Thursday, September 15
•Botswana – 103/8
•Uganda – 107/3 (18.2/20 ov)
Uganda win by 7 wickets
The Cricket Cranes got their Africa T20 Cup adventure off to a good start with a deserved win over Botswana at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni, South Africa.
Uganda backed up their decision to field first after winning the toss with a good bowling masterclass to limit Botswana to 103 for the fall of 8 wickets.
And they duly reached the target with 10 balls to spare to win by 7 wickets.
Deputant Alpesh Ramjani (4-17) was the hero with the slow left arm orthodox bowler picking four wickets.
And opening batsman Simon Ssesazi’s 37 runs were complemented by Riazat Ali Shah’s 36 not out to see Uganda cross the finish line.
Uganda will return to action on Sunday against Mozambique before Ghana on 20 September in the last group game.
Group B has Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Cameroon. The top two sides from each group moves to semis before the final.
Uganda is using the inaugural tournament to prepare for the World Cup Qualifiers next year in March.
“The Boys did well, it wasn’t an easy contest but I thought our bowling was very good,” Cricket Cranes coach Laurence Mahatlane said.
“And from a batting point of view, the conditions were not very good but we showed a little bit of calmness.
“Alpesh played very nicely and Pascal will get his chance, it’s exciting times ahead and we are looking to build depth from different departments and hopefully we can build from that experience for next year in March at the World Cup Qualifiers.”
Brian Masaba, Franco Nsubuga, Juma Miyagi and Cosmas Kyewuta also picked a wicket each in an impressive show during the first innings.
And it could have been worse for Botswana who lost five wickets for 11 runs as they slipped from 51/3 to 62/7.
During Uganda’s chase, there were nervous moments when Captain Masaba was caught by Reginald Nehonde to leave with 15 off 17 balls as Uganda were 33/1.
Kenneth Waiswa was also sent for early shower with just 7 on his name while Ssesazi went for power to leave with a respectable 37 off 39.
And Riazat who was joined on the crease by Alpesh, anchored the innings to the finish line with some disciplined batting.
“It was important for us to hit the ground running,” Masaba said on TV. “The wicket was slow in the morning and our ballers did a great job. After that, it was about knocking the ball in the afternoon and I am proud that the boys did a great job.”