Kathmandu- A sensational half century from Mukobe and superb bowling from Araintawe, taking four wickets, helped Uganda defeat much fancied Nepal by 20 runs in the first match of ICC WCL Division 3 being played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In the other matches played today, USA defeated Bermuda by 6 wickets and Singapore defeated Malaysia by 3 wickets.
It would be tough to script a fight back.
If there was one story Ugandan player would share prior to today it would be how unlucky they were to not get to play this tournament at home, to add to that they came into the match having being humiliated in the previous ecouter against Nepal. Also, unlike Nepal Uganda had never played in Malaysia. Odds were definitely stacked against Uganda.
The the odds got taller as they were restricted 23/5 i 13.3 overs after Paras Khada won the toss and invited Uganda to bat first.Little known youngster Mpho Mukobe(84) ad Brain Masaba(51) then stood tall and added 137 runs for the 6th wicket which will perhaps turn out to be the most important partership of the tourament. Mukobe’s who took 83 balls to reach to his fifty added added the next 34 runs in just 19 balls. His match winnig innigs cosisted 6 fours ad 6 sixes.
The duo made a consolidated for a long time and once they were set they played some lovely shots to take Uganda past 150. Having reached the 50 in only 23rd over Uganda’s second fifty thanks to some big hits from Mukobe came in just 11 overs. Mukobe and Masaba made the full use of the batting powerplay adding 45 runs in the overs between 35-40 and Uganda posted 149 by the 40th over.
With Mukobe and Masaba in the crease Uganda were easily eyeing 250. But Nepal served a small fight back of its own as Basanta Regmi first got rid of Masaba in the 42nd over and Sagar Pun dismissed Mukobe in the very next over. Sebanja scored 20 off 18 balls hittig Sagar Pun for two sixes in an over to take Uganda past 203.
Earlier Nepal made a early inroads into Ugandan batting thanks to three wickets from Khadka and 2 from Sompal.
204 might not look like a big score but nepal have always been very bad at chasing in 50 over format. Nepal have never chased a score of over 200 in World Cricket League.
Naresh and Subash(22 off 43b) provided nepal with a slow start(perhaps too slow). The duo added 33 runs in 14 overs at just over 3 runs an over. Malla(14) and Naresh then added 45 runs for the 2nd wicket but the run rate never got over even neat 3 runs an over. Malla was dismissed by Araintawe. The next three wicket went to Araintawe as well dismissing first Paras Khadnka(14 off 22b) and then Binod Bhandari(4 off 5bs) in span of 7 runs. Araintawe then too the vital wicket of Budayair who was playing on 62. Araintawe ended the match with figures of 10-0-33-4
Nepal was batteling a lost war since then.Nepal failed to score boundries kept losing wickets at constant intervals as the required run rate sky rocketed.Sagar Pun (22), Sharad Vesawkar(22) and Basanta Regmi scored a few boundaries later on to take Nepal’s score close to the target.