With 134 runs to defend, disciplined bowling ensured that Bermuda fell short by 11 runs
Electing to bat first, Uganda got off to a sluggish start, managing to put just 37 runs on the board in its first eight overs, and losing three wickets along the way. After that, Hamza Saleh and Davis Arinaitwe, the Uganda captain, came together for a 58-run stand off eight overs. Though Arinaitwe’s contribution was just 14, he gave good support to Saleh, whose run-a-ball 45 consisted of four boundaries and a six. Following their dismissals off consecutive deliveries, Richard Okia came in at No. 6 and played a cameo of 21 off 12 balls, hitting two sixes along the way. He found support in Jonathan Sebanja, who remained unbeaten on 13 off 5 balls, having hit a four and a six, as Uganda reached a respectable 134 for 7.
Kamau Leverock was the pick of the bowlers for Bermuda, returning figures of 2 for 24 off his four overs. Janeiro Tucker, the Bermuda captain, took two wickets as well, finishing with 2 for 28 off his three overs. Kamal Bashir, Dion Stovell and Allan Douglas finished with a wicket each.
Chasing a small total, Bermuda got off to a slow start, with the first eight overs fetching just 34 runs, with both the openers dismissed. David Hemp and Tucker then stitched together a 78-run partnership for the third wicket but consumed 65 deliveries in doing so. By the time Hemp was caught off Sebanja with one delivery left in the 19th over, Bermuda was left with a mountain to climb, needing 22 runs off the final seven deliveries. Hemp departed after scoring 53 off 55 balls that included seven boundaries. With Tucker, the only set batsman at the crease, too departing in the final over, Bermuda eventually fell short by 11 runs and though it had six wickets in hand. A failure to step on the accelerator meant that it finished its 20 overs on 123 for 4. Tucker scored 30 off 32 balls, with just one boundary in his innings.
Brian Masaba took two wickets, but was expensive, leaking 34 runs off his three overs. Henry Ssenyondo and Sebanja finished with a wicket each. But, given the small total to defend, it was Franco Nsubuga who finished as the pick of the Uganda bowlers. Nsubuga bowled a miserly spell, conceding just 12 runs off four overs, although he went wicketless.
Reflecting on the team’s win and its overall performance in the tournament, Arinwaite said, “Today we got a few runs on the board and we thought we needed to put pressure to defend the total. So I will take the win, we finished 13th out of 16, it is not the greatest performance from us but I will take it.” Arinwaite also acknowledged that fielding and bowling had always been the positives for Uganda in the tournament and felt the batsmen put on a decent score today.
“I have always thought our fielding and bowling is really good, might say amongst the best in associate cricket teams," said Arinwaite. "It’s our batting that never clicked, so today we managed to get a decent score on board and then our fielding came into play."
Tucker was disappointed with his team’s performance in the tournament and felt it was lacking in energy and attitude. “Really not happy with how the team played and also not happy with the outcome. I thought we could have given lot more energy on the field and the attitude could have been bit better. What you put in is what you get, that is why we lost again today,” he said. When asked about the positives that his team could take from the tournament, Tucker said that starting off with two wins was a positive but added that it should have done better to capitalise on it. “I thought we started off quiet well; Bermuda has never come to a tournament and got two out of two wins. Once we were up 2-nil, I was excited, I thought we had a chance of getting three or four in row, but I don’t think everyone had the same goal. I think we lacked energy in our matches after that, then we just went downhill from there."