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Associate Country Regional Cricket

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:48 am
by World Cup 2021
International cricket is set to return to Namibia this week as the leading African Associate welcomes regional rivals Uganda for a five-match bilateral series in Windhoek this week. The two sides are set to play three T20Is and two 50-over Internationals over the course of the week, the first international cricket either have played in over a year.

Namibia's most recent internationals saw them take on the UAE and Oman in the CWC League 2

Tri-Series in January of 2020 in Muscat, which was cut short due to the death of Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said before the global pandemic put the 2nd tier of ODI cricket on hold. They currently sit in 4th place on the League 2 table, and thus 17th globally, trailing Oman, the United States and Scotland in the premier Associates 50-over competition. In the shorter format, Namibia also secured a berth at the upcoming T20 WC by virtue of placing fourth in the 2019 T20 Qualifier in the UAE, with skipper Gerhard Erasmus named player of the tournament.

Uganda currently play their 50-over cricket a tier below their hosts, though their perfect five-from-five record in CWC Challenge League B thus far suggests a return to the associate top-flight may not be far off. A disappointing and rain-affected home regional qualifier saw Uganda miss out on qualification for the 2021 T20 WC, but with another T20 qualifying cycle set to begin this year, the visitors will value the match experience on offer at Windhoek.

Both sides have seen some changes since they were last in action. Uganda, under new coach Laurence Mahatlane, are most notably missing skipper Brian Masaba owing to injury. Stand-in skipper Arnold Otwani will nonetheless have the veteran spinner Frank Nsubuga and former captain Roger Mukasa to look to for experience, but with recent youth graduates Trevor Bukenya, Kenneth Waiswa and potential debutant Cosmas Kyewuta in the travelling squad, the visitors may take a somewhat experimental approach.

The hosts too will be missing some familiar faces for the series, with Christi Viljoen, Zane Green, Pikky Ya France and Zhivago Groenewald all absent from the squad list. Instead, a number of fringe and emerging players that have impressed in the ongoing Richelieu T20 tournament have a chance to press their claims. Mauritius Ngupita, Michau du Preez, Dewald Nell, Divan La Cock, Shaun Fouche and Michael van Lingen, Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Ruben Trumpleman are among the players coming into the side who missed selection for the T20 WC qualifier.

For the hosts, the series will provide a chance to test the depth of their squad and explore options ahead of the potential resumption of League 2 with a scheduled home tri-series against the UAE and Oman in August, as well as serving as preparation for the T20 WC in India in November. Uganda meanwhile will hope to resume their 2023 Qualifying campaign in Jersey come September, should the next round of Challenge League matches go ahead.


1st T20I - April 2nd, 14:00 - Wanderers Windhoek

2nd T20I - April 5th, 10:00 - Wanderers Windhoek

3rd T20I - April 5th, 14:00 - Wanderers Windhoek

1st 50-over International - April 7th, 09:00 - Wanderers Windhoek

2nd 50-over International - April 8th, 09:00 - Wanderers Windhoek

Namibia Squad: Gerhard Erasmus (Captain), Tangeni Lungameni, JP Kotze, Mauritius Ngupita, JJ Smit, Jan Frylinck, Karl Birkenstock, Ben Shikongo, Bernard Scholtz, Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Craig Williams, Michael van Lingen, Stephen Baard, Michau du Preez, Dewald Nell, Divan La Cock, Shaun Fouche, Ruben Trumpelmann.

Uganda Squad: Arnold Otwani (Captain), Roger Mukasa, Hamu Kayondo, Saud Islam, Ronak Patel, Dinesh Kumar Nakrani, Riazat Ali Shah, Kenneth Waiswa, Frank Akankwasa, Frank Nsubuga, Henry Ssenyondo. Jonathan Sebanja, Cosmas Kyewuta, Trevor Bukenya

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Re: Namibia to Host Uganda

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:58 am
by World Cup 2021
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Namibia sweep Uganda 3-0 in T20 International return
April 06 2021 by Bertus de Jong
File photo - Craig Williams smashed 81 in the final T20I and also ended as the highest run-scorer in the series.
File photo - Craig Williams smashed 81 in the final T20I and also ended as the highest run-scorer in the series.
Hosts Namibia completed a clean sweep in the three-match Castle Lite T20I series at Windhoek, besting Uganda in the first full international matches either side had played in over a year. With ICC qualification competitions on hold due to the pandemic, the series was of several bilateral series that Associates have scheduled among themselves as lockdowns and travel restrictions begin to relax.

Namibia skipper Gerhard Erasmus led from the front in the first T20I, coming in at first drop to strike an unbeaten 62 off 36 balls and seeing his side chase down Uganda's total of 134-5 with 31 balls to spare. Uganda had looked solid enough early after winning the toss and electing to bat, brisk opening partnership between Uganda skipper Arnold Otwani and his predecessor-but-one Roger Mukasa taking them to 37 without loss in the first five overs, but when Mukasa chopped on facing Ben Shikongo for 26 the runs dried up. Hamu Kayondo and Ronak Patel provided obdurate but unspectacular contributions, but the spin combination of left-arm tweaker Bernhard Sholtz and young legspinner Nicol Loftie-Eaton (on nominal international debut) controlled the middle overs, and it wasn't until Riazat Ali Shah entered in the 16th over that the scoring rate climbed back over a run a ball. Shah's 14-ball 23 lifted the visitors to 134-5 by the break, but despite a shaky start to the Namibian reply, it was never likely to be enough. Namibia stumbled out of the blocks with keeper-opener JP Kotze run out in the second over thanks to a plugging bat and a direct hit from Frank Akankwasa before debutant Cosmas Kyewuta had Craig Williams caught in front of point in the third. The young seamer then seemed to succumb to a bout of nerves, however, and a string of wides followed. Erasmus would profit from the pressure easing and with support from Loftie Eaton and fellow-debutant Michau du Preez, would take the game away from the visitors. The run rate barely dropped below nine an over from the moment Erasmus came to the crease, the home captain hitting five 4s and four 6s as the hosts cruised home with five overs to spare.

The visitors came back strong in the second game, holding their hosts to the same total they had themselves posted in the first game, but were unable to capitalise in the face of savvy Namibian bowling and eventually the unseasonable weather. Uganda looked up for the fight initially, fielding with a marked alacrity missing from both sides in the series opener. A more disciplined Kyewuta and fellow seamer Riazat Ali Shah would profit from the pressure. Craig Williams, shortly after driving Jonathan Sebanja stylishly through the covers to become the first Namibian to reach 2,000 runs in List A T20s, again fell to Kyewuta in near-identical fashion. Jonathan Sebanja would account for Kotze before Shah removed Erasmus and Loftie-Eaton in consecutive overs leaving the hosts reeling on 34 for 4. Shah would also bag the next wicket, JJ Smit looking to ramp a straight one that clattered into his stumps, but not before the Smit had wrested back the momentum with a 32-ball 40 to take the hosts to three figures. The lower order would add 34 more runs to take Namibia to 134-6 at the break, which would prove plenty in the end. The Cranes' top-order wilted in the face of the Namibian seam attack, spearheaded by Ben Shikongo who struck in each of his first two overs as the visitors collapsed to 16 for 6. Ronak Patel and Kenneth Waiswa staged something of a counterattack, adding 49 for the fifth wicket, but with weather closing in and Uganda well short of par Waiswa sought to force the pace only to hole out off Bernard Scholtz just before the rain came, Erasmus taking the catch at long-on just before the weather and Duckworth-Lewis settled matters.

The rain abated in time for the final game of the series, but a Craig Williams blitz would put any consolation win well beyond the reach of the Ugandans. With support from Stephen Baard and JP Kotze, Williams plundered 81 off 49 to take Namibia past the highest score of the series with five overs still remaining. Waiswa would have Williams caught at mid-off in the 15th over, but JJ Smit's arrival at the crease only compounded the visitors' problems. Smit would smash an unbeaten 35 off 13 to lift Namibia to 189-3 by the break, and if the Cranes' had held out any hope of chasing they were soon robbed of it by Tangeni Lungameni, who struck with the first ball of each of his first two overs to remove Mukasa and debutant Saud Islam, effectively breaking the chase before it had started. Riazat Shah hit a spirited 33 that included three sixes before he was run out in the 12th over, but by then the asking rate was far out of reach. By the time Jan Frylinck claimed the final wicket with the final ball of the 20th over, the game had long since gone, 65 runs the margin in the end.

The two teams will play a further two 50-over internationals before Uganda return home, while Namibia can look forward to a series against a South African Emerging XI before, if all goes as planned, heading to Nepal in May. Uganda's next competitive fixtures are slated for September when the CWC Challenge League is slated to resume in Jersey, while Namibia's next CWC League 2 fixtures are against Scotland and Nepal in July.

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