Windies a force to reckon with

West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein bowls against Uganda during an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match at Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana on Saturday. - AP photo
West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein bowls against Uganda during an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match at Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana on Saturday. – AP photo

A career-best spell from Akeal Hosein powered West Indies to a commanding 134-run win against Uganda in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup on Saturday night in Guyana.

The 31-year-old left-arm spinner ended with 5/11 from his allotted four overs, and Uganda were bowled out for 39 – the joint lowest total in a T20 World Cup – replying to the Caribbean side’s total of 173/5 in their Group C match under the lights at the Guyana National Stadium.

Hosein’s mastery of drift and swing undermined the Ugandan batting, and strike bowler Alzarri Joseph supported with 2/6 from three overs, and not one of the batsmen from the African side reached 20, with Juma Miyago, batting at nine, finishing with the top score of 13.

Joseph formalised the result when he bowled last man Frank Nsubuga, the oldest player in the tournament, with 48 balls remaining to give the co-hosts their second win in as many matches in the tournament.

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran plays a shot against Uganda. – AP photo

“I am quite happy with the performance,” Hosein, later named player-of-the-match, told reporters during a post-play news conference. “As we have seen already in this tournament, no one is to be taken lightly, and they have all been performing well.

“It’s not the strongest outfit (Uganda), but I judged my spell mainly on the lengths that I bowled, and I know that if I execute those lengths, it will be tough for most batsmen to play. It’s very pleasing to have the home support behind us. It’s a home World Cup for us, and we are very thankful for the support that is driving us in this tournament.”

Hosein said the home side were confident and were under no pressure heading into the game.

“I think going into the third game, we definitely are a force to reckon with,” he said.

The result meant that West Indies fortify their hold on second in the group table on four points – the same for leaders Afghanistan – with an inferior net run rate after they won their tournament opener against Papua New Guinea by five wickets last Sunday at the same venue.

The Caribbean side travel to Trinidad for their third match against New Zealand, starting at 8.30 pm on Wednesday at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, where Uganda face the same opponent two days later.

Hosein struck with his second ball – and the second of the chase – when he trapped opener Roger Mukasa leg before for a duck.

He added the scalp of Alpesh Ramjani leg before for five and bowled Riazat Ali Shah for three in a top order collapse that sent Uganda reeling to 22/5 at the close of the power play.

The tournament co-hosts continued to bag wickets at regular intervals, and Uganda crumbled to 31/8 at the halfway point of the chase with little hope of a fight back after Hosein struck twice in the seventh over, as he bowled Dinesh Nikrani for a duck and trapped Kenneth Waiswa leg before for one.

Earlier, opener Johnson Charles hit the top score of 44 off 42 balls and led consistent scoring down the top half of the batting to set the foundation for West Indies.

The Caribbean side did not hit a six after the 16th over, but Andre Russell provided the acceleration towards the end of the innings with 30 not out, while fellow Jamaican and captain Rovman Powell made 23, and left-handers Nicholas Pooran and Sherfane Rutherford added 22 apiece.

West Indies closed the power play on 54/1 after Ramjani, bowling his tidy left-arm spin, bowled Brandon King for 13 in the fifth over, essaying a cut to a delivery that kept a bit low.

The regional side advanced to 85/2 at the halfway stage of their innings after losing Pooran caught and bowled by off-spinner and Uganda captain Brian Masaba in the tenth over.

They were 124/3 with five overs remaining after Charles was caught at long-on off left-arm pacer Nakrani in the 13th over, and Powell, Rutherford, and Russell combined to provide the late momentum to the second highest total in the group so far. CMC

Summarised Scores:

West Indies — 173/5 (Johnson Charles 44, Andre Russell 30 not out, Rovman Powell 23; Brian Masaba 2/31) vs Uganda — 39 from 12 overs (Juma Miyagi 13 not out; Akeal Hosein 5/11, Alzarri Joseph 2/6). West Indies won by 134 runs.

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