Naysayers will say Uganda snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, but this victory underlined the maturity of the Cricket Cranes.
When Diren Ghondaria and Collins Obuya were batting, Kenya was set for victory. However when both fell in quick succession, Uganda got a chance to come back in the game.
Earlier Uganda won the toss and decided to bat first for the first time in the series, Arthur Kyobe and Ham Kayondo built a solid base for the team losing the first wicket at after 50 runs.
A middle order collapse was saved by a 73 run partnership between Emma Isaneez (33) and Deus Muhumuza (30) backed up by the opening pair Kayondo (30) and Kyobe (30) with Uganda posting a decent total of 199 all out.
Needing 200 runs to win, Kenya was 0/1 with David Wabwire getting Karan bowled for zero and Gurdeep Singh not staying long.
However, Diren Ghondaria (56) and Collins Obuya (50) combined for the first centuries of the series as they hit the ball to all corners of Lugogo.
But both fell in quick succession and left team Kenya tail exposed to the spin of Uganda, Davis Karashani (3/30) bowled a magical spell to give Uganda and edge over the Kenyans.
A tactical switch by Uganda to have Roger Mukasa bowl and have Shazad Kamal keep wickets helped Uganda win a very good game for the fans who came out to support the team.
Commenting on the game, Kenyan veteran Collins Obuya said;
Today was hard for us, having to lose a game from a strong position. Our batting collapsed when all we needed was to stay on the wicket and win easily. We shouldn’t have gone for big shots but rotate the strike to be able to play our 50 overs.
I urge my colleagues to stick to the basics so that we can be able to win easily.
Diren Ghondaria who had the highest total on the day said;
Game was good at the start, but the end was terrible. It looked easy while I was batting with Collins but I threw it away with a bad shot and you can see the end.
Our lower order has struggled for the last 2 years so I should have carried on and won the game for the team.
The bowling changes also benefited Uganda as they were able to pick the wickets needed at the right time. We have heard trouble playing spin even in Nepal because we are used to pace bowling but we have to keep working.
The pitch in Lugogo is good and if we play our next 2 games here, we have a good chance of leveling the series.
From this position Uganda cannot lose the series, Kenya will be counting on squaring the series on Wednesday in Lugogo because a series loss to Uganda might send some heads rolling in Kenya.
Uganda 199 all out
- Emma Isaneez (33)
- Deus Muhumuza (30)
- Arthur Kyobe (30)
- Ham Kayondo (30)
Kenya 173 all out
- Diren Ghondaria (58)
- Collins Obuya (50)
- Davis Karashani 3/35