Cricket Cranes celebrate a wicket
Cricket Cranes celebrate a wicket

Kenya had lost their last 15 ODI matches in the World Cricket League, and coupled with wrangles at home that nearly had the team missing the tournament in Oman presented the Cricket Cranes an opportunity to finally topple their dominant neighbors.

However, the Kenyans raised their game to defeat the Cricket Cranes by 6 wickets to hand them their first win of the tournament and also mathematically keep them in the tournament with a chance of finishing among the top 2.

The Cricket Cranes were dealt a blow with news from ICC that effectively ruled Irfan Afridi out of the tournament due to a suspect illegal action and coach Steve Tikolo rung changes bringing in Brian Masaba, Kenneth Waiswa and Franco Nsubuga with Bilal Hassun and Hamu Kayondo taking the bench.

Roger Mukasa won the toss and chose to bat first, the first time the Cricket Cranes had chosen to do so the whole tournament. However, this decision didn’t work out as planned as Roger Mukasa and man on form Arnold Otwani were quickly back in the hat.

Only a long partnership between Brian Masaba (21) and Dinesh Nakrani (50) steadied the innings for the Cricket Cranes but once the set Nakrani threw away his wicket, the rails came off with the rest of the middle order failing to hold till a late tail wag from Charles Waiswa (22) and Henry Ssenyondo (9) dragged the score to 177 for 9 in 50 overs.

The Cricket Cranes got off to a good start in the defence of their total picking 3 quick wickets to leave the Kenyans reeling at 30/3 but Man of the Match Irfan Karim (59) and Nelson Odhiambo (53) combined for a match winning partnership that gave the Kenyans a 6 wicket win.

The 6 wicket win was the first win for the Kenyans at the tournament and second loss for the Ugandans after they also lost to the USA on Saturday.

The loss means it will be impossible for Uganda to finish among the top 2 sides as hosts Oman have won 3 out 3 while the USA has 2 wins and need one more win to be seal a top 2 spot.

The Cricket Cranes will be back in action on Thursday against Singapore.

Denis has represented Uganda in international cricket events including the World Cup. He is currently the captain of Wanderers Cricket Club.

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