Kenya stun Uganda to qualify for ICC World Cup

Ifran Karim (left) and Collins Obuya of Kenya cricket team celebrate their win against Uganda ...
Ifran Karim (left) and Collins Obuya of Kenya cricket team celebrate their win against Uganda during their T20 clash at the Nairobi Gymkhana Club on 28 September 2016. Kenya won by 7 wickets. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

Kenya under-19 cricket team pulled off a remarkable comeback in the world cup qualifiers to snatch the only available slot from Uganda on Saturday, the last day of the qualifiers.

Uganda went into this match top of the table, and had the luxury of even losing the match, as long as it was by a small margin. Uganda were confident as they had beaten Kenya in the first match between the two earlier in the week.

Uganda won the toss and elected to bat as their batsmen have been ruthless throughout the tournament. Their opening partnership that has been lethal all week was taken out in two overs.

Ronald Opio started off the nightmare run for Uganda when he was bowled by Gerald Mwendwa after 1.1 overs. Zephania Arinaitwe was caught leg before wicket in the second over off Ager’s bowling in the third over. He had registered only four runs on the board.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Eddy Agaba soon followed the rest to the pavilion in the same third over as he was bowled out again by Maxwel Ager with zero runs having faced just three balls.

It was left to Steven Wabwose to steady the ship, meaning he had to get the boundaries, and get them quickly. But them the Kenyan bowlers knew this, and threw him a bait in slow bowling.

Wabwose did not last as in an attempt to get the boundaries with big hits, he was caught by Hirani in the 13th over, having made only six runs including only one 4.

The only Ugandans to hit double figures were Siraje Nsubuga with 13 and Rogers Olipa with 17 as Richard Agamiire added a paltry 10.

Uganda were all out for only 60 runs in 17.1 overs.

Kenya stepped onto the crease a nervous lot despite the low totals of the Ugandans. Aman Gandhi partnered Thomas Ochieng as the opening batsmen as the coaches changed the top order for Kenya.

Gandhi was bowled out by Kenneth Waiswa in the second over with a poor five runs only. His replacement, Sachin Bhudia managed 12 runs from ten balls before he was unlucky to be caught leg before wicket by  Trevor Bukenya in the 5th over.

In stepped Desai at number four, but he lasted only one over as he too was bowled by Waiswa for seven runs. Opening batsman Thomas Ochieng was the saviour for Kenya as he managed 26 runs not out off 22 balls.

Number five Ankit Hirani was also not out with eight runs as Kenya reached the target of 61 with a massive 249 balls to spare.  The win for Kenya by seven wickets was massive and enabled the team sneak in to the ICC under 19 world cup ahead of Uganda.

“I promised myself without telling anybody that I was the last guy to take Kenya to the World Cup. I wanted to take Kenya back there,” said Coach Jimmy Kamande, a former Kenya international.

“We had an outside chance, but we believed that we can do it and we did it,” added Kamande.


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Story By Mike Okinyi
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