By David Muwonge
Character and mental strength is all Uganda needed to stretch her lead to 2-0 against arch rivals Kenya with a 27-run win.
After the Uganda Cricket Cranes skipper won the toss and elected to bat, his team dug deep for the five-match series highest total of 199 all out in 46.3 overs.
“The team showed a lot of character to come out of a very tough position where Kenya was literally on top of us,” said jovial skipper Karashani.
Following a nervy second innings that had all odds in favour of Team Kenya, thanks to a 19-over third-wicket stand of 114 runs between experienced batsman Collins Obuya (50) and budding youngster Dhiren Gondaria (55).
But Uganda rallied back into the match; credit going to Deus Muhumuza who dismissed Gondaria with his first ball and later Arthur Kyobe who combined well with Brian Masaba to complete to eject danger man Obuya.
The rupture of the partnership therefore led to the falling of six wickets akin to dominoes for a tally of 35 runs only.
Subsequent to the introduction of Davis Karashani (3/27), Muhumuza (1/15); and makeshift wicketkeeper Rogers Mukasa (2/3) to the bowling tally, who take the credit for igniting Kenya’s collapse.
An anguished Obuya said; “Today’s match, it was very hard for us to lose the game because we were in a very, very good position but we didn’t manage to take care of the situation very well.
“Our batting collapsed when the run rate was very high. We just needed to stay on the crease and to finish our 50 overs. We could have gotten the score very easily.”
He also urged his teammates to apply themselves better stick to the basics, “and stay on the crease for as long as possible.”
The two East African teams will have a day off today and resume the series on Wednesday, 19th April, 2017 with Kenya singing the redemption song.
“For the next two games we shall try to catch up,” an optimistic Gondaria said.
The five-match series is sequel of games to facilitate Uganda prepare for the International Cricket Council World Cricket League Division 3 tournament that Uganda will host from May 23-31 at Lugogo, Kyambogo and Entebbe Ovals.
Kenya, themselves are partly using this tour to prepare for their next Division One ICC World Cricket League fixtures against Netherlands that they will host in Nairobi come August, 2017.