Cricket Cranes captain Brian Masaba hands over momento to Nigeria's Isaac Okpe

Uganda had mixed fortunes on day one of the Africa T20 World Cup finals in Kigali Rwanda.

The Pearl was up against bitter rivals Kenya in the morning game – losing by just the 1 run but were able to bounce back in the afternoon with a 12 run win on D/L method.

In the morning, Uganda were guilty of releasing the noose around the neck of Kenya as some average bowling at the end of the innings allowed Kenya get away and post a big total of 162/5 in their 20 overs.

Kenya won the toss and elected to bat 1st veteran Frank Nsubuga as usual self stifling the flow of runs with a great spell of 7/2 in his 4 overs.

However, the change bowlers for Uganda could not keep the Kenyan middle order quiet as veteran Collins Obuya (44), Irfan Karim (36) and Rakeep Patel (28 not out) repaired the damage to help the Simbas post 162.

In the chase Uganda were nearly out of the game inside 2.3 overs with Kenya have picked up four wickets leaving the cricket cranes railing at 4/4.

Cricket Cranes captain Brian Masaba and Nigeria’s Isaac Okpe share line ups

However, an 84 run partnership between Dinesh Nakrani 67 off 32 and Deus Muhumuza 59 off 48 dragged the game back in the favour of Uganda and nearly got over the line but fell short by just one run.

Kenya taking the win and also drawing 1st blood in a tournament that could be won on fine margins, was also a win for Uganda, the latter ensuring dont lose by a big margin, something that could have hurt their net run rate.

Uganda Cricket Cranes team in Kigali for 2021 Africa T20 Finals

With the action happening back to back, there was no time to do a post mortem as focus quickly turned to the afternoon game aganist Nigeria.

Brian Masaba won the toss for Uganda and they elected to bat 1st. However, Nigeria a side blessed with some very quick bowlers put pressure on the Ugandan batting line up with some dicey bowling as the short balls from the tall Nigerian bowlers hurt Uganda a couple of times.

Riazat Ali Shah (39) and Dinesh Nakrani (37) stood out with the bat as Uganda struggled to put together any meaningful partnership in the end posting 147/9 in their 20 overs.

With the clouds gathering over the Gahanga, Uganda had to ensure they got the required five overs quickly but in the process Nigeria took advantage.

They scored runs freely, Ademola Onikoyi (28) taking a liking to the bowling of Frank Nsubuga but Uganda had done just enough, by the time the heavens opened, Nigeria losing by 12 runs through the D/L method.

Uganda got some fortune from Tanzania who defeated Kenya in the afternoon at the IPRC oval by 49 runs which keeps the hopes of Uganda alive in the tournament.

Man of the Match – Dinesh Nakrani

Uganda will need to win all their winning games for them to be able to advance to the finals and not get in the calculator games.

There is no rest for the teams as they get back in action tomorrow Uganda taking on Tanzania in the morning and Nigeria in the afternoon.

That game against Tanzania is a key game in ensuring that they stay with the top sides in the tournament.

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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