Uganda Cricket Cranes best Kenya in a nail-biting final to win the Tri-nation Pearl of Africa T20 Series at the Entebbe Cricket Oval on Friday.
The Cricket Cranes won the epic tie by six runs in what seemed be a perfect revenge for their one-run defeat to Kenya way back in 2019 at Lugogo Cricket Oval.
After captain Deus Muhumuza won the toss before opener Saudi Islam gave away his wicket in the second ball of the sixth over with 26 runs off 25 balls. He was followed by Simon Ssesazi who was bowled by Shem Ngoche to leave Uganda at 75/2.
Uganda would then loose momentum and collapse to 86/5 before setting a lowly 120 for the fall of nine wickets thanks to Kenya’s Elijah Asoyo 3-18 who kept within sight.
As the proceedings intensified, Kenya needed eight in the last four as Uganda’s Bilal picked dots in third and fourth deliveries and sealed it with a direct hit to break Elihah Asoyo’s baits in the last delivery when Kenya needed seven in the final ball.
Cricket Cranes head coach Lawrence Mahatlane lauded his boys for the spirited fight and character showed in achieving success from a one week tournament that also had Nigeria.
“It’s been a very good task to win, there’s been a lot of cricket played here and the spinners and some slow balls were coming to effect. We started very well with the bat and a lot of credit goes to Kenya, they brought us back nicely to restrict us to 100/2 for nine. A lot of character was shown by the group to pull out the victory which is something very special,” the South African said.
“There are so many heroes that showed a lot of character and I’m very proud of the boys. One of our missions is to trying to move up the rankings and through this tournament we’ve moved up four places into the top 30 now. So that is very important and hopefully we can keep the momentum going,” he added.
Victory is a big motivation for Uganda who are preparing to take part in the Africa T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Rwanda later on.