Uganda pip Zimbabwe to secure historic World T20 2024 qualification

Uganda pip Zimbabwe to secure historic World T20 2024 qualification

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The successful Uganda cricket team after making history

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Uganda Cricket Association

Uganda ensured their first-ever participation at a marquee tournament with a top-two finish in the African regional qualifiers for the upcoming World T20 in June 2024. Placed 23rd in the ICC rankings, Uganda finished above the 11th-ranked Zimbabwe to eliminate their rivals from the running.

Uganda capped off the participation list for the next edition of the World T20 slated to be held in the Caribbean and the USA by becoming the 20th and final team to qualify for the event. They secured the berth on Thursday with a sensational nine-wicket win against Rwanda in Windhoek, after bowling them out for 65, that guaranteed them a top-two finish at the end of the round-robin phase of the African qualifiers. The side aggregated 10 points from their six fixtures, only losing a solitary game to Namibia who have already qualified for the marquee event with a game to spare.

The pivotal moment of Uganda's campaign came against Zimbabwe on November 26 when the underdogs chased down a target of 137 with five wickets and as many balls to spare, followed by a clinical 33-run triumph against Kenya three days. Both these sides had already endured defeats to Namibia earlier in the tournament and were thus resigned to the third and fourth spots on the table, even though the Rhinos are ranked 12 places higher than Uganda in the ICC rankings. Notably, this was Zimbabwe's second heartbreak in the calendar year after the side also narrowly missed out on World Cup 2023 qualification by finishing third in the home qualifiers.  

Uganda have never featured in a premier ICC tournament before as a standalone nation even though they formed a part of the erstwhile East Africa team that took part in the inaugural 1975 World Cup. The side are also likely to play only their second-ever Test-playing nation at the tournament, which would feature 20 teams split into four groups of five each. Additionally, Uganda became the ninth team without Test status to qualify for the event, alongside the USA, the Netherlands, Scotland, Canada, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Oman, and Namibia.

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