Presenting The Cricket Cauldron’s weekly wrap-up on the latest happenings on the African Associate cricket scene.
Cricket Cranes begin their WCL Division Four campaign
Uganda’s crucial WCL Division Four campaign in Malaysia began with an agonising eight-run defeat to the hosts at the Kinrara Academy Oval on Sunday. After a tidy bowling effort, led by Riazat Ali Shah (4/24), had kept Malaysia to 208, the Cricket Cranes slumped to 102/6 before a revival from the lower order carried the score to 199/9 at the start of the 50th over.
An unfortunate end was in store for the African side, as Deusdedit Muhumuza, who top-scored with 38, was declared run out off the first ball of the last over, even though the ball did not hit the stumps. Instead, the bail appeared to have been knocked off unwittingly by the Malaysian wicketkeeper. Malaysia’s off-spinner Muhamad Syahadat (4/21) was named man of the match.
Uganda put this reversal behind with a thumping 189-run win over Bermuda at the UKM Cricket Oval the next day. Leg-spinner Mohammed Irfan Afridi grabbed 6/23 to help roll Bermuda over for just 60. Earlier, captain Roger Mukasa (97) and Hamu Kayondo put on 137 for the second wicket to guide Uganda to 249/5. Uganda currently sit third in the table, behind Denmark and Malaysia.
Ghana’s bountiful April ends with another T20 triumph
A buoyant Ghanaian side won its second T20 tournament in a span of two weeks, as they added to their success at the ICC World T20 Africa Region Qualifier A by comprehensively winning the ACA Africa T20 Cup North West Africa Regional Qualifier title, which was also held in Lagos. The tournament featured five teams: Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Cameroon.
Ghana continued their good time in Lagos by winning the Africa T20 Cup North West Regional Qualifier (source – africareportonbusiness.com)
As was the case in the World T20 Regional Qualifier, the final was contested between Ghana and Nigeria, on April 29. Nigeria were limited to 109/8, to which Ghana replied with 110/3 from 16 overs, making it four wins out of four games against the Nigerians in two weeks. With this result, Ghana and Nigeria qualified for the six-team T20 Africa Cup, to be played in Kenya in 2019.
Women’s T20 challenge gets underway in Zimbabwe
The inaugural Women’s T20 Challenge commenced in Harare on April 29, with Namibia, Uganda (who have qualified for the 2018 World T20 Qualifier, to be held in the Netherlands in June) and Tanzania joining the hosts in the double round-robin quadrangular. All the games are scheduled to be played at the Old Hararians Club, culminating with the final on May 3.
The first day saw the four teams play twice each. Uganda had a mixed start – the Lady Cricket Cranes defended a total of 106/8 by restricting Namibia to 79/9, but were bowled out for 82 in pursuit of 104 against Tanzania. Zimbabwe began by hunting down Namibia’s 65 to win by nine wickets, and later made it two out of two by pulling off a 22-run over Tanzania, despite scoring only 96.
‘Official’ international cricket awaits African Associates
This week’s big news was the International Cricket Council’s decision to award T20 international status to all its 104 member nations, effective from July 2018 for women’s cricket and from January 2019 for men’s cricket. This means that as many as 20 African Associate nations will now be able to play all of their T20s against other member nations as officially recognised internationals.
Following are the 20 African Associates: Botswana, Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Saint Helena, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. With Ghana and Nigeria through to the six-team Africa Regional Qualifier for the 2020 World T20, both are assured of T20I debuts in 2019.