Holders Challengers hunted as Unimoni National T20 Cup ends

After two months of action, the Unimoni National Twenty20 Cup is left with just three matches to climax. 
Who will win it? That’s the question that three-peat chasing Challengers, two-time finalists KICC, no-nonsense Aziz Damani and fiery Ceylon Lions must answer when the quartet negotiates each other’s hurdle today. 
The semifinal line-up is structured in a way that seasoned T20 contenders KICC and Lions want to wrestle serial Cup winners Challengers and Aziz Damani respectively.

Defending champions Challengers are looking no further than a third successive title and a record fourth T20 gong in five years.
To test their mettle first is KICC this morning whom they meet at Lugogo in a repeat of the 2014 final.

“Our batsmen are on form,” KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar chest-thumped after they defeated Strikers in the quarterfinals last weekend.
Wassim Butt and Suleman Sharif have held their bats high while spinning trio of Davis Karashani, Frank Nsubuga and Irfan Afridi is capable wreaking havoc like the latter did with figures of 7 for 15 seven days ago. “How we play on the day is what matters most,” Katkar offered. 
But Challengers will be a tougher nut to crack for KICC having added Zimbabwean imports Timycen Maruma and Shingirai Masakadza to their arsenal.

Arthur Kyobe, Hamu Kayondo and Kamal Shahzad know what to do when on the crease irrespective of the amount of incentives that Challengers’ proprietor Vaheed Mohammed has in stock for them.“We want three in a row but we want our cricket to speak first,” said Kyobe, leaving his opinion door so ajar during the interview. But they can only earn Vaheed’s prize if they beat KICC and then win the final in Kyambogo against the victor between Damani and Lions.

Beating Damani
Now this is a repeat of the November 24 group stage encounter where 2012 runners-up Lions beat Siva Koti’s Damani by 11 runs. But things have drastically changed since Damani’s returned from international duty in Oman.
Similarly, Lions’ boss Ruwan Jayaratne has not been shy, adding Sri Lankan top youngster batsman Malindu Maduraga and Kenyan Alex Obanda to his ranks.
Obanda made a 38-ball 102 ton while Maduranga struck 42 off 24 as they beat Jinja SS last Sunday and the boss seemed satisfied.
“We are bringing two more Kenyans and definitely going for the trophy,” Jayaratne, also the team’s opener, stated.

But Damani has won every trophy on offer bar this one. And this being a fourth semifinal in as many years, they want to go big. “We just have a few things to get better from the Tornado Bee (quarterfinal) game and we’ll be on track,” Damani’s all-rounder Riazat Ali Shah stated.
Mir Afzal and Saud Islam have furnished the batting of Damani’s immovable wall way much this season.
In the end, fireworks in Lugogo and a classic in Kyambogo, lights out! The climax is certainly a must watch.

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Jazz Safari National Ladies’ League Tournament Favorites Square Up For Mouth Watering Clash

inja Cricket Oval

Olila High CC Vs Aziz Damani CC

Saturday 29th, 2018

10:30am 

Players To Watch

Olila High CC:    
Rachael Ntono
Janet Mbabazi
Esther Illokur
Damalie Busingye
Joyce Mary Apio                                                                     

Aziz Damani CC:      
Immaculate Nakisuyi
Getrude Candiru
Consy Aweko
Teddy Oyella
Sarah Bakhita

Lugogo will play host to probably the biggest game in ladies’ cricket this yeah with the tournament favourites Aziz Damani and Olila High CC clashing for honours.

Olila High Cricket Club opened their campaign with the narrowest of wins stolen from KICC on the opening day of fixtures. Boosted by that win, they go into this fixture with the confidence of denying their opponents a shot at glory.

Felix Musana, the pioneer of the Soroti Cricket Academy where the majority of the Olila High CC players come from was quoted saying;

“It is really good to play the game with the math in our heads online. When we set, we need to know what score we need, to bowl them out so as to get that bonus point. When we are chasing, we need to know the overs by which we should have chased that score. Cricket is a good sport if you clearly know how the math is done.”

In his response to the upcoming fixture, Aziz Damani head coach Yusuf Nanga had the briefest of words when he said;

“May the best team win the league.”

There will be no luck of talent at this star studded game when both team teams lock horns on Saturday in Lugogo. The likes of Racheal Ntono, she-cranes vice-captain Janet Mbabazi, Joyce-Mary Apio, among others will be ever present for Olila High. Damani will have the likes of Immaculate Nakisuyi, Getrude Candiru, Sarah Bakhita, among others to see to the Olila challenge.

Damani were denied the opportunity to garner some points on the table over the weekend when their fixture against Wanderers was cancelled due to the unavailability of the grounds at Kyambogo. If they were denied the opportunity to do so, then they have chance to prove their worth when they face Olila High.

This is going to be one of the best games of the season. Miss if you must.

 

UCA National Academy gathers steam at Lugogo

WHAT’S ON SCHEDULE
What: National Cricket Academy
When: January 21-31
Venue: Lugogo Cricket Oval
Numbers: 25 participants

KAMPALA. Two days into the first-ever Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) National Boys Cricket Academy, the coaches in charge Steve Tikolo, Franco Otieno and David Obuya are overwhelmed by the talent exhibited thus far.

Lugogo Cricket Oval has been a bee-hive of activity with the 25 players in the academy making the field a beautiful spectacle alongside the men and women’s national sides – the Cricket Cranes and Lady Cricket Cranes respectively.

“Every time I see you Ugandans playing cricket, I see a group of talented individuals,” said Obuya, who also worked with Baby Cricket Cranes (national boys U-19 side) during the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Nairobi, Kenya last May.

“We are going to work on several aspects of their game to help them become better. Obviously talent is not their problem. But execution of shots, bowling to plans and better game reading. We want to empower them with a better understanding of the game and etiquette.”

UCA Development Officer Henry Okecho highlighted the importance of the training and also revealed that the ‘respected’ Kenyan tacticians were the most suitable to run this core programme for the association. 
“It is a 10-day residential programme with sessions in the morning (9am to 12pm) and afternoon (3 to 6pm),” disclosed Okecho.

“In my opinion it is long overdue as we had planned it for December 2017. There is no doubt that this programme will help us build our stocks for both the U-19 and National teams. Our plan is to set up an U-23 program that would take up most of these players and help prepare them for international competition. This program also acts as a bridge between junior and senior cricket.”

Notable players invited for the International Cricket Council (ICC), Bankstown Cricket Club (Australia) and the National Council of Sports (NCS) sponsored academy are national team trainees Steven Wabwose and Frank Akankwasa.

PLAYERS IN NATIONAL ACADEMY
Soroti: Emma Twijukye, Aaron Okwi, Pius Oyena,
Jinja: Eddy Agaba, Steven Wabwose, Calvin Watuwa,
Robinson Obuya, Joel Elelu, Marvin Kitamirike, Pius Oluka. Kampala: Perry Wazombe, Cosmas Kyewuta, Juma Miyaji, Ashraf Ssenkubuge, Frank Akankwasa, Simon Okecho, Gerald Mubiru, Ronald Opio, Ramanthan Ochimi, Fort Portal: Pascal Murungi, Samuel Ntimba, Isaac Ategeka, Alfred Alijuna, Moses Ahura Masaka: Ronald Lutaaya

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By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Damani dismantle Charity to go top of Jazz Safari National Cricket League

Aziz Damani hurried Charity Trust Fund off the oval for their second successive win to go top of the Jazz Safari National Cricket League by eight wickets at Kyambogo Oval with 13 points after three matches on March 26.

Their closest chasers Challengers, recovering from their last outing setback where they went down by nine wickets to Damani, bridged the gap to one point in an equally ruthless manner with an eight-wicket win over sorry Patidar Samaj at the lakeside Entebbe Oval. But Division II graduates Damani, who lost their opening game to Tornado Bee, own the bragging rights for now after recovering to pick up two wins on the bounce.

On Sunday, they bowled out a student-packed Charity Trust Fund for a basketball score of 47 thanks to classy seam-bowling spells of 6/17 and 3/17 from Man-of-the-Match Kenneth Waiswa and rejuvenated Emmanuel Isaneez. Charity didn’t help their cause with carefree batting as witnessed by their top order batters Simon Ssesaazi (17 off 23) and Varinder Singh (12 off 29) who gifted the opposition their wickets cheaply after getting starts.

Damani top order batters Arnold Otwani (16 off 15), Emmanuel Hasahya (13* off 22) and coach-player Steve Tikolo (8*) survived a few scores on their to victory inside nine overs. 
Across town in Entebbe, national team trainees Irfan Afridi (4/1) and David Wabwire (4/12) partnered to bowl out Patidar for 40 before Mohammed Aneef (18) and Arthur Kyobe (12*) breezed home in just four overs. In Jinja, Amos Kyazze and Emma Odeng helped Africa Cricket Club get off the mark with a 44-run win over JACC.

WEEKEND RESULTS 
Division I
Nile 189/9 K.Tigers 142/10
Charity 47/10 A. Damani 48/2
Patidar 40/10Challengers 41/1
Division II
Africa 173/8 Jinja SS 129/8
K. Pirates 157/10 Mwiri 82/10
Division III
Nyakasura 178/10 JACC 75/10

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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