When cricket had just entered Nepal, Uganda played it’s first recorded international match in 1951/52 in a triangular tournament against Kenya and Tanganyika (now Tanzania). But it was only in 1998, the International Cricket Council (ICC) granted them an associate membership. Uganda advanced to the World Cricket league Division 2 in 2007 as the champions of Division 3 earlier that year where they finished 5th and thus got relegated to Division 3.
Again, they were qualified for Division 2 in South Africa in 2011 where they won their first match against Namibia but lost all other remaining matches and their dream of playing Cricket World Cup 2011 was over. Not only they missed the World cup, they were also relegated to Division 3. In 2013, they again made it to Division 2 as runner-ups along with Nepal and played their 4th ICC World Cup qualifiers where they finished 10th and thus again were relegated to Division 3 along with Nepal.
Squad: Frank Nsubuga (captain), Hamu Bagenda, Naeem Bardai, Davis Karashani, Arthur Kyobe, Brian Masaba, Deusdedit Muhumuza, Roger Mukasa, Phillemon Mukobe, Danniel Ruyange, Lawrence Sematimba, Jonathan Ssebanja, Henry Ssenyondo and Suleman
Uganda has the combination of experience and talent, aggression and complaisant in their team. Players like Frank Nsubuga (c) & Roger Mukasa have got the experience of playing first-class matches. Ugandans have very strong batting line up, Arthur Kyobe & Brian Masaba are explosive up the order. Similarly, Roger Mukasa & Lawrence Sematimba give shape to the inning at no.3 and no.4 respectively and Deusdedit Muhumuza-Frank Nsubuga finalise their inning.
Also, their bowling is decent. Opponents have managed to score just 725 runs against them of 240.5 overs Ugandans bowled at just 3.01 runs per over in 2013 Division 3. Henry Ssenyondo leads the bowling attack, also the captain Frank Nsubuga contribute with the ball.
Ugandans have won 5 out of 7 matches batting first, whereas they lost all their matches ( 4 out of 4) batting second since 2013. It shows how comfortable are Ugandans defending a total. They have even defended the score of less than 100 twice in 2013.
Players to watch out for:
Nsubuga averages 22.24 in 37 innings to go with 34 wickets to his name whereas Mukasa averages even better 32.73 in 23 innings in List A matches. Ssenyondo- who had picked up 9 wickets giving away just 80 runs at an economy of 2.94 in the previous Division 3, will be crucial for them in the bowling department.
Despite of having strong batting line-up, Ugandans fail to capitalize on the talent they posses. Though they play seamers more than spinners in their domestic format, they have even struggled against them in international cricket. Only taking the previous edition of Division 3 in Bermuda in account, Ugandans could only manage 312 runs in 92 overs at just 3.39 runs per over and lost 13 wickets against pace bowlers. The record gets even worse against the spinners, against them Ugandans have only scored 441 runs in 134.5 overs at 3.27 runs per over and lost 19 wickets.
In ICC 2015 World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand, Ugandans were struggling to get just a single run of spinners. They gave away 32 wickets in 6 matches to spinners and scored at just 1.92 runs per over.
What Should Nepal do?
Nepal have two front line spinners (Basant Regmi & Shakti Gauchan), also Sagar Pun has bowled well in practice matches in Sri Lanka, So spin bowling looks set. Amrit Bhattarai, Shakti Gauchan and Basant Regmi, all left-arm bowlers will be effective for Nepal in stages as records suggest Ugandans have struggled against the left armers.
Nepali batsmen (Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun) will have to soon get a way to score runs. Nepal can even shuffle the batting line-up. Subash Khakurel has struggled against new ball which is making Gyanendra Malla come in within the first few overs to face the new balls. Nepal can afford to get G Malla to open up with N Budhayer and S Khakurel at no.3 rest remaining as it is.