How Uganda Achieved Their First Victory in the T20 World Cup 2024
How Uganda Achieved Their First Victory in the T20 World Cup 2024

In a remarkable debut at the T20 World Cup, Uganda secured their first win by defeating Papua New Guinea (PNG) by three wickets at Providence Stadium in Guyana. This victory was especially sweet for the Ugandan team, who celebrated with jubilant dances and bowed to their fans who had traveled from Africa to the Caribbean to support them.

Uganda's bowlers performed brilliantly, dismissing PNG for a mere 77 runs. Despite a shaky start, where Uganda found themselves struggling at 26-5, they managed to chase down the target in 18.2 overs. This was their second match in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, having lost their opener to Afghanistan by 125 runs.

Captain Brian Masaba expressed his pride after the match, stating, "First win at the World Cup – doesn’t get more special than this. I’m super proud of this group, the work they put in. To get a win for their country at a World Cup, it’s pretty special."

Uganda's journey to the World Cup was arduous, having qualified through the African qualifiers, surpassing Zimbabwe, a long-time full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Masaba highlighted the dedication and hard work of the team over the past few years.

Riazat Ali Shah played a pivotal role in Uganda’s victory, top-scoring with 33 runs. His crucial sixth-wicket partnership of 35 runs with Juma Miyagi (13) helped stabilize the innings after the early wickets. Riazat’s 56-ball innings ended just three runs shy of the target, but his contribution was vital in the team's success.

Masaba acknowledged the tough fight, saying, "When you’re three down early, chasing a low score … it was a real scrap out there. Every run they scored was very important for us." He also praised the fans, adding, "We have a special group of fans who travel around the world to support us. I don’t think they came here expecting a win at the World Cup but this is the least we can do for them. I hope they feel as special as we do."

The support from fans, both in the stadium and those watching in the early hours back in Uganda, provided a significant boost to the team’s morale and performance.

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