Kenya looked well on their way to posting a competitive total as Alex Obanda (34 retired off 12 balls) and Collins Obuya (35 retired off nine balls) took them to 82 without loss after four overs, but Robbie Frylinck, voted man of the match, bowled a superb final over that cost just eight runs and included two run outs.
South African opener Cameron Delport has enjoyed an outstanding tournament, passing 30 and having to retire in five out of six innings, and he immediately put the hosts on track as he hit seamer Nehemiah Odhiambo’s first three balls for six.
Odhiambo has been one of the best bowlers in the competition, conceding just 54 runs in five matches before the final, but Delport blasted two fours and another six to end the opening over on 32 off six balls.
Delport’s retirement pitted Mangaliso Mosehle against spinners Shem Ngoche and Collins Obuya and the wicketkeeper thrashed five sixes in the next two overs as he retired on 33 off nine deliveries.
Farhaan Behardien (17* off 4) is the coolest of finishers and David Wiese (10* off 2) the longest of hitters and they polished off the remaining runs required with little fuss.
Kenya had qualified for the final thanks to a better run-rate than Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Uganda are clearly a rising force in African cricket – the great Peter Kirsten is their new coach – and they impressed all and sundry by beating Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia over the two days of action in Centurion.
They missed out on the final due to a lame batting performance against Kenya, only managing 75 for five when they were chasing 88.
Kenya themselves had suffered a case of the red mists descending when they lost by 12 runs to Zimbabwe when chasing just 81.
Uganda had beaten Zimbabwe by one run thanks to excellent overs from Jonathan Sebanja and impressive all-rounder Roger Mukasa.
Individual highlights for South Africa were Mosehle hitting five successive sixes off Narendra Patel and captain Behardien’s 40 not out off eight balls against Kenya in their round-robin game and two for seven versus Tanzania; and Chris Morris’s bowling up front against Uganda.
Scores in brief
Namibia 72-2 (JJ Kotze 31*, Gerrie Snyman 22; Narendra Patel 2-10). Kenya 75-2 (Rakep Patel 35*; Gerrie Snyman 1-6). Kenya won by four wickets.
Tanzania 73-2 (Benson Nyaikini 32*, Khalil Rehemtulla 28*). Uganda 75-2 (Roger Mukasa 34*, Jonathan Sebanja 25). Uganda won by four wickets.
South Africa 128-1 (Cameron Delport 36*, Mangaliso Mosehle 33*, Farhaan Behardien 30*). Zimbabwe 99-3 (Malcolm Waller 34*, Stephen Trenchard 22*, Roy Kaia 24; Chris Morris 2-16). South Africa won by 29 runs.
Tanzania 50-3 (Benson Nyaikini 32*; Collins Obuya 1-2, Rakep Patel 1-6). Kenya 51-0 (Alex Obanda 27*). Kenya won by six wickets.
Uganda 81-3 (Roger Mukasa 31*, Deusdedit Muhumuza 24*; Roy Kaia 2-12). Zimbabwe 80-2 (Timycen Maruma 35*, Malcolm Waller 32*). Uganda won by one run.
South Africa 122-1 (Cameron Delport 31*, Farhaan Behardien 31*, David Wiese 34*). Namibia 69-3 (Sarel Burger 32*). South Africa won by 53 runs.
Zimbabwe 80-3 (Roy Kaia 25*; Narendra Patel 1-10). Kenya 68-1 (Collins Obuya 33*; Roy Kaia 1-8). Zimbabwe won by 12 runs.
Uganda 89-2 (Jonathan Sebanja 24, Arnold Otwan 32*; Chris Morris 1-9). South Africa 92-3 (Robbie Frylinck 34*; Jonathan Sebanja 1-10). South Africa won by three wickets.
Tanzania 91-2 (Abhik Patwa 26, Kassim Mussa 33*, Khalil Rehemtulla 31*). Namibia 86-0 (JJ Kotze 33*, Sarel Burger 31*, Gerrie Snyman 21*). Tanzania won by five runs.
South Africa 122-2 (Cameron Delport 32*, Farhaan Behardien 40*, Mangaliso Mosehle 35*). Kenya 102-3 (Alex Obanda 35*, Collins Obuya 33*, Nehemiah Odhiambo 27). South Africa won by 20 runs.
Uganda 82-2 (Roger Mukasa 31*; Jonathan Sebanja 28, Deusdedit Muhumuza 20*; Sarel Burger 2-15). Namibia 80-2 (JJ Kotze 31*, JJ Smit 25*; Roger Mukasa 2-7). Uganda won by two runs.
Tanzania 91-3 (Abhik Patwa 23, Benson Nyaikini 36*; Malcolm Waller 2-15). Zimbabwe 96-2 (Roy Kaia 31*, Malcolm Waller 31*). Zimbabwe won by four wickets.
Kenya 87-1 (Alex Obanda 34*, Rakep Patel 34*; Jonathan Sebanja 1-8). Uganda 75-5 (Roger Mukasa 20; Rakep Patel 2-14). Kenya won by 12 runs.
Tanzania 62-5 (Nasibu Mapunda 23*; David Wiese 2-11, Farhaan Behardien 2-7). South Africa 64-0 (Cameron Delport 34*, Farhaan Behardien 23*). South Africa won by six wickets.
Namibia 92-3 (JJ Smit 32*, Sarel Burger 31*; Malcolm Waller 2-15). Zimbabwe 96-2 (Timycen Maruma 34*, Malcolm Waller 27, Stephen Trenchard 30*; Christi Viljoen 1-10). Zimbabwe won by four wickets.
Kenya 91-2 (Alex Obanda 34*, Collins Obuya 35*). South Africa 92-0 (Cameron Delport 32*, Mangaliso Mosehle 33*). South Africa won by six wickets.