T20 World Cup 2024 debutants Uganda claim first victory with win over PNG - 4 minutes read

T20 World Cup 2024 debutants Uganda claim first victory with win over PNG

The ‘cricket cranes’ danced and celebrated with their fans after recording their first-ever win in the T20 World Cup.

Uganda claimed their first “special” win in their debut at the T20 World Cup as they beat Papua New Guinea by three wickets at Providence Stadium in Guyana.

The African side bowled out PNG for 77 and, after struggling at 26-5 in reply, reached the target in 18.2 overs in their second match at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 on Wednesday.

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The African nation celebrated their victory by dancing on the edge of the field as the team and bowed to acknowledge their fans who travelled from Africa to the Caribbean to support them.

“First win at the World Cup – doesn’t get more special than this,” Brian Masaba said after the match. “I’m super proud of this group, the work they put in. To get a win for their country at a World Cup, it’s pretty special.”

Masaba’s team went through African qualifying and made it to the 20-team global tournament at the expense of Zimbabwe, a long-time full member of the International Cricket Council.

Uganda 🇺🇬 etch their name in history with a first-ever #T20WorldCup victory in their debut tournament to secure a tense 3-wicket win against Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬
Nicely done, Cricket Cranes 👏#WeAreCricketCranes pic.twitter.com/pg7u3gwZuh
— Uganda Cricket Association () June 6, 2024

“It’s been three or four years of very hard work,” Masaba said.

“Getting to the World Cup was special, but this is more [special].”

Riazat Ali Shah top-scored for Uganda with 33 runs and put on a crucial sixth-wicket partnership of 35 with Juma Miyagi (13) for Uganda, who lost their opening match to Afghanistan by 125 runs.

Riazat almost got them there, his 56-ball innings finally ending when he got a leading edge and was caught out with Uganda just three runs shy of victory.

“When you’re three down early, chasing a low score … it was a real scrap out there,” Masaba said. “Every run they scored was very important for us.”

“Just as important as the support,” he added.

“We have a special group of fans who travel around the world to support us. I don’t think they came here expecting a win at the World Cup but this is the least we can do for them,” he said. “I hope they feel as special as we do.”

And together with the fans watching the games on TV in the pre-dawn hours back in Uganda, Masaba acknowledged the lift it gave his team.

“It’s not easy,” he said. “We salute them and appreciate them.”

(Al Jazeera)

PNG were left to rue the moment when Riazat, on eight, was dropped by Charles Amini, who misjudged a relatively simple catch.

The Pacific Islanders had their work cut out trying to defend such a low total but were also undone in part by some loose bowling, conceding 15 wides.

After that let-off, Riazat played a disciplined and focused innings until, with just three needed to win, he skied a catch to John Kariko at third man.

Masaba had won the toss and put Papua New Guinea in to bat and was rewarded when Alpesh Ramjani removed PNG captain Assad Vala with the second ball of the innings, trapping him lbw in what was a wicket-maiden opening over.

Sese Bau tried to drive Juma Miyagi but was snaffled up by Roger Mukasa who did well to get back and make the catch from mid-off.

Tony Ura went in similar fashion as his attempted drive off Cosmas Kyewuta became a simple catch for Mukasa at mid-on to leave his side struggling at 19-3 in the fourth over.

Lega Siaka looked confident making 12 off 17 balls before an ill-advised attempt to make a second run ended in a run-out and when Charles Amini was bowled by Frank Nsubuga it was damage limitation time.

But only Hiri Hiri (15) and Kiplin Doriga (12) were able to make double figures as the Pacific Islanders were bowled out with five balls left of their allotted 20 overs.

Uganda face co-hosts West Indies on Sunday.

Source: Al Jazeera English

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