Tikolo focuses on death bowling, squad for Africa T20 announced

It takes a great level of keenness to notice sweet emotions flying all over the senior national men’s cricket team camp.
And they are all coming at a time after fixtures for the ICC World Cricket League Division Three due November 6-21 in Oman were released on August 22. That very day was Cricket Cranes’ captain Roger Mukasa’s 29th birthday.
On the next day, coach Steve Tikolo celebrated his 21st marriage anniversary in an emotional post on his Facebook account. So howzat!
One underlining factor is that there is no fear or pressure ahead of this crucial showpiece for Team Uganda. The vibes in the non-residential camp are getting better ever since they won the ICC WCL Division IV title in Malaysia back in May.
“After Malaysia, we have added a few players like Ronak (Patel) and Dinesh (Nakrani) and we have continued with our normal progress,” Tikolo told Daily Monitor yesterday.
“Division III is important for us to progress to Division II and it is coming in six months which is not bad in terms of team momentum.”
But the Kenyan legend further warns; “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, we still need to do the basics right and we cannot be complacent.”
Like the rest of the team, Tikolo is sparing more time to think on how to tackle the humid conditions of Oman and pass the five-match puzzle at the six-nation tournament.
“The Oman conditions are no different from those of Malaysia and that is in the sense of the same sub-continent type of wickets. We did not see too many in Malaysia but Uganda is one of the few teams that averaged 200 runs. 
From what we saw in the ICC World T20 Africa B Qualifier in Rwanda, Ronak and Dinesh have brought in some good morale but batting is an area that we need to work on and as well as tighten the death bowling.”
Speaking of bowling and spin-favouring wickets in the Arabian Peninsula, Tikolo interestingly has more medium pace bowlers (Charles Waiswa, Bilal Hassun, Riazat Ali, Deus Muhumuza, Jonathan Ssebanja and Nakrani) than spinners (Irfan Afridi, Henry Ssenyondo, Frank Nsubuga plus part-timers Brian Masaba and Mukasa) in the team. But he sees things differently.
“Let’s not look at one side of the pace bowlers’ game. Don’t forget that Dinesh, Deus and Riazat can get you runs,” Tikolo argued.
“As a technical bench, we will not assume anything. We shall do our ground work and hopefully be in Oman at least three days before the tournament.”

Paying back the faith
On Tuesday, Tikolo repaid the faith in teenage batsman Zephaniah Arinaitwe who has been scoring centuries for fun over the past three months. 
He is into the team selected by the UCA Selection Committee that will represent Uganda at the Cricket South Africa (CSA) hosted Africa T20 Tournament due September 14-16 before taking part in three 50-over warm-up matches against Kwazulu-Natal Inland and the South Africa Academy teams set for September 17-21. But Ronak is unavailable, Jonathan Ssebanja has again been overlooked whereas Ssenyondo joins his little brother Simon Ssesaazi in the reserves of the notable selections and omissions made to the Rainbow Nation. 
Then after the buffer month of October, Uganda will start its quest for Division II cricket against Denmark and USA on November 9 and 10 in Muscat but the gaffer hasn’t put much focus onto the itinerary that has three reserve days and as many off-days.
“At the end of the day, the rest days will be a benefit for all teams unlike the previous WCL tournaments where there are back-to-back games which take a toll on the players,” concluded Tikolo.

TEAM TO SOUTH AFRICA FOR T20s

Players: Brian Masaba (vice captain), Fred Achelam (wicket-keeper), Zephaniah Arinaitwe, Roger Mukasa (captain), Hamu Kayondo, Dinesh Nakrani, Muhammad Irfan, Frank Nsubuga, Charles Waiswa, Kenneth Waiswa, Deusdedit Muhumuza, Bilal Hassun, Riazat Ali Shah
Reserves: Henry Ssenyondo, Simon Ssessazi, Emmanuel Issaneez
Officials: Jackson Kavuma (Manager), Steve Tikolo (Coach), Jackson Ogwang (Assistant Coach)

POOLS - AFRICA T20 CUP

Pool A - Pietermaritzburg: 
KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns, 
KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Uganda and 
Western Province.
Pool B – Oudtshoorn: 
South Western Districts, Free State, 
Gauteng, Northerns and Zimbabwe;
Pool C – East London: 
Border, Eastern Province, Kenya, 
Mpumalanga and Namibia
Pool D – Paarl: 
Boland, Limpopo, Nigeria, Northern Cape 
and North West.

By Innocent Ndawula & Darren Kyeyune

Nigeria, Tanzania join Uganda in ICC Africa Under-19 Division One

Olayinka Olaleye was the star, as Nigeria sealed an unbeaten run in the ICC Under 19 World Cup Africa Division Two Qualifier tournament in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.
The opening batsman struck a majestic 110, as he and Samuel Mba 62 put on 148 for the first wicket, and pull his side clear in the final. That alliance was enough to put Nigeria out of sight, as Sierra Leone were overwhelmed by the opening stand, which lasted 34.1 overs. Beyond that opening partnership, only Segun Ogundipe made a meaningful contribution, as Nigeria’s total petered out to 242 for nine, assisted by 21 extras. In response, Sierra Leone served up their worst batting performance of the tournament. They were bundled out for just 105, with skipper George Ngegba fighting a lone battle with 31. 
In the battle for the last qualifying spot in Division 1, Tanzania got the better of Mozambique, posting a testing 215 all out. At 89 for five, they had to depend on their middle-order to make the play, and 15 year-old Dhrumit Mehta and Kartik Sayal stepped up. Nigeria and Tanzania now join Uganda, Kenya and Namibia in Africa Division One, who will play their qualifier for the 2010 ICC U-19 World Cup early next year. 
Nigeria’s qualification in particular was a reward for their early preparations that saw them camp in Uganda for 10 days despite losing the series 4-1.

DAY THREE RESULTS - SCW

Mukono Parents 141/ 7 beat Ndejje 76/5 
Kololo SS 89/4 lost to Rwanda 90/7 
Teso College 31/6 lost to Nyakasura112/10
Teso College 44/10 lost to BC Mwiri 48/1 
St John High 138/8 beat BC Mwiri 104/10
Nyakasura 104/5 beat St John 128/10

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & AGENCIES     

Cricket Cranes captain Mukasa welcomes Africa T20 Cup invite

Cricket Cranes skipper Roger Mukasa says playing in the revamped Africa Twenty20 Cup will give Uganda a ‘priceless’ chance to get international exposure ahead of the Division III International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) in Oman this November.
“We are looking at this opportunity as a priceless one to play against the best franchises in South Africa,” said Mukasa when news filtered in that tournament organisers Cricket South Africa (CSA) had officially announced Uganda as the replacements for Ghana.
The West Africans cited logistical reasons as their notion for pulling out of the expanded 2018/19 Africa T20 Cup which is set to take place in September with the preliminary round on September 14-16 followed by the finals’ weekend on September 23-24.
“We are going to face the best bowlers on the continent and our seamers are going to have to do well against proven hitters of the ball. This will help us improve on our bowling at the death and improving our power-hitting especially in the powerplays,” added Mukasa. Uganda join other African nations including Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia in the competition. 
The Cricket Cranes are in Pool A alongside KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns, Western Province and KwaZulu-Natal Coastal. 
The exciting T20 action will take place in 4 coastal venues in Pietermaritzburg, Oudtshoorn, East London and Paarl featuring 12 CSA Affiliates, 3 Associate Members and 5 ICC Africa teams taking place over two thrilling weekends of T20 cricket.
“We are glad Uganda are in because they’re a capable replacement. This event will provide the ideal opportunity for them to test themselves against some of the best young cricketers on the continent. I know Uganda will be ready to compete, and we are excited as we wait for the highly anticipated competition to get underway,” said ICC Africa Development Officer Justine Ligyalingi. Uganda will remain in South Africa following the conclusion of the Africa T20 Cup to play 50-over warm-up matches against KwaZulu-Natal Inland and the South African Academy respectively.

POOLS - AFRICA TWENTY20 CUP

Pool A - Pietermaritzburg: 
KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns, 
KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Uganda and 
Western Province.
Pool B – Oudtshoorn: 
South Western Districts, Free State, 
Gauteng, Northerns and Zimbabwe;
Pool C – East London: 
Border, Eastern Province, Kenya, 
Mpumalanga and Namibia
Pool D – Paarl: 
Boland, Limpopo, Nigeria, Northern Cape 
and North West.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Cricket Cranes intent to skip Botswana hurdle at Africa T20 championship

New Cricket Cranes skipper Brian Masaba is a man known for few words, serenity and precise judgment.

After guiding a new-look Team Uganda to an opening eight-wicket victory over Tanzania on Friday, Masaba believes his side can go on and produce a miraculous show at the Pepsi ICC Africa Division One Twenty20 Championship in Benoni, South Africa. 
“In spite of the obvious lack of experience in our side, we are still going out to win every game,” Masaba told Sunday Monitor via phone from the team base at Garden Court in Johannesburg.

“That’s how the game of T20 should be played,” the former U-19 skipper said. Such mentality is what Masaba will instill in his teammates today when they face Botswana in tournament Day Three at the Sahara Willowmoore Oval in Gauteng.

“We want to take one game at a time and slowly win back full trust from our fans back home,” he said. There could be bowling changes against the Karabo Modise-led side with Masaba opting for more spin as the wickets offer much turn.

And further, all debutants impressed coach Peter Kirsten in the victory over the Tanzanians which has ignited a growing aura of confidence in the team camp. 
Particularly, the South African tactician lauded Kamal Shahzad’s work rate after he took 1/32 as Tanzania set 128 for 7.

However, spinners Frank Nsubuga (2/12) and Henry Ssenyondo (2/8) stood out most with pivotal spells including the prize wicket of Abhik Patwa who was dropped early and went on to clobber four boundaries and five maximums for a 51-ball 73. Uganda’s reply received an early blessing when Arthur Kyobe (34 off 22) was dropped in the third over (23-0). The left-hander went on to put up an opening stand of 60 with his Challengers’ counterpart Arnold Otwan.

The latter briefly shared the crease with Shahzad (13 run-a-ball) and Otwan earned a precious maiden international half-ton of 51* off 40 deliveries in a match-winning 43-run third-wicket combo with explosive Jonathan Ssebanja (29 off 13) in the 15th over.
More decent batting against the Batswana could illuminate the Cricket Cranes’ chances in the quest for a berth at the ICC Global T20 Qualifier due Scotland from July 9 August 2.

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