Uganda hold onto top spot after home Challenge League leg

ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League

By Daniel Beswick

Hit For Six!

Uganda kept top spot in Challenge League Group A after their home leg, though Jersey and Hong Kong stayed hot on their heels with impressive legs in Kampala.


Brian Masaba's side reclaimed top spot despite the strong competition, though Jersey went unbeaten in Uganda, and are just one win behind the leaders before their home leg in late July.

We take a look at every single match of the Uganda leg in our Challenge League wrap.

Friday 17 June: Jersey 255/6 (50) defeated Uganda 193 (45.2)

Having gone undefeated in the first leg in Oman, the favoured Ugandans were toppled by a blitzing Jersey side in a 62-run defeat.

Harrison Carlyon and Nick Greenwood's opening partnership of 77 set up the ominous 255-run total, with Greenwood's 80 from 93 balls including 12 boundaries, many of which were hit through the off-side.

Ronak Patel's 64 provided a strong Ugandan response, though the efforts of the home side were curtailed by the work of Dominic Blampied, who took 5/18.

Saturday 18 June: Bermuda 107 (27) defeated by Kenya 109/4 (19)

Bermuda never got going in their first outing of the tournament, as the quick opening pair of Elijah Otieno and Emmanuel Bundi claimed nine wickets between them, skittling their opponents for just 107.

Otieno (5/21) and Bundi (4/26) were joined by Nelson Odhiambo (1/19), with captain Kamau Leverock's 29 the only Bermuda respite.

Rushab Patel's 49* ruined any chance of a Bermuda comeback in a six-wicket Kenyan win.

Saturday 18 June: Hong Kong 283 (49.5) defeated Italy 225 (44.1)

A mainstay of the Hong Kong team, classy Kinchit Shah was again on song for his side, making 102 off just 97 balls, hitting five sixes in a masterful knock.

Only dismissed deep in the 48th over, he well and truly moved proceedings into his side's favour, alongside Aizaz Khan, who made 75. 

The pair wrestled back the momentum after Gareth Berg's (5/51) early bowling barrage, recovering from 85/4.

Jaspreet Singh's incredible 81 (60) in reply from No.10 entertained the crowd settling in at the Lugogo Ground, though he eventually fell as Hong Kong's last wicket, with Italy 58 runs short.

Monday 20 June: Uganda 94 (33.2) defeated by Hong Kong 96/4 (21.5)

Uganda looked in a good position at 80/3, only to crumble to 94 all out at the hands of Yasim Murtaza (3/23) and Ehsan Khan (4/17).

Perhaps with net run rate on the mind, Hong Kong were busy in reply, chasing down the target of 95 inside 22 overs.

Monday 20 June: Jersey 275 (50) defeated Kenya 179 (41)

A top-order flurry was the modus operandi again for Jersey, with the Nick Greenwood/Harrison Carlyon pair again aggressive.

The pair put on 81 for the first wicket in just 10.5 overs, setting a platform that enabled Josh Lawrenson (55) and Anthony Hawkins-Kay (38*) to push on.

Hawkins-Kay then took matters into his own hands with the ball, taking the first four wickets to have Kenya reeling at 22/4. Despite the early collapse, Rakep Patel looked strong in the response, only to fall for Charles Perchard, ending any thoughts of a comeback.

The man known as "Chuggy" finished with 3/23, with Hawkins-Kay ending the job to finish with 5/18.

Tuesday 21 June: Bermuda 95 (28.5) defeated by Uganda 99/2 (17.5)

Bermuda's campaign malaise continued at the Lugogo Ground, bowled out inside 30 overs with no player passing 15 with the bat.

After two defeats at the beginning of the leg to drag them from top of the perch, Uganda's bowlers were collectively strong, all picking up at least one scalp and ensuring a late wag from the tail was kept in check.

Despite the early loss of partner Arnold Otwani, opener Simon Ssesazi prevented any slip in reply, making his second List A half-century. He was joined by Kenneth Waiswa to take the Cricket Cranes to victory, with Waiswa ending the match a boundary to put an exclamation mark on the performance.

Tuesday 21 June: Jersey 223/9 (50) defeated Italy 135 (37)

Jersey's campaign in Uganda has seen a number of players step up, and their 88-run win proved to be another example.

Awkwardly sat at 26/2, Josh Lawrenson's 102* from No.3 vitally pushed the island men past 200, with Dominic Blampied's 37 and Jake Dunford's 19 chipping in.

Not to be outdone by his batting teammate, 21-year-old bustling quick Julius Sumerauer stole Player of the Match honours, claiming 6/32 in just 7.3 overs.

A thorn in the Italian side throughout the innings, Sumerauer made early headway at the top of the innings, before claiming Marcus Campopiano and Gareth Berg in the middle, and picking up another pair of wickets in cleaning up the tail.

Thursday 23 June: Kenya 340/9 (50) defeated Italy 206 (38.1)

Kenya stunned their mid-table rivals at the Lugogo Ground, plundering the highest total so far in Group B of the competition.

Back in the Kenyan side for this leg of the competition, 34-year-old opener Alex Obanda made his first big statement in the competition, making 115 from just 83 balls, hitting seven fours and and eleven sixes in an early blitz. Just 156 runs were on the board when he fell as the third wicket in the 27th over over of play.

Mainstay Collins Obuya (88) played another strong hand to solidify his credentials as a Kenya cricket legend, while Sachin Bhudia's 40 (19) lifted the side to an insurmountable 340. Gareth Berg's 3/33 (10) provided the only respite.

Marcus Compopiano's 85 gave Italy hope, and the side swung away in hope of an upset, only to fall well short.

Thursday 23 June: Hong Kong 313/9 (50) defeated Bermuda 119 (25.1)

Babar Hayat was back to his brilliant best with an impressive 139 (105) to prevent Bermuda from any chances of an upset at the Kyambogo ground.

With the loss of Adit Gorawara for 8 and Nizakat Khan retiring hurt, Babar toyed with his opposition, hitting a total of 18 boundaries and making life hard for opposition captain Kamau Leverock.

Leverock claimed 4/62 from a spell of nine overs, though didn't have a lot of back-up at his disposal, with Nizakat returning to finish with 38 off 27 balls. 

Hong Kong finished with 313, and faced little trouble defending the mammoth score. A new face in the Bermuda squad, 19-year-old Dominic Sabir's 34 (27) showed he may be a player to take his side forward, though the side struggled, eventually bunded out for 119.

Friday 24 June: Jersey 289/8 (50) defeated Hong Kong 234 (47)

The Carlyon/Greenwood opening partnership again proved to be a point of difference, this time in their 55-run victory over Hong Kong.

The pair put on 141 for the first wickets at better than five an over, helping the side to 289, with experienced campaigner Jonty Jenner's 70 from 48 balls a vital contribution.

In reply, Hong Kong couldn't string a partnership to keep them in the contest. Nine of eleven players reached double figures, though Jerseys bowling corps took wickets throughout the afternoon, stifling their opposition in a team effort.

Friday 24 June: Italy 120 (36.3) defeated by Uganda 121/3 (24.2)

Uganda held Italy to 43/5 in a collective bowling effort, as Italy limped to 120 in 36.3 overs.

Three Ugandan bowlers picked up a pair of wickets each, and the experience of Kenneth Waiswa (35*) and Dinesh Maganlal (25*) ensured a comfortable victory.

Sunday 26 June: Kenya 220 (47.1) defeated by Uganda 224/3 (45.1)

Fans packed into the Lugogo Ground on the Sunday, with a classic catch from Frank Nsubuga the cherry on top in a vital win for the home side.

The 42-year-old covered incredible ground before diving at full stretch with the ball falling from over his shoulder, keeping the ball in his clutches after hitting the turf.

The grab helped the hosts keep their rivals to 220, with both Riazat Ali Shah and Cosmas Kyewuta claiming three wickets each.

Simon Ssesazi played a starring role in the reply, making an unbeaten 87* to guide his team home. Dinesh Maganlal (55*) and Ronak Patel (50) also raised the bat in the assertive chase. 

Sunday 26 June: Jersey 371/8 (50) defeated Bermuda 80 (17.5)

Nick Greenwood's 106 from just 80 deliveries and Harrison Carlyon's 73 meant Bermuda's chances were quashed early in their Sunday outing, as Chuggy Perchard's team knocked up 371.

No bowler went at fewer than five runs an over, and the score would prove far too big for Bermuda to chase, bowled out for 80 inside 18 overs.

Kamau Leverock made 63 in a valiant response, but the side had no answer for Carlyon's 5/13 to round out a superb individual performance.

Monday 27 June: Bermuda 120 (27.4) defeated by Italy 124/0 (12.2)

Bermuda rounded out a tough leg campaign with another defeat, a ten-wicket drubbing at the hands of Italy.

Cishan Kalugamage's 3/25 and Gareth Berg's 2/13 prevented a counter-attack, as Nikolai Smith and Marcus Campopiano made light work of the chase.

Monday 27 June: Kenya 135 (38.3) defeated by Hong Kong 137/5 (34)

As Jersey claimed five wins from five on their Uganda leg, it was crucial for Hong Kong to claim a final day victory, which they did through a middle-over strangle of Kenya.

Yasim Murtaza's 4/26 and Ehsan Khan's 3/27 kept Kenya to 135, with Murtaza's 38* helping Aizaz Khan's 59* reach the target.

An early bowling barrage from Shem Ngoche (3/29) and two run outs kept Kenya in it, only for the unbeaten 97-run partnership.

What's next in Challenge League action?

After the action in Uganda, attention turns to Canada, with Group A's second leg next month.

The hosts are top of Group A on net run rate, with Singapore also claiming four wins from five in the first leg held in Malaysia back in September 2019.

Qatar sit in third (six points), in front of Denmark (four points), with Malaysia and Vanuatu on two points apiece.

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