Kenya pipped hosts Uganda by one, precious run, in a thrilling ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Final on Wednesday.
That victory saw Kenya put themselves in a very strong position to go to the Global Qualifier in UAE in November, ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
Batting first, Kenya were again indebted to the free-scoring Rakep Patel, who blazed a 22-ball 51. Crucially, Patel took advantage of some loose fielding off the penultimate delivery of the Kenyan innings, turning a single into two.
Having kept the strike, he then smashed the final ball of the innings for six, which proved telling in the final outcome. His lusty blows saw Kenya rise to 145 for six, and repelled Charles Waiswa’s spell of four for 38.
There was also a handy contribution from Irfan Karim and a quick 22 from skipper Ngoche as Kenya set a testing total for Uganda. The chase was going along well enough for Uganda at the halfway stage, as they were on par with the required rate.
Riazat Ali Shah tried manfully to get them home, with his 44 from 35 balls keeping the hosts in the hunt.
However, terrific death bowling from Kenya ensured that it went to the last over.
The run out of Waiswa on the fourth ball of the final over was also crucial, juxtaposed with how Uganda had ended in the field.
Nigeria were also winners, as they defeated neighbours Ghana by 28 runs.
Ademola Onikoyi (49) and Ovais Yousof (33), were the key men with bat in hand, as the Yellow Green’s notched 135 for eight.
Onikoyi hammered four sixes in his knock, and there was also a late cameo from Vincent Adewoye (23 not out from 13 balls).
In reply, Ghana couldn’t find the inspiration upfront, with talisman Simon Ateak falling cheaply. Tail-ender Kofi Bagabena was the highest contributor, with a run-a-ball 23, but it was too little, too late.
Adewoye rounded off an excellent day with a spell of four for 18, a day short of his 19th birthday.
In the third match, Namibia made short work of a struggling Botswana, trouncing them by ten wickets.
The youngsters were routed out for 46 in 12.1 overs, with Christi Viljoen nabbing five for just 9 runs. In reply, the Namibians needed just 3.5 overs to win, with Nikolaas Davin hammering 37 from 19 balls.
Rain overnight put paid to any chance of play at Lugogo today while the morning match at Kyambogo was also washed out.
Ghana won the toss and chose to bat first against Uganda at Kyambogo this afternoon.
Scores in brief:
Kenya v Uganda
Kenya 145 for six (R Patel 51 not out, I Karim 28, C Waiswa four for 38)
Uganda 144 for nine (R Shah 44 not out, H Kayondo 31, N Odhiambo three for 30)
Kenya won by one run
Ghana v Nigeria
Nigeria 135 for eight (A Onikoyi 49, O Yousof 33)
Ghana 107 for eight (K Bagabena 23 not out, V Adewoye four for 18)
Nigeria won by 28 runs
Botswana v Namibia
Botswana 46 all out (C Viljoen five for 9)
Namibia 50 without loss (N Davin 37 not out)
Namibia won by ten wickets
Friday 24 May
9:30am Ghana vs Botswana
1:50pm Namibia vs Kenya
1:50pm Nigeria vs Uganda