Dinesh Nakrani won the Player of the Match award in Uganda’s third game against Namibia at the Bilateral Castle Lite Series in Windhoek, but he was on the wrong side of the result as the Cricket Cranes endured yet another loss at the hands of the Richelieu Eagles on Saturday.
After winning the toss for the third successive time in this Series, the cricket cranes batted first this time. Ronald Lutaya- opening with Robinson Obuya- gave Uganda a dream start, hitting 25 of Uganda’s 31 runs inside the third Over, but it was Nakrani who put the team on his back.
After the dismissal of both Kenneth Waiswa (1) and Alpesh Ramjani (2) in the fifth Over, Nakrani took to the field to bat alongside Obuya.
It was a slow start for the left hander, but once he started clicking, there was no stopping him. His first boundary arrived in the tenth Over, and by the time he was caught in the 19th Over, he had knocked 17 boundaries including 13 sixes.
His total by the time of his dismissal read 110 off 45 deliveries. It was the first century at the tournament, and Nakrani’s first in Ugandan colours.
Nakrani continued with his monumental showing in the Namibia innings. With his fifth delivery in the opening Over, he, from Bilal Hassun’s catch sent Davin Niko to an early shower.
When he came back to the attack for his third Over, he again combined with Hassun to deny the Eagle’s captain Gerhard Erasmus an opportunity to emulate him.
Erasmus had been on course to record the tournament’s second century, but Nakrani who’s first appearance for Uganda came in 2019 was not willing to let that happen.
Johannes Jonathan Smit then fell prey when Kenneth Waiswa completed the catch to hand Nakrani his third wicket. A premium outing for the 31-year-old, that was only blemished by the final result.
“To score a hundred against an ODI status team was a big achievement for me, it felt good.” Nakrani said after the game.
Uganda lost the game in the final Over. Needing 14 runs off it, Namibia completed their chase with a ball to spare as they beat Uganda by 5 wickets. Nakrani rued the team’s bowling.
“It was really a good game, one we had a big chance to win. But we fell short with our bowling. We needed to have bowled better.”
With the Series now reading 3-0 in the T20 format, the result means Uganda have lost it. The two teams still have a pending T20 game, but it is now game down for Laurence Mahatlane’s charges.
Uganda still has a chance to revenge, but it will be in the 50 Over format that will span two days starting on Tuesday 11th.