Singapore's cricketers succumbed to the leg-spin of Mohammed Irfan yesterday, as they lost their World Cricket League Division 3 match to hosts Uganda by 66 runs.
Chasing a target of 218 to win at the Entebbe Oval, located 35km from Uganda's capital Kampala, Singapore's top order - Chaminda Ruwan (40), Anish Paraam (20) and Arjun Mutreja (35) - made decent contributions as they took the team to 132-4.
But the rest of the batsmen could not cope with the turn and bounce that Pakistan-born Irfan extracted from the pitch and collapsed to 151 all out in 44 overs.
The run out of captain Chetan Suryawanshi (13) and Amjad Mahboob (1) did not help Singapore's cause.
"Our top order did well, but the rest of the batsmen could not carry it through," said Suryawanshi. "Irfan took advantage of the pitch which began to turn in the later part of the match."
In the morning, Singapore's bowlers had the hosts pegged back at 95-4 in 30.3 overs, before they allowed the fifth-wicket pair of Shahzad Ukani (46) and Arnold Otwani (47) to plunder 86 runs.
Six-down batsman Deusdedit Muhumuza also scored a quick-fire 25 as Uganda, whose opener Hamu Kayondo scored 41, put up 217-9 in 50 overs.
"Our spinners did their job," said Suryawanshi. "But we dropped a few catches and gave away some loose runs with misfields."
Singapore's main wicket-takers were spinners Vijayakumar Selladore (2-39), Dharmichand Mulewa (2-42) and Anantha Krishna (2-37).
The defeat was a blow to Singapore as they had beaten Malaysia by seven wickets in their opening match on Tuesday. They play the United States in the six-nation tournament tomorrow in Kampala.
After two rounds, Canada are on four points, having won both their matches. Singapore, Uganda, Oman and US are on two points each. Only the top two finishers get promoted to World Cricket League Division 2.
"We have no option but to win all our matches from now on," said Singapore's coach Sarika Prasad. "In our last three encounters against the United States, we have won twice. If our players stick to their tasks, we can beat them."