Riazat Ali Sha | Credit: John Batanudde
  • Match Summary: Uganda vs. Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong 87/9
  • Uganda 88/8
  • Uganda won by 2 wickets

Cricket Cranes got off a good start at the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe with a 2-wicket win against Hong Kong.

The numbers might not tell the whole story but Uganda laboured to the finishing line with Riazat Ali Shah dragging them over. However, he had many Ugandans with hearts in their mouth when he skied the ball that Aziaz Khan was unable to hold one which gave Riazat and Cosmas Kyewuta the chance to get the required two runs for the win.

Uganda lost its captain Brian Masaba to injury and Kenneth Waiswa was the stand-in captain of the day as Hong Kong won the toss and elected to bat first. Hong Kong started strong against Cosmas Kyewuta but once Frank Nsubuga trapped Nizakat Khan lbw, the wheels came off for Hong Kong. Only Kinchit Shah (37) tried to take the game to Uganda but he didn’t get someone to stay around with him to build a meaningful partnership.

The spin duo of Henry Ssenyondo and Frank Nsubuga put the squeeze on giving away only 23 runs in 8 overs picking two wickets as well and it was left to Man of Match Dinesh Nakrani (4/12) to wrap up the tail as Hong Kong ran out of resources at 87/9.

Typical of Uganda, the run chase was pushed into the last over and Cricket Cranes only got over the line with two balls to spare.

Hong Kong made early inroads picking up quick wickets and had Uganda at 26/4. Even when the wickets were not coming, Hong Kong made sure they try to drag the game to the end but a resolute knock of 28 off 41 from Riazat Ali Shah ensured that Uganda has a finisher at the back of the innings.

Riazat batted intelligently with Frank Nsubuga and Cosmas Kywuta to drag Uganda over the line as the pressure started to pile on both sides. Hong Kong will be wondering what could have been had Aziaz Khan held onto that Riazat skier that allowed the batters to complete two runs required for the win.

The win sets off Uganda well to make the semifinals and a win against PNG tomorrow could ensure that they make the semifinals and they will be a step closer to the World Cup in Australia.

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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