Doha- Former Under 19 skipper Frank Akankwasa continued to make the most of his senior debut tour here in Doha.
Akankwasa, a graduate from the immensely talented Baby Cricket Cranes side that flattered to deceive during last year International Cricket Council (ICC) Under 19 Africa World Cup Qualifiers in Windhoek, Namibia, is easily the standout player amongst his peers thus far.
He scored a lustful 19-ball 26 in his first match – a close shave that Uganda lost by 2 wickets after setting 265 against the Qatar on the tour’s 50-over opening match at the Asian Town International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
And on Wednesday night, Akankwasa added another stripe to his reputation and forthwith sent a message to the selectors that despite being just a 17-year-old, he is a true talent with a strong mental attitude and a penchant to perform at the big stage.
With Uganda chasing 202 for victory, Akankwasa walked in to bat for the first time in a Twenty20 International with the Cricket Cranes in a rut on 57 for 4 after 10.1 overs.
Akankwasa went on to build a 91-run partnership for the seventh stand off just 48 balls with Deus Muhumuza (42 off 34) and by the time he fell in the 19th over, the score was 160. Uganda ended on 161 for 6.
“It is always a pleasure for one to get his international career underway in such a brilliant fashion,” said Akankwasa, who stroked six powerful sixes out of the park and five boundaries in his eye-catching 32-ball half-century of 66.
“I want to continue working hard and playing well for my country. There is also another crop of youngsters coming through. Some are already in the side and I urge them to also make it count.”
Uganda paid the price of dropping no less than five catches but it was hard to blame them as it was a new experience for most the squads-men as they were playing under floodlights with the weather reading 12 degrees Celsius and wind travelling at 23km/hr.
Today, the team engages the 50-over mode and the trio of Saud Islam, Brian Masaba and Richard Agamire will likely get a run-out in the middle.
AKANKWASA AT A GLANCE
Nickname: Frank Danger
Team: Strikers CC
DOB: December 22, 2002
Playing Role: All rounder
TOUR OF QATAR
T20 BILATERAL SERIES
Game One Result – Yesterday
Qatar 201/2 Uganda 161/6
Qatar won by 40 runs
TOMORROW – 50 over match
Qatar vs. Uganda, 9.30am
Asian Town Intl Cricket Stadium