Uganda claim first ever T20 World Cup victory with win over PNG

Uganda players celebrate a wicket. File photo

Uganda claimed their first ever T20 World Cup win with a three-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea at Providence Stadium on Wednesday in a low-scoring but tense encounter.

The African side bowled out PNG for 77 and after struggling at 26-5 in reply reached the target in 18.2 overs with Riazat Ali Shah top-scoring with 33.

Riazat put on a crucial sixth wicket partnership of 35 with Juma Miyagi (13) which effectively won the game for the tournament debutants.

But PNG will rue the moment that Riazat, on eight, was dropped by Charles Amini, who misjudged a relatively simple catch.

The Pacific Islanders had their work cut out trying to defend such a low total but were also undone in part by some loose bowling, conceding 15 wides.

After that let-off, Riazat played a disciplined and focused innings until, with just three needed to win, he skied a catch to John Kariko at third man.

The Ugandans celebrated their victory with dancing on the edge of the field as the team, which beat out more established cricketing nation Zimbabwe to reach the tournament, picked up their first points.

“That’s a pretty special win for us. You know, first win at the World Cup,” said Uganda skipper Brian Masaba.

“It doesn’t get more special than this. I’m super proud of this group of guys. I mean, they’ve put in the work, they’ve put in such a shift. And to get a win for their country at the World Cup is very, very special,” he added.

Masaba had won the toss and put Papua New Guinea in to bat and was rewarded when Alpesh Ramjani removed PNG captain Assad Vala with the second ball of the innings, trapping him lbw in what was a wicket-maiden opening over.

Sese Bau tried to drive Juma Miyagi but was snaffled up by Roger Mukasa who did well to get back and make the catch from mid-off.

Tony Ura went in similar fashion as his attempted drive off Cosmas Kyewuta became a simple catch for Mukasa at mid-on to leave his side struggling at 19-3 in the fourth over.

Lega Siaka looked confident making 12 off 17 balls before an ill-advised attempt to make a second run ended in a run-out and when Charles Amini was bowled by Frank Nsubuga it was damage limitation time.

But only Hiri Hiri (15) and Kiplin Doriga (12) were able to make double figures as the Pacific Islanders were bowled out with five balls left of their allotted 20 overs.

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