Uganda captain Frank Nsubuga: “We are so happy with the win today, and to qualify to WCL Div.2”
Nepal and Uganda have won promotion to Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div.2) after progressing to Thursday’s final of the Div.3 tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
On the last day of group matches on Wednesday, Nepal defeated Malaysia by 36 runs by Duckworth-Lewis Method (D-L Method), and Uganda beat Bermuda by seven wickets to finish first and second, respectively, in the tournament table.
In the third match of the day, Singapore defeated USA by 32 runs in a reduced-over match.
At Bayeumas, Uganda took on Bermuda in a must-win match and achieved the result in style when it won by seven wickets.
Openers Roger Mukasa (86) and Arthur Kyobe (18) put on a 75-run partnership in less than 13 overs to help the African side chased down the target of 141 for the loss of three wickets in 24.5 overs. Man of the match Mukasa’s 68-ball knock included nine fours and two sixes.
Dion Stovell was Bermuda’s main wicket-taker, claiming two wickets for 30 runs in 6.5 overs.
Earlier, Bermuda’s tail-end rallied to help the side post a total of 140 in 39.5 overs.
After electing to bat first, Bermuda lost three wickets for 18 runs in 11.1 overs. A 27-run fourth-wicket partnership between Onias Bascome (18) and Dion Stovell (16) steadied the ship, but it was the 42-run stand for the seventh wicket between Malachi Jones (18) and Kamau Leverock (27) that helped the side to reach 140 in 39.5 overs.
For Uganda, three players claimed three wickets each, with skipper Frank Nsubuga conceding 26 runs, Henry Ssenyondo giving away 40 runs, and Davis Arinaitwe, the only player to claim five wickets in one innings to date in the tournament, conceding 42.
A delighted Uganda captain Nsubuga said: “We are so happy with the win today, and to qualify to WCL Div.2. We’re looking forward to it, but we will need to go back and work hard. We need to play a lot of cricket before we go to Namibia.
“Today was much better than our last match, our batters performed really well. I think we will have a good final tomorrow. Whichever team will play the better cricket tomorrow will win the tournament.”
Elsewhere, a valiant knock of 69 from opener Anwar Arudin was not enough to help Malaysia overcome Nepal, with the visitor sealing a 36-run victory by D-L Method at Selangor Turf Club.
After sending Malaysia in to bat, Nepal skipper Paras Khadka claimed four wickets to help dismiss the home side for 142 in 43.3 overs.
In response, Nepal’s Naresh Budhaayer (42 not out) and Gyanendra Malla (35) put on 69 runs for the second wicket. When rain interrupted play after the 25th over, Nepal was 89 for two, and when the match officials finally called the match off, Nepal was ahead by 35 runs on D-L Method.
Earlier, Anwar struck 11 fours and one six in his knock of 69, but wickets fell around him. Khizar Hayat and Derek Duraisingam each added 23 runs to help Malaysia reach 142 in 43.3 overs.
Nepal skipper and man of the match Paras Khadka starred with the ball, claiming four wickets for 20 runs, while Bhuban Karki took three for 34 and Shakti Gauchan snapped up two for nine runs.
Nepal coach Pubudu Dassanayake was delighted with his side’s performance. “I am very happy, because both yesterday and today, the top order batted very well. The team has been playing so much Twenty20 cricket, they’ve been in Twenty20 mode, so I am really happy with today’s result.”
The coach, who has played 11 Test matches for Sri Lanka, said Nepal is not happy just to qualify for WCL Div.2. “We want to dominate this tournament. I am happy that we finished on top, but tomorrow’s game is so important. We want to win Thursday’s final and take that confidence through to WCL Div.2 in Namibia.”
In the third match of the day, Singapore defeated USA by 32 runs by D-L Method after USA fell 33 runs short of its revised target of 200 in a reduced-overs match.
Singapore posted a total of 225 for seven with Anish Paraam (72), Chaminda Ruwan (48) and Arjun Mutreja (44) the main contributors with the bat. Rain interrupted play with USA well-poised at 101 for the loss of two wickets in 23.2 overs, and when play resumed, USA had been set a revised target of 200 in 42 overs.
When Steve Taylor (56) was dismissed in the 27th over, USA began to lose wickets regularly and was eventually dismissed for 167 in 39.4 overs. The result sees Singapore jump to third on the points table, while USA finishes fifth and will be relegated to WCL Div.4.
Singapore skipper Saad Junjua was thrilled with the result: “I am very happy with the team’s performance today, it was good. I was expecting two or three players to perform well, and today was the right day, and they delivered.”
Points table as at Monday, 29 October:
Singapore 225 for seven, 50 overs (Anish Paraam 72, Chaminda Ruwan 48, Arjun Mutreja 44, Saad Janjua 22; Elmore Hutchinson 2-26, Danial Ahmed 2-31)
USA 167 all out, 39.4 overs/42 overs (D-L Method chasing a revised target of 200) (Steve Taylor 56, Fahad Babar 44; Vijay Kumar 4-43, Abhiraj Singh 2-28, Amjad Mahboob 2-37)
Singapore won by 32 runs (D-L method)
Player of the Match: Anish Paraam (Singapore)
Bermuda 140 all out, 39.5 overs (Kamau Leverock 27; Frank Nsubuga 3-26, Henry Ssenyondo 3-40, Davis Arinaitwe 3-42)
Uganda 142 for three, 24.5 overs (Roger Mukasa 86; Dion Stovell 2-30)
Uganda won by seven wickets
Player of the Match: Roger Mukasa (Uganda)
At Selangor Turf Club
Malaysia 142 all out, 43.3 overs (Anwar Arudin 69, Khizar Hayat 23, Derek Duraisingam 23; Paras Khadka 4-20, Bhuban Karki 3-34, Shakti Gauchan 2-9)
Nepal 89 for two, 25 overs (D-L Method chasing a revised target of 143) (Naresh Budhaayer 42 not out, Gyanendra Malla 35)
Nepal won by 36 runs (D-L Method)
Player of the Match: Paras Khadka
The fixtures for Thursday are:
At Kinrara: Final – Nepal v Uganda*
At Bayeumas: 3rd place play-off – Singapore v Malaysia*
At Selangor Turf Club: 5th place play-off – USA v Bermuda**
*Please note that the final and the third-place play-off will commence at 0930 (local time)
** The fifth-place play off will commence at 1015