Match Summary: Uganda U-19s 206 (46.3/50) all out | Kenya U-19s 136 all out (40.3/50 ov, target 207) | Uganda U19 won by 70 runs | Man of Match: Frank Akankwasa
With memories of 2017 still fresh in atleast five of the current team players in the 1st innings while Uganda was batting, there were signs of more heart break.
Kenya won the toss and elected to field first, Zephaniah Arinaitwe the team talisman failed to sparkle as he gave away his wicket in the second over.
Ronald Opio and Perry Wazombe tried to stead they ship but once the former dragged one onto his stumps, John Gabula and Simon Oketcho followed him in quick session leaving the youngsters stranded at 54/5.
It took the maturity of team captain Frank Akankwasa (62) and Ashraf Ssenkubuge (56) to dig the the youngsters out of the trouble. Their 127 run partnership was the difference in the game as it deflated Kenyan bowlers who had been on top for most of the game.
However, the loss of both batsmen just after the second break derailed the rest of the innings as the last 5 wickets fell for just 32 runs. The Junior Cricket Cranes ended on 208 all out in 46 overs.
In the chase, Uganda looked clueless with no plan as new seam bowlers Cosmas Kyewuta and Trevor Bukenya failed to make any in roads and bowled both sides of the wicket, short balls with little effect as Kenya seemed comfortable in the beginning.
However, a change in bowling to spin slowed the innings and only Kenyan captain Sudhdeep Singh (31) was able to deal with the bowling attack as the Junior Cricket Cranes were able to do the business, bowling out Kenya for 136.
On the overall, the nervous encounter for the both sides was won by the side that managed to deal with the pressure. Kenya started well but failed to deal with a middle order resurgence by Uganda while Uganda was able to stay calm in the defence of their total even when they were not getting wickets.
The win is so important in the grand scheme of things as Nigeria pulled off a shock on the adjacent ground when they defeated the hosts Namibia by 52 runs. The loss for Namibia puts them on the back foot immediately and they will need to win all their remaining 4 games and hope that someone can do them a favour.
Tomorrow, the Junior Cricket Cranes will be facing off with Sierra Leone in another tricky encounter.
Uganda will be favorites but will wary of the West Africans who defeated Tanzania today.