By Charles Mutebi
Uganda 257/2 Whakatane X1 170
(Uganda win by 87 runs)
ABRAHAM Mutyagaba’s cricket CV suggests he is the one batsman capable of elevating Uganda’s attack into something resembling a force at the looming ICC World Cup Qualifier.
Fresh proof of this came in Uganda’s first warm-up match in New Zealand, where Mutyagaba hammered his first ton in national colours.
The 27 year-old retired after scoring a century off 154 balls as Uganda cruised to an 87-run win over a Whakatane XI.
Mutyagaba, opener for Kwazulu-Natal Inland in South Africa’s provincial cricket, has a resume with 55 first class matches and 53 List A matches, by far the most of any player on the national team.
He is the man most capable of firing Uganda to the all-important eighth place finish at the Qualifier. Mutyagaba was reduced into a no factor at November’s ICC T20 World Qualifier after picking up an injury in the second game of the UAE tournament.
But this is the one event where Uganda needs him to perform and it will be hoped whatever forced him to retire is not so serious. Hamza Saleh is the other batsman with the natural ability to find the runs that could catapult Uganda to success.
Saleh blitzed 88 off 125, proof (among other things) that his fitness is much improved now. Philemon Mukobe and Benjamin Musoke both scored 13 runs as Uganda raced to 257/2 in 50 overs.
Frank Nsubuga took 3/34 in 10 overs, Deus Muhumuza took 3/42 in 10 overs, Farouk Ochimi 2/27 and two maidens in 8.4 overs and skipper Davis Karashani 2/27 in 10 overs. Whakatane were led by Stephen Ford and Tai Bridgman with 56 and 24 runs respectively.
Their bowlers gave away 42 extras.