Uganda recorded its second decisive victory, defeating Nepal by six wickets in the 27th over at Somerset CC. Set a target of 117 for victory, Uganda’s Arthur Kyobe (18) scored some quick runs, before Roger Mukasa and Benjamin Musoke (22) put on the game’s biggest partnership of 58. Mukasa struck a four to reach the target of 117 and to finish just shy of his half century (49 not out). Basant Regmi was the pick of the Nepal bowlers, taking two for 33 in nine overs.
Earlier, Nepal elected to bat and Pradeep Airee scored 24 at almost a run a ball. However, the spin combination of Frank Nsubuga and captain Davis Arinaitwe tightened the screws, and Shakti Gauchan was the only other batsman to make a significant contribution, scoring 21 from 83 balls. Gauchan was the last wicket to fall, and his departure left Nepal with a total of 116 to defend. Nsubuga and Arinaitwe took three wickets apiece, with Arinaitwe’s three for 12 judged the man of the match performance.
Uganda captain and man of the match, Arinaitwe was thrilled with his team’s performance in what he saw as a crucial encounter: “Today’s game was very important for us, it was very important to pick up a win against a big team like Nepal. We know the quality they have, and so it was very important to do well today.”
“It was a big game for us, we wanted to put them on the back foot as quickly as possible. We executed our game plan as we wanted and we did put them on the back foot, so I am very happy,” he continued.
Uganda has solidified its position on the points table and leads the tournament with four points, something the skipper says will not affect his side’s preparation for the remaining matches. “All teams would be happy to pick up two games at the beginning of tournament. We will keep our feet on the ground though, it is just the beginning of the tournament, and we still have a few matches to go.”
Nepal captain Paras Khadka was disappointed with his side’s batting. “We just didn’t bat well. You can’t get away with 116, it was below par for a team of our potential. We haven’t played to our potential, which is sad for a tournament of this scale.”
Looking forward to the rest of the tournament, the skipper remained positive: “Mathematically, we still have a chance. There are three games left and we just need to win those three games, remain positive and forget these matches. The first two games are in the past and we need to look ahead. We’ve worked so hard so it is disappointing that we have not performed better, so we need to focus and win the final three.”
Commenting on the fans that have supported his team from the day it arrived in Bermuda, Khadka said: “We always get that support everywhere we go. It’s nice to get that support and we want to get three wins for our fans and our country from our three remaining matches.”