Uganda make history

Uganda qualified for the 2024 T20 World Cup. Photo: Helge Schütz

Uganda qualified for their first ever T20 World Cup with an emphatic nine-wicket victory against Rwanda on Thursday. 

After being sent in to bat, Rwanda were soon in trouble when Orchide Tuyisenge was bowled by Alpesh Ramjani for a duck.

Uganda turned on the screws with some tight bowling as the wickets continued to tumble. 

Eric Dusingizimana top scored for Rwanda with 19 runs, but Muhammad Nadir was the only other batter to reach double figures as they crashed to 65 all out. 

Uganda’s bowlers shared the wickets, with Alpesh Ramjani (2/1), Dinesh Nakrani (2/16), Henry Ssenyondo (2/10) and Brian Masaba (2/10) each taking two wickets. 

The target was never a problem for Uganda’s batters as they reached it for the loss of one wicket with 12 overs to spare. 

Ronak Patel was dismissed for 18, but Simon Ssasazi remained not out on 26 and Roger Mukasa not out on 13 as they reached 66/1 off 8,1 overs to book their ticket to the 2024 ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies and the United States. 

The win completed a great tournament for Uganda, who won five of their six matches to finish second behind Namibia on the log. 

They opened their campaign with an eight-wicket victory against Tanzania on 22 November, before suffering their only defeat of the tournament, by six wickets to Namibia two days later. 

They, however, struck back with the shock of the tournament when they beat Zimbabwe by five wickets on 26 November. 

They continued the momentum with a nine-wicket win against Nigeria the following day, while they claimed another big scalp when they beat Kenya by 33 runs on Wednesday, before sealing their world cup ticket with yesterday’s comprehensive win against Rwanda.

Uganda captain Brian Masaba said it was a special occasion. 

“This is pretty special for this team, it’s the first time that the senior men’s team has made it to the world cup so this is very special. I can’t put words to the emotions and the feelings the team is going through right now, because it’s been a lot of hard work and sacrifice behind the scenes, so to finally make it there is very special,” he said. 

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!