Simon Ssesazi in action during the second round of the Challenge League B League at Lugogo oval, Kampala. Credit: John Batanudde

Match Summary | Kenya vs. Uganda

  • Kenya 220 all out
  • Uganda 224/3 45.1/50 overs
  • Uganda won by 7 wickets

Derby day spoils belong to the Cricket Cranes who were able to give a huge home crowd a 7-wicket win against old enemy Kenya.

Besides being a derby the clash was important to Uganda because the only way they could stay top of the table was through a win that keeps them ahead of both Jersey and Hong Kong.

Uganda faulted at the start of the tournament with two losses to Jersey and Hong Kong but three wins on the bounce have helped them stay on top of the table at the end of the second round will go to Jersey as the team to beat.

Kenya won the toss and elected to bat with Rush Patel and Alex Obanda getting out of the blocks like a house on fire but once Rush lost his wicket, the runs were dried up with Uganda putting in a fine bowling performance to keep Kenya quiet.

Rakeep Patel (72) was the anchor for Kenya as he combined with Irfan Karim (33) and Tanzeel Sheik (31) to drag the score along to 194/4 but a batting collapse from the Kenyan middle order and tail ensured that Uganda had to chase down only 221 for the win. The final six wickets for Kenya fell for only 26 runs as Cosmas Kyewuta (3/23) ripped through the tail with some good pace bowling.

Simon Ssesazi knocked an unbeaten 87 to power Cricket Cranes to victory | Credit: John Batanudde

In the chase, the Cricket Cranes’ batting which was their Achilles heel in the losses to Jersey and Hong Kong finally came together as captain Brian Masaba who promoted himself to the top of the order got stuck with Simon Ssesazi to put on an opening stand of 46 before Ssesazi combined with Ronal Patel (50) to put on 82 runs for the second wicket partnership.

The fourth-wicket partnership of 96 between Dinesh Nakrani (55 not out) and Ssesazi (87 not out) closed out the seven-wicket win for Uganda as they picked the important two points that keep them on top of the table.

It was a fine all-round team performance for Uganda who gave their suffering fans something to cheer about. Uganda has in the past struggled to play well in front of a passionate home crowd but this time, the 12th man was the catalyst for the win.

At Kyambogo, Jersey picked up a big 291-run win against helpless Bermuda that ensured that they win five out of five and move into second place with 14 points two behind hosts Uganda.

Jersey will be hosting the final round of the qualifiers in August and now the battle has become a three-way contest for the coveted single slot at the next round of the 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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