Uganda suffered their first defeat at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers after their 6-wicket loss to tournament hosts Namibia on Friday.
Namibia and Zimbabwe are the favourites to make the top two in this qualifier, but after the hosts pummeling the Chevrons in their opening game, Namibia created a huge gap between themselves and the Test playing nation.
Seeing how their team delt with the top ranked team in the competition, Namibian fans might have thought they’d have it easy against the Cricket Cranes. They were wrong!
Even after a paltry innings that brought about only 114 runs all out, Uganda gave the hosts a run for their money. The story would be a completely different one had only the fielders applied some glue on hands.
Namibia’s start to the chase was nothing short of expected. They were explosive. Both Bilal Hassun and Frank Nsubuga, who opened the bowling were hit boundaries, but when Alpesh Ramjani came to the attack, the Namibians were brought back on earth.
Off his first Over, Ramjani dismissed two, those coming back to back. He added another in his second, and Namibia were 49-3 inside the eighth Over.
Captain Brian Masaba then introduced Henry Ssenyondo to the attack; his spin and Ramjani’s, plus Riazat Ali Shah’s pace lowered the run rate. It was game on at this stage, Uganda were back in the contest.
However, when Ramjani exhausted his Overs in the 15th Over, it was trouble for Uganda. Dinesh Nakrani and Hassun were thrashed at the backend as Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus took his side home with three Overs to spare.
Riazat got the wicket of Jan Frylinck in the 16th Over, but it was a little too late.
The Cricket Cranes wouldn’t have been in this situation had the fielders been up to the task. There were midfields, there were dropped catches! Namibia will have Uganda’s disappointing fielding to thank for this win.
The loss leaves the Cricket Cranes third in the table standings, however, just on a net run rate that is superior to Zimbabwe’s.
They will face Zimbabwe on Sunday in what will be a do or die tie.
A loss against Zimbabwe will greatly diminish the Cricket Cranes chances of qualifying for Next year’s World Cup.
Seeing how Namibia has taken grip of the first place, the fight now for the remaining teams is the second position as only two teams will qualify for the World Cup.
Kenya who beat Rwanda and Nigeria in their opening two games currently occupy the second position.