Pearls pass the stern test against the UAE with flying colours as Tanzania cruise on

Victoria Pearls players celebrate a wicket picked against UAE at Lugogo during the 2023 Victoria Series

VICTORIA SERIES Pearls pass the stern test against the UAE with flying colours as Tanzania cruise on

Davis Karashani 07:39 - 21.04.2023

If there ever was any doubt about the progress made by the Victoria Pearls, the passing of today’s stern test against the UAE should silence a couple of doubters out there.

Following up on the demolition of Rwanda on the back of a fierce opening spell by the Irene Alumo & Evelyn Anyipo opening duo, they continued from where they had left off to impart similar damage of run restriction against the much fancied UAE.

Captain Aweko Consy was at her usual self as she picked up two big scalps for her team in Esha Rohit Oza (23) and Khushi Mohan Sharma, who was coming off a tremendous late blitz against Tanzania just over 24 hours earlier to restrict the UAE to 98/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

Ninety-nine runs was a target the Victoria Pearls would have fancied to chase down based on their heavy batting team, which is in transition not in terms of personnel but rather a change of cricket brand adapting an attacking mindset that the fans are continuing to enjoy and cheer loudly for.

Kevin Awino, who went on to pick up the Player of the Match award, wouldn’t have been happier in seeing Ehsa Rohit Oza open the bowling with her off-breaks as it did play right into her strength to employ her much-fancied sweep shot against the short 50-meter boundary.

Uganda managed to knock off the target in 17 overs and pick up their first victory against the UAE as they will hope that win puts them one foot into Sunday’s final following the handy contributions from Kevin Awino, Alako Proscovia, Immaculate Nakisuyi and Stephanie Nampiina all scoring at the excellent strike rate.

The morning game was yet another experience Kenya will want to quickly forget as they went on to play their seventh game in the Victoria Series but are yet to pick up a victory.

Tanzania broke their tournament record in about 24 hours as they managed to get 147 runs in 17 overs, mainly due to yet another exhibition of controlled aggression of Fatuma Kibasu and Saum belting the white leather to all parts of the Lugogo Oval.

Kenya has some much-needed soul searching to urgently address as they were only able to score 45 runs all out but have gotten some notable finds such as Flavia Odhiambo, that was the peak of the bowlers with 4/25, Marion Juma, Mercy Anono and Lavender.

Uganda versus Tanzania

In what looks like the dress rehearsal before Sunday’s final, I imagine that both teams that have kept the same 11 this entire tournament will likely give a run to a few players without tinkering much with their core.

Tanzania possesses a very top-heavy batting lineup relying on big scores on which the rest of the batters can build, which compensates for their lack of sting bowling attack, which tactic T20 cricket is fast evolving out of.

Tanzania roars loudest

18:56 - 19.04.2023

VICTORIA SERIES Tanzania roars loudest

In a battle of the top-ranked teams in the second edition of the Victoria Series, the UAE could not have asked for a better time to have a full-strength side in Lugogo following the arrival of their Fairbreak trio that included the ICC Associate Female cricketer of 2022 Esha Rohit Oza.

Victoria Pearls, on the other hand, opted for what is being called the ‘knives out’ that focuses on collective player contributions based on strike rates which are the modern way to go today, as evidenced with England and Australia.

As the game evolves, the best teams are being forced to stay alive to the realities of the day to achieve success.

The biggest match-up will be the battle between the Victoria Pearls opening bowlers coming up against the steaming blades of the Tanzanian opening batters that have lit this tournament up already – that should make for good viewing.

Rwanda versus UAE

The two teams are on different ends of the pendulum, with Rwanda having picked up a victory in their last outing and had a rest day, while the UAE has fallen to two heavy defeats in a row.

One would quickly think that the UAE are right there for the taking by Rwanda if the quality of Henriette Ishimwe with the ball in hand can strike early.

This afternoon's game should be decided by how both teams get out of their power plays as both are very top-heavy teams but with Rwanda having notched up a 64 percent resource utilisation rate in their last game. It should make them feel confident going into this class.

UAE will hope that Esha Rohit Oza and Chaya Mughal can find their batting range and bowling mojos tomorrow and show the total value of their class to get UAE back to winning ways.

Watch out for the battle of the leg spinners in Mahesh (UAE) and Vumuliya (Rwanda), as both have been exceptional for their teams and asked tough questions of opposition batters.