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)
- Published in International Competitions