28 February 2013

Uganda: Musoke Retires From T20 Cricket

BENJAMIN Musoke has finally added the word 'retired' to his lengthy and wealthy resume.

Considering how well his younger compatriots have done in the on-going Pepsi ICC Africa Division 1 T20 Championship, Musoke's exit has been well-timed. And the fact that the 36 year-old is retiring only from the T20 setup eases the blow because the reigning national league batsman of the year, is still very useful in the longer formats of cricket.

Musoke has been a bit part player for Uganda in this tournament but for the Botswana match (which Uganda by won by 32 runs to stretch their perfect record to six games) he was centre stage.

The match announcer at Kyambogo revealed during the pregame player introductions that Musoke would retire from international T20 cricket after the game and he was Uganda's ceremonial captain for the first 10 overs of the second innings. He run onto the pitch ahead of his team-mates amidst much applause.

Musoke had been the last batsman into Uganda's attack and scored an unbeaten eight runs to push the total score to 156/7. Arthur Kyobe smashed a game-best 59 off 43 while brothers Roger Mukasa and Lawrence Sematimba added 34 and 27 runs respectively.

As widely expected, Uganda comfortably defended their score to ensure Musoke was given a victorious send-off. Davis Karashani, Frank Nsubuga and Henry Ssenyondo all claimed two wickets apiece. Musoke's post-match comments were unemotional, typical of the player who has anchored Uganda's innings for over a decade.

"It is great that I have managed to play this long," stated the man who made his debut for Uganda in 1994.

"It is great that we have good youngsters coming through. They are good and all they have to do is work out their combinations."

Asked whether Uganda's upcoming players have the ability to fill the shoes of his golden generation that included other players like Junior Kwebiha and Kenneth Kamyuka, he responded: "We already have very good players but they will mature with time."

Uganda's win over Botswana followed a 40-run triumph over Tanzania in the morning match at Lugogo. Deus Muhumuza, Sematimba and Nsubuga scored 36, 31 and 24 runs respectively as Uganda raced to 125/6 in 20 overs. Muhumuza and Ssenyondo then took two wickets apiece to restrict Tanzania to 85/8 in 20 overs.

Pepsi ICC Africa Division 1 T20 Championship

Uganda 125/6 Tanzania 85/8

(Uganda win by 40 runs)

Uganda 156/7 Botswana 124

(Uganda win by 32 runs)

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