Uganda ready for some 'fire' in first ever meeting with West Indies - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Uganda ready for some 'fire' in first ever meeting with West Indies

 Uganda won their first ever T20 World Cup match the other day

Uganda won their first ever T20 World Cup match the other day © Getty

"It's going to be fire." So said Simon Ssesazi in the pre-match presser for what will doubtless be the most eagerly anticipated match in his nations' long cricketing history. With their maiden T20 World Cup win under their belts, Uganda's Cricket Cranes will be in a buoyant mood as they take the field in the one match the side has been most looking forward too; facing their hosts, and in some cases idols, when they take on the West Indies at Providence on Saturday evening local time.

A first meeting between the two sides, the West Indies, tipped as dark horses for the title in this home tournament, will be strong favourites. The same was true ahead of their first match however, and they didn't really look it as they scratched out a win over unfancied Papua New Guinea at the same ground. Uganda took a pasting in their own opener against Afghanistan of course, but then so did New Zealand earlier today.

While the track at Providence has not attracted the same opprobrium as the drop-in in New York, it has looked to be something of a potential leveller. Uganda will believe that if they hit their lines with the ball and take their chances in the field (no easy task for a side not used to playing under lights), they can put their hosts under the same sort of pressure as PNG's Barramundis did.

The West Indies won't be letting them into the game if they can help it though. Having got the measure of the surface against PNG, expect restraint to temper their usual aggression with the bat. Unconvincing as they may have looked in their opener, they have now won five matches on the trot at home and will not be treating anyone lightly.

Flattered though the West Indies may be, they are unlikely to extend any hospitality on the field. For Uganda's part, the West Indies are for many "the second team", but tonight they'll be looking to make them just that.

When:West Indies vs Uganda, Jun 08 8:30pm local, Jun 09 12.30am GMT, Jun 09 6am IST

Where:Providence Stadium, Guyana

What to expect: The surface at Providence has been slow, lowish, and quick to punish reckless aggression thus far this tournament, though truer than some other decks we could name. The new ball has moved for the seamers too, with Afghanistan's Farooqi making hay so far. All told a nice place to be a bowler, though bats will be rewarded for application and alert exploitation of anything loose.

Head to Head in T20Is: 0-0

Team Watch:West Indies

After a slightly dubious showing against PNG, the West Indies might consider bringing in Shai Hope as a stabiliser in the middle order on a surface where accumulation may prove key. That said, it's hard to imagine a bowler making way, while Roston Chase showed himself capable of handling the back-stop and finisher roles. Farooqi's success against Uganda might be the basis of a case to bring in left-armer Obed McCoy however, if only to allow the seamer to rotate.

Tactics & Matchups: Nicholas Pooran has a good record at the venue, having hit three fifties and scoring his runs at over 153. His power could be key for the hosts on a slow, low surface.

Probable XI:Brandon King, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran(w), Roston Chase, Rovman Powell(c), Sherfane Rutherford, Andre Russell, Obed McCoy, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie

Team Watch:Uganda

The Cranes may well stick with a winning line-up for similar conditions, though there may be a temptation to bring in another bat for the out-of-form Dinesh Nakrani, or Fred Achelam as specialist keeper if he's thought more comfortable standing up to seam.

Tactics & Matchups: Rovman Powell's numbers against spin take a hit. He averages 22 and strikes at 116 against them, something that Uganda will look to exploit on a slow pitch.

Probable XI: Roger Mukasa, Simon Ssesazi(w), Robinson Obuya, Riazat Ali Shah, Alpesh Ramjani, Dinesh Nakrani, Juma Miyagi, Kenneth Waiswa, Brian Masaba(c), Cosmas Kyewuta, Frank Nsubuga

Did you know?

In part a reflection of just how much cricket Uganda have played of late, opening pair Roger Mukasa and Simon Ssesazi are both closing in on 1,000 runs in a 12-month span, on 927 and 903 respectively since this time last year. They were both in the top 5 run-scorers for the calendar year 2023, with 738 and 725 respectively.

The West Indies are a favourite side of cricketers around the World, and Uganda is no exception. Veteran off-spinner Frank Nsubuga named his son Pollard after Keron Pollard. Another West Indies cricketer has a namesake at this very tournament; Netherlands seamer Vivian Kingma was named after Vivian Richards.

What they said:

"It's going to be historic, playing a team you've always been seeing on TV. Some of us - our role models are West Indies. West Indies is our second team apart from Uganda. Every time you see a West Indies player, you're like, yeah, it's like you're there. Me, myself, I only support West Indies in any format of the game. And playing them for the first time in my life, it's actually going to be a blessing for me. And I believe we may not win as I say, but just wait for the underdogs. It's going to be fire. Friday, Saturday night is going to be fire." - Simon Ssesazi

"It's a World Cup. Every team has come here to win. So, you can't take any team lightly because even in the first game that we played, we were on the back foot a bit. So, it's clear to see that any team can win on the day. So, you have to take every game very serious and go out there and play your best game every game." - Roston Chase

West Indies Squad:Brandon King, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran(w), Roston Chase, Rovman Powell(c), Sherfane Rutherford, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Shai Hope, Obed McCoy, Shamar Joseph, Shimron Hetmyer

Uganda Squad: Roger Mukasa, Simon Ssesazi(w), Robinson Obuya, Riazat Ali Shah, Alpesh Ramjani, Dinesh Nakrani, Juma Miyagi, Kenneth Waiswa, Brian Masaba(c), Cosmas Kyewuta, Frank Nsubuga, Ronak Patel, Bilal Hassan, Fred Achelam, Henry Ssenyondo

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