It gets worse for Chevrons

Following the defeat, Zimbabwe found themselves in fourth place with two points.

THE Chevrons’ woes worsened yesterday after they were thrashed by Uganda at the International Cricket Council Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier Africa in Namibia yesterday.

The Uganda national cricket team defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets to leave the ICC full members on the brink of failing to qualify for the global showcase.

Not even a hair dryer the Chevrons received from head coach, Dave Houghton, after the seven-wicket defeat against Namibia in their tournament opener last Wednesday could help change matters for the better.

Houghton will have a lot to do with his boys in order to make up for the disappointment.

Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and appear to be the only teams currently in the same league as the fading Chevrons with Namibia and Uganda now in a league above them if these respective defeats are anything to go by.

Following the defeat, Zimbabwe found themselves in fourth place with two points.

Namibia are on the summit of the table with six points, tied with Kenya but have a superior net run rate while Uganda with four points are third.

Uganda coach, Jackson Ogwang, had warned that his team would take the fight to their more illustrious opponents and they did just that yesterday.

“I think this brings out the best out of Africa cricket it is going to be a challenging one of course but with the kind of cricket my boys are playing now we give ourselves a chance,” said Ogwang.

“It is T20 cricket, it’s a short format of the game, if you do your processes well on any day definitely you can come out with the win. I expect my boys to go out there and not only respect the teams but go out fight with them, we respect every other team, Zim is a Test-playing nation, but we will fancy our chances if we get up on any match day and do our processes right.”

Brian Masaba, the Ugandan captain, shared his dream of seeing the Chevrons and the Cranes at the next T20 World Cup.

“It’s the nature of competitive sport these days, you wake up against your brothers in one way or the other, but it would be brilliant to see Uganda and Zimbabwe making it to that World Cup,” Masaba said.

“We will come and play hard on the pitch but at the end of the day we remain brothers and we will definitely share a drink after the game. We will be happy for each other’s success at the tournament, so I hope to see some good cricket, competitive and we continue to push that brand of African cricket,” he said.

On the other hand, Houghton believed he had witnessed the worst of Chevrons after the defeat against Namibia, but it was only the beginning.

“It’s a terrible start to this tournament, but we do know we’ve got to win the next five games and still qualify,” Houghton said after the humbling by Namibia.

“That’s important for us, but not my best day and certainly not my happiest day. In fact, I feel like we should be all out here apologising to our fans. We can’t sort of rest on our laurels and think we are a bigger side than the rest. We’ve got to turn up and play proper cricket.”

Yesterday, the Chevrons were put into bat after captain, Sikandar Raza, lost the toss. Raza was the outstanding batsman with 48 runs from 39 balls while Innocent Kaia and Sean Williams weighed in with 23 and 21 runs respectively. Zimbabwe totalled 136/7 falling to player-of-the-match, Dinesh Nakrani’s bowling who took three wickets for 14 runs from four overs while Henry Senyondo claimed two with Riazat Ali Shah taking a single scalp.

Uganda then raced to 138/5 in 19.1 overs thanks to Shah’s 42, Alpesh Ramjani’s 40, Roger Mukasa 23 and Nakrani’s unbeaten 14. Richard Ngarava picked two wickets for the Chevrons; Williams took one while Muzarabani was disciplined going for 13 runs from his four overs.

The ball is now completely out of Zimbabwe’s hands. The best they can only do is to win their remaining counters and hope either Uganda or Kenya will slip up at some point.

Zimbabwe play against Rwanda this morning, take on Nigeria on Wednesday and find off their campaign against Kenya on Thursday.

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