The National U19 boys cricket team, the Baby Cricket Cranes, got their tour of India to a brilliant start with a three wicket win over Paramveer Cricket Academy in their opening 50 Over game at the Sanjay Farm in India.
The Baby Cricket Cranes after winning the toss opted to bowl, and Joseph Baguma did brilliantly well in this regard. Despite succumbing to 43 runs- the second highest in the Innings, Baguma who was part of the team that played at the U19 World Cup hosted in West Indies last year had three wickets to his name. He also bowled two maidens as Uganda bowled out their hosts in the 45th Over.
Yunus Sowobi and Ali Balidawa each plucked two wickets while Christopher Kidega, Jonathan Nyiiro and team captain Fahad Mutagana each got one apiece.
Baguma once again shone in the chase as Uganda tracked down Paramveer’s 200 runs with 14 Overs to spare. The 17-year-old who was later named the Man of the Match notched 47 off 30 balls to headline the chase.
With the exception of Pius Oloka (0) and Sowobi (2), all Ugandan batters scored in double digits. Brian Asaba, Gerald Olipa and Kidega got 38, 32 and 22 respectively while Ronald Omara, Mutagana and Anas Baig managed 21, 14 and 12 respectively.
“We’ve won this game not because we are the best, but because we used the experience we learnt from them,” captain Mutagana said of the game.
“We stuck to the wicket, and completed the game in 35 Overs. This is an achievement for us. We hope to improve on our skills; we know that staying on the wicket will be beneficial for us so that is what we hope to do.”
The boys will return to action tomorrow for another 50 Over game.
The purpose of this tour is to fine-tune the team ahead of the ICC U19 World Cup Regional Qualifiers set to take place in Tanzania in July.
While the senior national team hasn’t played at the World Cup, the U19 team has featured at this stage three times; in 2004, 2006 and in 2022. Uganda will be hoping to make their fourth appearance.