Uganda maintained their perfect run in the Victoria Series following their 3-run win against Tanzania in one of the most nail-biting games you’ll watch at Lugogo.
After being sent to bat by Tanzanian captain Fatuma Omary Kibasu who won the toss, Uganda set a paltry 79 runs, losing eight wickets in the process.
It was a score worrying for the fans who witnessed Tanzania chase 138 against UAE in their opening game, and who set and defended 147/4 against Kenya yesterday.
The eleven that played the opening two games was not altered, and Kevin Awino and Proscovia Alako opened the batting. Alako’s poor form in this tournament continued, with the 20-year-old managing just 3 runs.
While Awino stayed on the crease to face 24 balls that brought along 27 runs, no other Ugandan player faced more than 16 balls as Tanzania kept plucking the wickets. And, only Immaculate Nakisuyi (13) and Rita Musamali (10) were the other two Ugandans that scored in double digits.
It was a brilliant bowling performance from Tanzania especially Sophia Frank Jerome who picked up 3 wickets, and the ball now was in Uganda’s hands to defend that score.
The pace of Irene Alumo and Evelyn Anyipo usually open the bowling for Uganda, but knowing what was at stake, captain Consy Aweko put herself to bowl at number 2 and what a decision it turned out to be!
The skipper didn’t let Tanzania’s explosive batter Saum Godfrey Mtae go beyond 10 runs as she bowled the opener inside the fourth Over.
Anyipo then picked another big wicket in Kibasu in the seventh Over. Huda Mrisho Omary followed after being caught by Musamali from Janet Mbabazi’s bowling.
At this point, Tanzania needed 32 runs from 30. It was game on! And Tanzania took it to the hosts. In the two Overs that followed, not a wicket fell, and runs were reducing. By the end of the 12th Over, 18 were needed from 18.
Then Aweko returned to the attack to bowl her last Over. It is from here that Tanzania saw the game slip, because the captain picked a hat-trick of wickets, one a runout by both herself and Stephanie Nampiina and the other two catches each by Phionah Kulume and Awino.
But, it was not Over for Kibasu’s team. They needed 16 from 12 balls, and believe they did. Four runs were put on board at this stage which meant 12 from the final Over were needed.
Ugandans knew anything was possible, and nervy it was for the onlookers.
Mbabazi was handed this Over! And she couldn’t have started it any worse. The first ball was sent for a boundary, but the vice captain redeemed herself, punishing her punisher with the next ball, before sending Jerome back to the dugout with the fourth ball.
Tanzania at this point needed five runs from 2 balls to win. Mbabazi bowled Josephine Shirima, but the umpire signaled a wide. The pressure as you can guess was unbearable. Then boom! came the final blow for Tanzania. With the very last ball, the all-rounder picked Shirima, and it was game down. Uganda had won by 3 runs.
It was Uganda’s third win in this tourney. They await to learn who they will play in the final on Sunday, but first they have a date against Kenya tomorrow morning.
Tanzania will play Rwanda in the afternoon in what might be a deciding match if Rwanda beat UAE who they play this afternoon.