ICC Africa boss Kambarami lauds hosts, tips qualifiers

 Last week saw the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Regional Final hosted in Uganda end smoothly despite a handful of games being washed out and Cricket Cranes’ familiar melt down.

But none of the above can take away the tournament attaining high grades.

It was a success, according the Regional Manager at ICC Development - Africa Patricia Kambarami. 
“The entire week has gone well as we expected and all the organisers deserve credit,” said Kambarami while speaking at the awards dinner at Kabira Country Club, Bukoto.

Namibia came out on top of the showpiece that also had Kenya, Ghana, Botswana and host nation Uganda. 
Namibia and Kenya get the reward of representing the continent at ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in United Arab Emirates (UAE) from October 11 to November 3 later this year.

Speaking at the same dinner, Kambarami tipped both Namibia and Kenya to do a good job in UAE while referring to the growing numbers of cricketing nations on the continent.

“We (Africa) have to go there and challenge. I know we are capable of competing. I have had a chat with the Namibia captain (Gerhard Erasmus) and we both agreed that cricket in Africa is growing very fast and in future we will be winning the big tournaments,” she added during her closing remarks at the dinner that had Uganda’s Riazat Ali Shah voted best batsman, Kenya’s Rakep Patel getting the best player’s gong while Namibia’s Christoffel Viljoen adjudged best

The Cricket Cranes will now shift attention to August for the ICC Challenge League formerly, World Cricket League, which is part of the ICC World Cup qualification for India 2022.

Uganda is in Group B alongside Bermuda, Italy, Kenya and Hong Kong. Coach Steve Tikolo and his men don’t have enough time to rest as training must resume soonest.

ICC T20 WORLD CUP AFRICA FINAL
Individual Awards
Player of Series: Rakep Patel (Kenya)
Best Batsman: Riazat Ali Shah (Uganda)
Best Bowler: Christoffel Viljoen (Namibia)
Champions: Namibia
Runners: zKenya 
*Both qualify for Global Qualifier in October 2019.

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Uganda on top after defeating hosts Kenya

There were no over-the-top celebrations as Uganda outmuscled Kenya by 69 runs in the highly-billed East African derby played at the Nairobi Jaffreys Sports Club Oval at the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa U-19 World Cup Qualifier yesterday.

But no one should be fooled. The Baby Cricket Cranes know a thing or two about partying hard. But as the Kenyans jogged around the field for their warm down, skipper Kenneth Waiswa summoned the team for a huddle and quick prayer. They then sat on the oval infront of Uganda’s dugout for a team meeting to review the day’s performance with coaches; Franco Otieno, Jackson Ogwang, Steve Tikolo and David Obuya.

On their faces, it was visible they were happy they had got one over the old enemy but were not about to celebrate in the Kenyans’ faces because the job is only half done with another full round of fixtures to play starting today against Botswana, who suffered their third consecutive defeat after Ghana mauled them by six wickets at the Gymkhana Oval.

“It is not over,” said Otieno, a man who captained Kenya at the U-19 Level in 1998. “We have to remain calm and continue to do well over and over. There are areas we didn’t do well, when we panicked and where we failed to capitalise. We have to continue improving.”

Jittery moments
Indeed there were a couple of jittery moments in both innings. When Zephaniah Arinaitwe (42 off38) helped Uganda breeze to 55 inside 7 overs and then connived to lose three quick wickets to stay in a precarious situation at 85 for 3. 
The innings was revived by a 36-run fourth stand partnership between Steven Wabwose (44 off 59) and Waiswa (60 off 93) which was toppled by another one of 67 runs by the captain and all-rounder SirajeNsubuga (43 off 55) for the seventh wicket that ensured Uganda set 231.

Then although Kenya crumbled to 26 for 4 in the second innings. The 101-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Kenya captain Sachin Bhudia (52 off 66) and Thomas Ochieng (54 off 101) sent shivers down the Ugandan bowling’s spine and left the field in a disarray.

But Nsubuga (2/38 in 9.4 overs)’s clever dismissal of Bhudia (a caught and bowled) at 128 ignited Kenya’s collapse and the hosts were soon all out for 162 in 46.4 overs.
Today, Kenya run into a wounded Ghana whereas Uganda face Botswana looking to make it four not out as they chase the continent’s lone slot to New Zealand for the World Cup early next year.

By Innocent Ndawula

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