Uganda have not yet forgotten the day – May 30, 2017 – when they collapsed in the chase of a paltry 145 runs en route to a 13-run loss to USA at the lakeside Entebbe Cricket Ground.
That was Uganda’s penultimate match in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III tournament hosted back in the Pearl of Africa.
That defeat condemned Uganda to unchartered territory with their first-ever relegation to Division IV tier.
“We are still hurting,” senior player Frank Nsubuga told SCORE on Thursday. “Good thing is that we got our consolation by winning the Division IV event in Malaysia earlier this May. Now we have a chance to get one over them (USA).”
Bone To Crush
Towering Elmore Hutchinson (53 off 50), who scooped the Man-Of-Match award against Uganda will want to repeat his heroics when the two sides face off today but with Uganda having a new rearguard led by Nsubuga’s younger sibling Roger Mukasa, it will not be a walk in the park.
“We were a bit naive and you know playing in-front of your home fans comes with a lot pressure. We are more polished now,” said new skipper Mukasa, who took over the reins from Davis Karashani.
And with Uganda looking to settle the score, USA will also aim to go for the jugular as they boast of a talented squad including Aaron Jones and Hayden Walsh Jr.
“As a team, we have had an extensive combine process early this year where we have gathered the best mix of experience and talent on the team. We have had numerous special training camps throughout the year,” USA captain Saurabh Netravalker, who is a full-time software developer, said.
“Each and every player has been setting goals and maintaining records of their individual progress. I am expecting to see some fierce competition and a high intensity game. I am positive that all the hard work we have done as a team will pay off at the tournament.”
World Cup pathway
Six teams; including Kenya, Singapore, Denmark and hosts Oman are here for the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3, with the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) League 2 places at stake in the revamped Road to India 2023 pathway.
The new 50-over structure, which was approved at the ICC Board meetings in Singapore last month.
The top two places in Oman will send teams into World Cricket League Division 2 taking place in Namibia between April 18 and 28. The CWC League 2 line-up will be completed by the top four teams from Division 2, who will join Scotland, Nepal and United Arab Emirates. The bottom four teams from the Oman event will play in the ICC Cricket World Challenge League.