Hosein's fifer fashions West Indies' 134-run win over Uganda

The win has boosted West Indies' Net Run Rate to a healthy 3.574, which will help them in their bid to finish in the top two in Group C.
West Indies' Akeal Hosein, left, celebrates with teammates after their 134-run victory over Uganda during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match on Saturday, June 8, 2024.
West Indies' Akeal Hosein, left, celebrates with teammates after their 134-run victory over Uganda during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match on Saturday, June 8, 2024.(Photo | PTI)

PROVIDENCE: Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein worked his inimitable sorcery with a fifer as hosts West Indies hammered Uganda by 134 runs in the T20 World Cup here.

Hosein knocked the wind out of the Uganda batting unit with career-best figures of 5/11, helping West Indies bowl out Uganda for 39 in 12 overs, the joint-lowest team total in the men's T20 World Cup.

This was after Johnson Charles (44) emerged the top scorer while Andre Russell (30 not out) provided the hosts with the final push to help West Indies post a challenging 173/5.

The win has boosted West Indies' Net Run Rate to a healthy 3.574, which will help them in their bid to finish in the top two in Group C.

"It gets tougher from here but we understand conditions and cricket is not easy in the Caribbean," West Indies skipper Rovman Powel said after the match.

"We talk about improving 10-15 percent every match. Last game, we were flat so we just wanted to improve as a team. When you are playing at home, the pressure can sometimes get to you. So, a little bit of rust (in the first match). We started off at 60, now up to 70-80 percent," he added.

The gulf between the two sides was evident when the West Indies bowlers were operating.

"Tough day for us. It is a very steep learning curve. Just shows the difference in class. We were outplayed but we must take the learnings from it: as a batting unit, what we can do better to keep us in the game," Uganda captain Masaba said.

"There were some positives in that bowling performance. To keep them under 200 stood out. The way we bowled at the death, that was very impressive. Hopefully we can build on that."

As was the case in their previous two games, Uganda's top order fell like ninepins with half the side back in the dugout inside the Powerplay.

Opening the bowling, Hosein picked three wickets in as many overs. He struck off the second ball of the innings with Roger Mukasa becoming his first victim. He came back to trap Alpesh Amjani leg-before wicket in the third over. Riazar Ali Shah became his third victim an over later.

"I needed this. In the nets and in the previous series, I felt the ball was coming out good but I was just not getting the rewards," player of the match Hosein said.

The Ugandan batters just couldn't read Hosein as the spinner picked two more wickets in his last over to register his maiden five-wicket haul and also the best figures by a West Indian bowler at the T20 World Cup.

"It is a lot of hard work. When you get success, guys are going to study you and have a plan. You always have to stay a step ahead. For me, it is just about trying to react to what the surface is doing and planning it out," Hosein said.

Earlier, Brandon King (13) and Charles, who was dropped on 23 in the fourth over, scored at a quick pace to give West Indies a solid start after skipper Rovman Powell decided to bat first.

But left-arm spinner Alpesh Ramjani cleaned up King to provide Uganda their first breakthrough.

New batter Nicholas Pooran (22) took a couple of deliveries to settle in before going down on one knee, launching the ball hight over deep mid-wicket for a maximum.

Charles and Pooran continued to hit the maximums every over before Uganda skipper Brian Masaba (2/31) cut short the latter's stay by completing a caught and bowled.

Masaba and off-spinner Frank Nsubuga (0/29) bowled with control and discipline as Uganda kept striking at regular intervals, deflating West Indies' momentum. The Ugandans bowled 53 dot balls.

Charles, who was struggling to get the big shots, was next to go as he sent the ball straight to Ramjani at long on.

Shane Rutherford (22) smacked a six and a boundary in the next two overs before Masaba got his counterpart in the 16th over after Powell failed to get the desired elevation.

The big-hitting Russell then sent the ball to the fence six times to help West Indies add 49 runs in the last five overs.

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