- Published in National League
ganda’s latest sensation Arnold Otwani was already talking about playing cricket in International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division II soon after guiding the Cricket Cranes to a five-wicket win over Denmark in the opening game of Division III here in Al Amarat, Muscat on Friday.
The Division II showpiece doesn’t happen until April 18-28, 2019 in Namibia but after his match-winning knock of 88 off 86 balls, Otwani can dare to dream.
“Oh Yeah, I feel so good. It has been more than a year away from the national team. I had some ups and downs but I have worked so hard to be here again,” said Otwani, whose knock comprised of 15 boundaries and helped Uganda reach their target with 82 balls to spare.
“I have proved my critics wrong. I am happy to deliver and this should be the start of many good things to come. I dedicate this award to the coach (Steve Tikolo) because he believed in me.
“Now our main target is to go to Division II. We don’t want to either look back or even go a level down. Even in the next matches our plan is to come hard at the opponents but by playing basic cricket. We are hungry to do well.”
Only two places, for the top two finishers, are at stake from this six-team global event to progress to the Division II in a series of leagues constituted as the qualification pathway to the 2023 World Cup in India.
The 23-year-old Otwani also paid tribute to his fellow top performer on the day Charles Waiswa, who finished with figures of 4 for 25. “Charles bowled very well. He earned all his wickets because he had to hit the deck hard and extract some more pace and bounce from the wicket.”
The Cricket World Cup (CWC) League 2 line-up will be completed by the top four teams from Division 2, who will join Scotland, Nepal and United Arab Emirates. The bottom four teams from the Oman event will play in the ICC Cricket World Challenge League.
By press time, Uganda was taking on USA in a crunch fixture looking to make the Americans pay for having inflicted a 13-run defeat on them during the same event hosted by the former in May 2017 at the lakeside Entebbe Cricket Ground.
It was that loss that condemned Uganda to unchartered territory with their first-ever relegation to the Division IV tier. Luckily, Uganda quickly regained its status by winning subsequent Division IV event in Malaysia May 2018.
ICC WCL DIVISION III, OMAN
Kenya 164 all out in 49.2 overs
Oman 166/5 in 42.5 overs
Oman won by 5 wickets
(with 43 balls remaining)
Man of Match: Kaleemullah of Oman
(4 for 26 in 10 overs including 4 maidens)
Denmark 165 all out in 44.2 overs
Uganda 167/5 in 36.2 overs
Uganda won by 5 wickets
(with 82 balls remaining)
Man of Match: Arnold Otwani
(88 runs off 86 balls (15 fours) & 4 catches)
TUESDAY’S FIXTURES - NOVEMBER 13
Oman vs. Denmark, OCA Turf 1
Uganda vs. Kenya, OCA Turf 2
Olayinka Olaleye was the star, as Nigeria sealed an unbeaten run in the ICC Under 19 World Cup Africa Division Two Qualifier tournament in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.
The opening batsman struck a majestic 110, as he and Samuel Mba 62 put on 148 for the first wicket, and pull his side clear in the final. That alliance was enough to put Nigeria out of sight, as Sierra Leone were overwhelmed by the opening stand, which lasted 34.1 overs. Beyond that opening partnership, only Segun Ogundipe made a meaningful contribution, as Nigeria’s total petered out to 242 for nine, assisted by 21 extras. In response, Sierra Leone served up their worst batting performance of the tournament. They were bundled out for just 105, with skipper George Ngegba fighting a lone battle with 31.
In the battle for the last qualifying spot in Division 1, Tanzania got the better of Mozambique, posting a testing 215 all out. At 89 for five, they had to depend on their middle-order to make the play, and 15 year-old Dhrumit Mehta and Kartik Sayal stepped up. Nigeria and Tanzania now join Uganda, Kenya and Namibia in Africa Division One, who will play their qualifier for the 2010 ICC U-19 World Cup early next year.
Nigeria’s qualification in particular was a reward for their early preparations that saw them camp in Uganda for 10 days despite losing the series 4-1.
DAY THREE RESULTS - SCW
One win, two losses is the Cricket Cranes story, at the Pepsi Division II International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League tournament, thus far, here in Windhoek, Namibia.
But even after suffering an annihilation courtesy of Kenya by five wickets in yesterday’s East African derby at the Trustco United Oval, the Cricket Cranes cannot afford to drop their shoulders and lose morale with two determined fixtures to play.
The Ugandans were a complete no-show as Kenya bundled them out for a paltry 129 in 43.2 overs and then proceeded to coast to victory with 101 balls to spare and five wickets in hand. Left-hander Arthur Kyobe top scored with 24 runs and showed solidity in a 44-run opening partnership with Abram Mutyagaba (14/33) but what followed was mind boggling.
Left-arm orthodox Shem Ngoche (4/17), his sibling James Ngoche (1/11) and Elijah Otieno (1/24) ignited the mother of all collapses as Uganda found themselves reeling at 77/6 in 19.3 overs. Shem trapped Mutyagaba for Leg Before Wicket (LBW) and immediately sent Roger Mukasa packing in similar fashion for a golden duck.
Kyobe then got run out at 46/3 and Mukasa’s elder sibling Lawrence Ssematimba, too, didn’t bother the scorers. Phillemon Mukobe and skipper Frank Nsubuga tried to rebuild the innings but both fell for 21 trying too hard to up the scoring tempo whereas Adelaide-based Patrick Ochan was the last man out with a battling 14. The chase was one-way traffic from the onset despite the Kenyans conniving to lose five wickets.
Alex Obanda (32/45), Irfan Karim (26/60), Narendra Patel (27/37) and Collins Obuya (28/33) were all among the runs as the top four did the job to continue Kenya’s flawless record against Uganda in ICC-sanctioned competitive matches.
Ochan and Nsubuga delayed the inevitable by snaring two wickets apiece on a day that saw the Ugandans turn in arguably their worst shift with the bat since January 2014 in New Zealand.
Turnaround of fortunes
Coach Peter Kirsten will be hoping there is a turnaround of fortunes for his ‘firing blanks’ outfit against Canada at the Wanderers Affies Park today.
“Look, we have not yet played our best cricket and yet we have a victory to our names,” Kirsten said, after painful loss to Kenya, while rallying his charges in the team meeting held soon after the match award was given to Shem for his parsimonious bowling figures of 4 for 17.
“Canada (lost to Nepal yesterday) are not faring any better. We can beat them if the batsmen come to the party. One of our top four guys must get at least a 50 if we are to set the 200-run target. The fans back at home must continue believing because this team is capable of winning the remaining two round-robin games.”
History repeated itself as Uganda lost to Nepal in the second successive Pepsi International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III final.
The Cricket Cranes lost by five wickets to the Asians last year in Bermuda and the tale of the tape was similar as the Nepalese ousted Uganda by 62 runs in a one-sided affair at Kinrara Academy Oval in Malaysia yesterday.
But as Nepal celebrated both on the ground and back in their cricket-mad capital Kathmandu, there were no tears in Uganda’s camp and love lost after Roger Mukasa was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Albeit a slow start, the 25-year-old opening batsman, who battled malaria in the last two days, was easily the most outstanding player of the eight-day showpiece.
Mukasa collected 265 runs from six innings with a highest score of 86 against Bermuda at an average of 52.8 per innings and only fell short of best batsman Malaysian Arjurn Mutreja (282)’s aggregate by 17 runs.
The athletic all-rounder’s tidy part time off-spin deliveries that accounted for 27.5 overs also prized out 13 wickets at a cost of 125 runs, just one scalp behind the tourney’s best bowler Basanta Regmi of Nepal.
In the final, Mukasa snared a six-wicket haul for 27 runs – the tournament’s best bowling figures – as Nepal set a competitive aggregate of 223 in 49.5 overs.
At 23 for no loss, Mukasa (12 off 23) temporarily retired not out but later returned and gave Uganda some hope of winning the final with four boundaries and three sixes in his third half ton of the tournament – a 52-ball 51. When he departed in the 42nd over at 151 for 7, only 10 runs were added to the score as Uganda crumbled for 161 with 35 balls to spare.
But Mukasa had done enough to earn himself a record fourth Man-of-Match award, adding to those notched in victories over Singapore (one run), USA (24 runs after D/L) and Bermuda (seven wickets). Team Uganda returns this afternoon.
Roger Mukasa (Uganda) - 265 runs & 13 wickets
Arjurn Mutreja (Malaysia) – 282 runs from seven innings
Basanta Regmi (Nepal) – 14 wickets
Paras Khadka (Nepal) – 10 catches
Subash Khakurel (Nepal) – 10 dismissals
Mission accomplished. The Cricket Cranes showed that Monday’s 20-run defeat to Malaysia was a mere ‘bad day at office’ as they returned to winning ways against Bermuda – securing a clinical seven-wicket victory – to earn promotion to Division II and a place in today’s final against Nepal at Kinrara Academy Oval.
The Pepsi International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Division II will be played from January 17 to 24 in Windhoek, Namibia.
Uganda must finish among the top four in the six-team event to secure its status as an ICC High Performance Programme (HPP) nation to attract increased funding from the ruling body.
The Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2 is the final step in the qualification pathway to the ICC’s four-day, first-class competition for Associate and Affiliate Members, the ICC Intercontinental Cup, as well as the 50-over Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship.
But first things first. Team Uganda will be anxious to stamp their authority over Nepal by completing a double when the two arch-foes face off in today’s final. Both teams finished the league phase on eight points apiece but Nepal top the log with a better Net Run Rate (+1.985).
Uganda defeated Nepal by six wickets during the round-robin stage of last year’s event held in Bermuda only for the latter to exact revenge with a five-wicket win in the final.
And on the opening day (October 23) of this meet in Kuala Lumpur, Uganda edged the Nepalese by 20 runs but will be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself in the final as they seek a sensational climax.
Yesterday, Uganda banked on ‘sick man’ Roger Mukasa to seal the near perfect qualification campaign with a whirlwind 68-ball 86 half ton to help Uganda make light work of Bermuda’s target of 140 in 24.5 overs.
Reports from the team’s camp at the five-star Hotel Istana indicated that Mukasa had malaria and played under medication in what many of his teammates described as the ‘knock of the tournament’ on Facebook.
Mukasa shared an opening stand of 75 runs in less than 13 overs with Arthur Kyobe (18 off 35) before Jonathan Ssebanja sealed it with 20 off 35. And with Mukasa likely to be rested for the final, captain Frank Nsubuga will be hoping Uganda can win their second Div. III title after their inaugural triumph in Darwin, Australia 2007 when they overwhelmed Argentina by 91 runs.
“We are happy with the win today, and to qualify to WCL Div.2. We’re looking forward to it, but we will need to go back and work hard. We need to play a lot of cricket before we go to Namibia,” said Nsubuga.
2014 ICC W. CRICKET LEAGUE DIV. III
Uganda 203/8 Nepal 183/10
(Uganda won by 20 runs)
2014 ICC WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
Nepal 240/10 Uganda 80/10
(Nepal won by 160 runs)
2013 ICC WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE DIV.Nepal 116/10 Uganda 117/4
(Uganda won by 6 wickets)
Final: Uganda 151/8 Nepal 153/5
(Nepal won by 5 wickets)