Cricket Cranes Conclude Sri Lanka Tour

Thursday, 9th May marked the end of the Cricket Cranes World Cup build- up tours that have spanned five months since the beginning of this year.

The Cricket Cranes in preparations for their maiden appearance at the World Cup began their build-up tours in India, and they end it in Sri Lanka, with not so many games won, but with hope that the spadework will come in handy during the World Cup.

During their second visit to Sri Lanka which ends on Friday, the Cricket Cranes took part in five games, but they managed to win just two- the two wins coming in form of an 8-run victory against Sri Lanka Development last Friday and a 3-wicket win over Sri Lanka Army on the final day.

The manner in which the team lost the three games was disappointing, but as the World Cup draws nearer and nearer, it is important to concentrate on the positives taken from this tour.

Albeit not big scores, Uganda’s trusted run getters have tried to be consistent in regards to their role so have the wicket takers.

Ronak Patel, Dinesh Nakrani, Riazat Ali Shah and Alpesh Ramjani have all turned up with decent runs throughout the competition. The quartet has combined for a total of 479 runs across this tour, with 47, 39, 36 and 47 being their best respectively.

Simon Ssesazi conjured up 32 in Uganda’s first victory, but he’s been stale throughout their stay in Sri Lanka. He’s other reasonable runs (11) came on the final day.

Ssesazi has been sluggish to say the least, but the real concern for Uganda in as far as batting is concerned is the seasoned campaigner, Roger Mukasa! The opening batsman opened the tour with a duck, and as the games progressed, was forced down the order. That as a ‘solution’ did little to salvage the situation as evidenced by the numbers. Mukasa managed a paltry 18 runs in total, with 15 coming in one game.

On the other side of the coin, it is comforting to know that pacer, Bilal Hassun is holding his form. The competition at the World Cup is on a different level, but it is pleasing to the fans to know that the 34-year-old approaches the World Cup with the numbers speaking for him.

Bilal picked at least a wicket in each game he played in including the four he got on match day four. The ‘tail end’ master returns with 7 wickets from that tour.

The other players that picked at least five wickets in Sri Lanka include Juma Miyaji (6), Cosmas Kyewuta (5) and Nakrani (7). Miyaji seemed to struggle on match day one; despite picking three wickets, he conceded 40- the most by any player, but after being rested for two games, he returned with 3 for only 15.

Compared to their first visit to Sri Lanka that yielded no victory, this is a big boost mentally to both the players and the technical team. They will have their heads held up high come June.

The Cricket Cranes will arrive back home on Saturday from Sri Lanka. They will take a few days off, before resuming light training.

They’re expected to leave for the West Indies on 22nd May for the global showpiece.

Uganda is placed in Group C alongside joint record winners who are also the co-hosts, West Indies, 2021 runners up, New Zealand, 2016 Super 10 finishers Afghanistan and PNG at the World Cup. They will bowl off the historic campaign on June 3 against New Zealand.



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