In an incredibly tense and hard fought match against Namibia, Wednesday in Krugersdorp, a very proud Uganda took the spoils and earned a wonderful, inspiring victory of the highest calibre.
Having scored 234 runs, after being put in to bat, Uganda held on in a finish that went down to the last ball, winning by 6 runs. Frank Nsubuga rightly took the man-of-the-match award, with a superb knock of 45 off 36, two lovely catches, and bowled 10 overs, with figures of 2 wickets for 34 runs.
Uganda took to the field as a hopeful Namibia put Uganda in to bat, thinking a green pitch and overcast skies would equal difficult batting. This was quickly proved wrong though, with some strong batting from openers Kyobe and expecially Mukasa who went on to make 51. Olweny came in at three and batted with great confidence for 46.
Some difficulties emerged in the middle order again, though Kwebiha managed to stabilise the situation and worked well in tandem with his partners. The tail proved most as Kamyuka and Nsubuga added valuable runs, Uganda finishing on 234 for 7, setting a very good target.
In reply Namibia lost an early wicket and Kamyuka and Waiswa kept things tied down with tight bowling. Namibia then settled, guarding their wickets but scoring at only 3 runs an over as Ssemanda and Frank Nsubuga came on to bowl effectively.
With the clouds coming on thicker and Namibia scoring slowly, on only 82 after 25 overs, they decided to up the rhythm and new lad Raymond van Schoor started to swing more freely. His fifty came up as the twin spin attack of Baig Akbar and Davis Arinaitwe took over. Immediately a Namibian hundred run partnership was established young van Schoor holed out to Nsubuga heralding the arrival of the dynamic Gerry Snyman, who clearly intended to smash the ball all around the ground.
He did indeed give the ball a thrashing, but eventually holed out to Ssemanda taking a brilliant diving catch near the boundary. This turning point heralded the eventual decline of Namibia, though they fought with fierce tenacity.
With the pressure on the Namibians lost two more men to good catches and with only 7 overs left and needing 67 off 42 balls Uganda was really in the driver's seat. Namibia never gave up and scored some huge sixes and useful fours to pull themselves back into contention but another catch by Kamyuka slowed things down again.
The last over came, and with Namibia needing only 13 runs, Uganda held on, though 7 runs were scored, and earned a well deserved victory.
In the end it was good, solid batting, excellent fielding, and tight batting that won the match, and as captain Kwebiha said, "We won because we played as a team". True words indeed, and a hopeful harbinger for the rest of this tournament.
Uganda's next opponents, Canada, handily won their first match, and should prove most difficult to dislodge. But if the Ugandan side play anything like they did against Namibia then anything is possible.