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Cricket Cranes Start Namibia Tour On Low

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Castle Lite Series

Wednesday, July 5

Game 1: Uganda v Namibia

Namibia 191/6
Uganda 165/4
*Namibia won by 21 runs.

Thursday, July 6
Next Game:
*Uganda v Namibia (2nd t20i)


The Cricket Cranes opened their third edition of the Namibian tour with a slim loss following their 26 run defeat to the Richelieu Eagles at the Castle Lite Series on Wednesday.

Uganda approached this game with Riazat Ali Shah, arguably their best T20 player unavailable! ‘Rizu’ as he is nicknamed by his teammates left the country with his teammates on Monday gunning for this bilateral tourney, but as they landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, it came to the team’s realization that the all-rounder had lost his passport during transit.

As the rest of the team connected to Windhoek, Riazat was being sent back home, and Laurence Mahatlane and his boys were made to bear the frustration of losing one of their best.

This meant that the Cricket Cranes had to start about with only 13 players. Little did they know that another setback awaited.

After winning the toss, Brian Masaba, the captain of the team decided upon fielding first, and Dinesh Nakrani, winner of the Player of the Match against Kenya at the finals of the Continent Cup last month was tasked to open the bowling.

Usually a none opener, Nakrani conceded 13 runs that included three 4s. Juma Miyaji who missed the Continent Cup in Nairobi due to a back injury was introduced to the attack for the second Over.

The 20-year-old immediately put a stop to Namibia’s forces, bowling two dot balls and conceding just one run, but just when Ugandans were beginning to get excited, the pacer came out uneasy in what seemed like a recurring back injury.

Action for him was immediately discontinued having bowled just four balls.

Kenneth Waiswa completed Miyaji’s Over, and when time for him to bowl his own arrived, Waiswa conceded the same number of runs Nakrani did in the opening Over.

Michael Van Lingen and Nickolaas Davin, the Namibian openers took a liking for Ugandan pacers as by the time Masaba introduced spin into the attack at the end of the Powerplay, the score was reading 55 for no loss.

But Henry Senyondo gave Mahatlane’s charges some breathing space. His first Over went for only 3 runs, and when he returned for his second, picked a wicket. He sent Davin back to the dugout through a catch that was taken by his young brother Simon Ssesazi.

Namibia stuck to their game plan, and kept knocking boundaries, but it is that same game plan that bit them because the spin plus the safe hands of Ssesazi were up to the task.

Having given away nine runs in his first Over, Alpesh Ramjani picked two wickets in his next, both wickets, catches taken by Ssesazi. Ramjani then followed his pair of wickets with another in the 15th Over; a catch as well that was taken by Waiswa.

It was a recovery needed by the Cricket Cranes, but in spite of it, and despite Nakrani and Bilal Hassun picking a wicket in the penultimate and final over respectively, Namibia set the score at 191.

On paper, and with Uganda’s natural game changer and winner, Riazat missing, it was a target hard to chase. That thinking stood untill the Ugandan innings started.

While Uganda lost the game, they will feel proud of their resilience and determination.

Ssesazi after a brilliant outing in the fielding opened with Ronald Lutaya, and managed 12 runs, but the partnership of Lutaya and Waiswa, and the former’s partnership with Ramjani had the Namibians doubt themselves.

Lutaya who is on his first Namibian tour and Waiswa many a time squeezed runs when they had no business to. By the time the latter was caught, their partnership had put together a total of 51 runs from 42 balls.

Ramjani joined the youngster on the crease and he came well aware of the assignment. The duo dragged Uganda to 143 with their combined quick 71. By the time Ramjani was bowled in 17th Over, Uganda needed a manageable 49 off 18 balls.

The Cricket Cranes may have failed to cross the finishing line, but they will be proud of their batting unit that showed purpose and character.

Ramjani who is also touring Namibia for the first time notched 55, the team’s highest. He was closely followed by Lutaya’s 54 not out. Ramjani was also the team’s highest wicket taker with three.

The two teams will be back in action tomorrow at the same grounds for their second T20 match.

The post Cricket Cranes Start Namibia Tour On Low appeared first on Live from ground.

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