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Cricket: PNG victory will relegate Uganda

BY INNOCENT NDAWULA & CHARLES MUTEBI

UGANDANS MAY FEEL embarrassed that their cricketers have failed to string together a couple of wins but new national team skipper Davis Arinaitwe is full of faith that his boys can pull through against PNG today.

Uganda go into today’s contest bottom of the table, two points behind third-placed PNG.

They will jog onto the Global Cricket Academy Oval in Dubai with just one victory and on the brink of being demoted to Division 3. Uganda have been raided by injuries with six players not fully fit for the must-win clash against Papua New Guinea.

“This is the biggest match of our lives,” Arinaitwe said. “We have to win at all costs.

“Our batting has got to come through more than ever. Once we get enough runs on board, all will be good. We are not scared. We are ready to fight and take care of our fate.”

PNG will rely heavily on the tactical nous of their Australian backroom staff as well as captain Rarua Dikana, Hitolo Areni, Chris Amini and hard-hitting opening batsman Tony Ura.

However, victory will not translate into automatic safety for Uganda, because if Hong Kong and Bermuda win their matches, a Uganda win will be of no consequence. Whatever the case, Uganda cannot afford to approach today’s match with divided attention.

PNG, whose promotion to Division 2 is now assured, will also want to win to give them a confidence boost on the eve of their play-off for third place in the six nation ICC Division 2 tournament.

Today’s fixtures: PNG v Uganda; Hong Kong v Namibia; UAE v Bermuda

Sources: Daily Monitor and New Vision

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