Uganda recovered from defeat in their opening match of World Cricket League Division 4 to win four on the bounce and secure the trophy.
Uganda are celebrating promotion to World Cricket League Division 3 after emerging triumphant in Malaysia, but they didn't do it the easy way after losing their opening fixture to the hosts.
It left Uganda's hopes of moving up a division hanging by a thread but they reeled off victories against Bermuda, Vanuatu, Denmark – in a thrilling contest – and then, finally, Jersey to seal promotion and the trophy.
Speaking after the exciting 7-run win over Jersey, Brian Masaba, Uganda's vice-captain, said his team had to treat every game like a final after that early setback against Malaysia.
"You lose one game in this tournament you actually cannot afford to lose another one, so after that first day loss to Malaysia the motivation in the camp was that now we have to treat every game like a final," said Masaba. "And I think that’s what we did. That’s the mentality that got us through."
Uganda entered their final match against Jersey needing a victory to confirm their qualification to WCL Division 3 and Masaba admits there were some nerves in the camp.
"We’ve not had a decent sleep because until today we didn’t know if we would qualify or not. To finally win the trophy is brilliant for us. The idea [against Jersey] was to win the toss and bowl first but unfortunately that didn’t happen. But we felt that anything over 100 runs was going to be difficult – we have a very good bowling attack, especially in the spin department. So we figured if we could get to 100 runs we stood a pretty good chance.
"Unfortunately we didn’t quite get there, we got 89, but I think the bowlers bowled excellently today. They were off the charts. At the end of the day, they carried us home."
Uganda can now look forward to testing themselves against opponents in a higher division and Masaba says they are up for the challenge.
"With World Cricket League 3 lurking around the corner we’re not going to sit back on our laurels. We’re going to have to work even harder because it’s going to be tougher for us. Teams will be coming after us. We’ll go home, refocus and see where we go from there."
Denmark will join in Uganda in WCL Division 3 after finishing as runners-up, while Vanuatu and Bermuda are both relegated to Division 5 after finishing in fifth and sixth place respectively.
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