Two days after taking a career-best 6 for 23 against Bermuda, Mohammad Irfan was at it again. His blistering half-century and a three-wicket haul with his offspin helped Uganda beat Vanuatu by 81 runs at WCL Division Four.
Irfan's 17-ball 51 at Royal Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur included seven sixes. This astonishing assault came after Uganda were struggling for momentum at 92 for 4 in 37 overs. From there on, Uganda scored at 10 runs an over. Irfan scored 51 in a whirlwind 55-run stand off just 26 balls with Hamu Kayondo to shift the momentum. Uganda eventually finished with 222 for 8 in 50 overs.
It wasn't all about Irfan's assault though. Riazat Ali took over after Irfan's dismissal, hitting four sixes in his 23-ball 38. Vanuatu captain Andrew Mansale bore the brunt of the aggression, conceding nine of the 13 sixes hit by Uganda in his nine overs of offspin. He finished with 1 for 78.
Uganda captain Roger Mukasa repeated the bowling strategy that worked so effectively when they bowled out Bermuda for 60. He gave the new ball to offspinners Irfan and Frank Nsubuga, and the move worked as they Vanuatu were reduced to 2 for 4, including the prized scalp of player-coach Shane Deitz for a third-ball duck.
Nalin Nipiko fell at the end of the Powerplay to make it 24 for 5 as Uganda pressed hard for another massive win to boost their net run rate further. Mansale, however, brought respectability back to the Vanuatu innings with his 69 off 110 balls during the course of a 53-run sixth-wicket stand with Ronald Tari to give Vanuatu an outside chance.
Riazat Ali Shah took out Mansale in the 43rd over and finished off the rest of the tail with 3 for 16 as Vanuatu were eventually all out for 141 in 47 overs.