Credit: John Batanudde

Uganda used the good fortune handed to them by Tanzania on day one by picking two wins on Day 2 of the Africa T20 World Cup Qualifiers finals.

Uganda managed to take care of Day 1 table-toppers Tanzania in the morning with an easy eight-wicket victory and followed that up with a seven-wicket victory against Nigeria in the afternoon.

In the morning, Tanzania won the toss and elected to bat first in difficult conditions at the Gahanga Cricket Oval. The decision worked for Uganda as they were able to put Tanzania under the pump, picking up wickets regularly.

Riazat Ali Shah (2/26) and Frank Akankwasa (3/34) were very mean with their lines as they never allowed the Tanzanians to put together a meaningful partnership. However, a sixth-wicket partnership of 52 from Kassim Nassoro (34) and Sanjay Thakor (23 not out) pushed the score to 140 for Tanzania in 20 overs.

In the chase, Saud Islam didn’t hang around for long but Simon Ssesazi (52) and Ronak Patel (68 not out) made sure the victory belongs to Uganda even with the former falling with 12 runs required for the win. The partnership between the two was worth a whole 116 runs with Ronak Patel walking away with the Man of Match award.

In the afternoon, Uganda had to cross town and take on Nigeria. Chasing a better Net Run Rate (NRR), the cricket cranes won the toss and elected to field first. Uganda put Nigeria under the pump immediately with Frank Nsubuga leading the squeeze with a mean spell of 1/14 in his four overs as Nigeria could only manage 112/9 in their 20 overs. The wickets were shared with Riazat Ali Shah (4/12) and Henry Ssenyondo (2/24) the pick of the bowlers.

In the chase, Uganda came out guns blazing. Simon Ssesazi (25) and Saud Islam (16) took the attack to Nigeria as they tried to make sure they better their Net Run Rate with a quick chase. The loss of the two didn’t derail the chase as Ronak Patel (35) and Riazat Ali Shah (25) knocked the required balance of the runs with 22 balls to spare.

Ali Shah’s all-round performance earned him the Man of Match award.

In the other games, Kenya also managed to pick up two wins; one against Nigeria in the morning, and followed that up with another against Tanzania.

The two wins take Kenya on top of the table with Uganda sitting in second place only because Kenya has a better net run rate.

The teams take a break tomorrow and will return for a final day on Saturday that should have some very good action as three teams have a chance of progressing to the global qualifiers.

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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