Saturday, April 3
Uganda – 134/5
Namibia – 135/3
(Namibia win by 7 wickets)
Uganda got their Namibia tour off to a poor start courtesy of a T20I loss to the hosts on Saturday.
Namibia beat Uganda Cricket Cranes by seven wickets with 31 balls to spare in the first of three T20I games at Wanderers Cricket Ground in Namibia.
The Cranes, under new coach Laurence Mahatlane, won the toss and opted to bat first; Ronak Patel’s 35 set the tone for the team’s 134/5 with Roger Mukasa (26), Hamu Kayondo (28) and Riazat Ali Shah (23) adding double digit runs to the cause.
However, Namibia made light work of the chase, to erase the score in 14.5 overs.
Uganda setting 134 was swimming against the current and they really faced a huge mountain to defend the lowly total.
Captain Gerhard Erasmus engineered the hosts’ chase with a quick 62 off 36 balls and he was joined on crease by Du Preez who was also unbeaten with 29 to see Namibia cross the line with 135/3.
Two quick wickets saw Namibia fall 12/2 inside the first three overs, and Jan Nichol Loftie gave away his place at the close of the fifth over to leave the hosts reeling, needing 81 runs from 84 balls.
They however never choked as Uganda’s attack failed to ask more questions on the day.
In the fifth ball of the 14th over, Mitchiel Du Preez confidently squeezed a single off Hamu Ssenyondo’s delivery to ensure Namibia draw first blood.
Mahatlane will to a certain extent be pleased with his team’s performance especially against a much better side, given that Uganda is also playing their first International Cricket in over a year.
Without captain Brian Masaba, Arnold Otwani was given the armband but failed to live to the billing as he quickly followed Roger Mukasa for early showers to walk off with seven off 11.
The ever reliable Dinesh Nakrani struggled to get off the mark and was bowled by Ben Shikongo, his second victim on the day after Mukasa, after facing five balls, and leave with one run to his name.
With the ball, Cosmas Kyewuta marked his T20I debut with a wicket while Nakrani made amends with a superb 1-22 in his three Overs.
The next match in the three-game series is on April 5, Easter Monday, on the day they will face off in a double header.
The teams will also face off in two 50-Over games on April 7 and April 8th.