – a mixture of the emerging players, senior squadsmen and those yet to make the grade to represent the gulf nation.
But in all four games played, Steve Tikolo’s boys have acquainted themselves well and run the opposition close even the lost matches as justified by the 13-run and 12-run loss in Game One (Twenty20) and Game Four (45-Over rubber) respectively.
Brand of cricket
Captain Roger Mukasa and his brigade have won over some local fans along the way for their never-give-up attitude and brand of cricket.
But all that could count for nothing in the eyes of the partisan fans back at home if the Cricket Cranes don’t seal the initiative in the tour-ending Twenty20 match at the Asian Town International Cricket Stadium today.
“We want to win,” said Mukasa without thinking twice. “But even if we lose, we want to do so after doing the basics right and playing to the team strategy. We have a big squad here and the coach wants everyone to put in a good number of games under their belt.”
Qatar National Sports Day
The series decider happens on a public holiday for the natives dubbed – The Qatar National Sports Day – held annually on the second Tuesday in February, with the main objective of promoting a healthy lifestyle among its population and celebrate the Qatar’s bid that earned the right to host the Fifa 2022 World Cup.
“Expect a good crowd at the stadium and expect fierce competition from us. We want to show our crowd that we can do well in the ICC World T20 Regional Qualifiers scheduled for Kuwait in April,” said Qatar captain Inam Ul-Haq.
Doha. A rock-solid opening partnership between captain Roger Mukasa and Hamu Kayondo that yielded 89 runs in 13.2 overs takes the credit for Uganda’s T20 six-wicket victory against Qatar.
That triumph edged coach Steve Tikolo’s troops into a 2-1 lead at the on-going Bilateral Series played at the Asian Town Cricket Stadium in Doha on Saturday night.
Cricket Cranes captain Mukasa played second fiddle in the tandem partnership for his score of 40 off 51 balls but Kayondo, who took the Man of Match award, cut loose with a beautiful half century off just 39 balls to take the game away from the hosts.
When Kayondo departed for 51, the scoreboard was reading 100 for 3 and Uganda needed 32 runs to win from 26 balls.
“The coaches always want us to express ourselves with the bat and when I got a chance to open I knew I would make use of the batting powerplay,” said the 27-year-old Hamu, who received a medal from Qatar Cricket Association president QCA president Yousef Jeham Al Kuwari.
Having been the difference in the first two tour matches with the ball, Deus Muhumuza did his reputation as an all-rounder a lot of good.
With 18 needed off 12 balls, Muhumuza smoked two mighty sixes to finish with 24 not out just off 10 balls to seal the game for Uganda with two balls to spare at 133 for 4.
After playing four back-to-back games, the team will take some rest and take in an anticipated breathless sight-seeing tour of Qatar today.
Uganda National Men's Team is out in Kenya for a series of games in the ongoing Quadrangular Series.
The team will encounter Qatar and Kenya next after their first lost in to Saudi Arabi by 37 runs.
Match Summaries for Day 1
Game 1 Uganda Vs Saudi Arabia at Jaffrey’s Cricket Oval
Saudi Arabia 240/10 in 42.2 Overs beat Uganda 203/10 45.3 Overs by 37 Runs
Toss won by Uganda who opted to Field
Batting Saudi Arabia: Inyat Saeed 132(77), Abdul Waheed 43(60)
Bowling Uganda: Henry Senyondo 3/44 in 8.2 Overs, Frank Nsubuga 3/58 in 10 Overs, Davis Karashani 2/45 in 7 Overs, Roger Mukasa 2/27 in 7 Overs
Batting Uganda: Arthur Kyobe 40(45), Davis Karashani 31(45), Jonathan Sebanja 36(37), Frank Nsubuga 33(41)
Bowling Saudi Arabia: Ibrarur Haq 4/46 in 10 Overs, Nadeem Javed 3/51 in 10 Overs
Tomorrow Uganda Vs Qatar at Jaffrey’s Cricket Oval