T20 : Uganda Qualifies

 Affable all-rounder Riazat Ali Shah was adjudged Most Valuable Player (MVP) as Uganda defeated Kenya by seven wickets at Gahanga Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda on July 14 to qualify for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Twenty20 Cup scheduled for May next year.

Nicknamed Rizu, the 20-year-old who plies his trade for Aziz Damani Cricket Club in the Jazz Safari National League, was easily the standout player with an unbeaten seven-ball blitz of 20 runs as Uganda avenged their first round loss to Kenya. Overall, Rizu finished among the top four batsmen, top six bowlers and equalled the best fielders’ count with four catches.

He managed 247 runs with a highest score of 96 not out, averaging a staggering 123.5 with a strike rate of 226. And then with the ball, he notched 7 wickets at an average of 14 per scalp and economy of 7.5 from 13 overs to finish among the top six bowlers.

But it wasn’t a one-man show as Uganda grabbed one of the two slots at stake for the East African region to the ICC World Twenty20 Africa Qualifier scheduled for May 2019.

Chart Toppers
Dinesh Nakrani, 26, with a table-topping aggregate of 320 runs, at an average of 80 per innings and top score of 102 not out in the seven-wicket win over Kenya on Saturday - a feat achieved with seven balls to spare - deserves all the plaudits.

Leg-break bowler Irfan Afridi, too, was among the three-man MVP shortlist with 13 wickets and 34 runs. 
Champions Kenya and Uganda joined Nigeria and Ghana to the African showpiece with two more countries expected to make the grade from Africa Zone C (Southern Africa) later this year. The top from the continental showpiece will make it to the Global Qualifer whose top six will reach the World Cup in Australia 2020.

ICC 20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier
Result - Final Game
Kenya 188/5 Uganda 189/3
Uganda won by 7 wickets
FINAL TABLE STANDINGS 
TEAM M W L PTS NRR
KEN 6 5 1 10 2.924
UGA 6 4 2 8 2.725
TAN 6 3 3 6 -0.429
RWA 6 0 6 0 -4.887


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Uganda finishes sixth in World Cup qualifier

Team Uganda return home from Netherlands with a few smiles having avoided the wooden spoon on their debut at the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier.

The East African nation will count many positives from their first time at the global stage of women’s cricket more importantly with the group stage win over Thailand and play-off triumph over hosts Netherlands last week.

Now the Lady Cricket Cranes may have avoided the tail slot but they will feel disappointed by their failure to beat Thailand for the second time in the fifth-place play-off.

Uganda returned home empty handed losing the tournament Plate Cup by 34 runs to Bangkok at VRA Ground in Amstelveen on Saturday.

Coaches Francis Othieno and Grace Mutyagaba had stuck to familiar faces but the bowling unit failed to bottle the Thai top-order which in turn left a load for the second innings.

It is Thailand that had gifted Uganda their first international T20 win during this tournament but knowing the danger in Immaculate Nakisuyi and Gertrude Candiru, the Asians turned on the mojo early.

After Sornnarin Tippoch had asked Uganda to field first, Consy Aweko had Naruemol Chaiwai (4 off 14) caught by Janet Mbabazi to have the scoreboard reading 12-1 in 3.4 overs.

But Uganda’s pressure valve let loose as Nattakan Chantam (44 off 41) and Nattaya Boochatham (38 off 41) shared 52 runs for the second wicket.

The latter then took the score to 105-3 in 18.2 overs after sharing 42 runs with wicket-keeper Nannapat Koncharoenkai (17 off 15) and Thailand coasted to 113-7.

Two ducks from the first three batters graced Uganda’s chase and the by the time Stephannie Nampiina’s 30-ball 29* came through in the mid-order, the battle was long gone.

Uganda finished sixth ahead of UAE and Netherlands while champions Bangladesh and Ireland qualified for the World Cup slated for November in West Indies.

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Uganda aim to reclaim Kwibuka Peace Trophy

Uganda are setting out on a mission to enhance their reputation as real African giants.
Yesterday, a 16-man contingent led by coach Habibu Mugalula and manager Harriet Nanziri departed for Kigali in attempt to reclaim the Kwibuka Cricket For Peace Women’s Twenty20 Tournament title.

But unlike other teams, Uganda have thrown their young girls - The Schools Select XI - into the deep end against national teams of Rwanda, Zambia and Kenya to fight for honours. Mugalula takes the best players selected from the just-concluded Pepsi Girls Schools’ Cricket Week won by his Jinja SS last month.

“This is another chance for the youngsters to grow as we have done for their seniors,” acting Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) CEO Martin Ondeko said before the team was flagged off by National Council of Sports General Secretary David Katende in Lugogo on the cold morning. And the intent is clear for June 7-10 event at the Gahanga Stadium. “We are going to bring back the trophy,” said assistant captain Immaculate Nakisuyi after receiving the flag.

Nakisuyi is selected alongside Jinja SS teammates captain Rita Musamali and Stephanie Nampiina.

The trio is also part of the senior team preparing for the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in Netherlands next month.

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Saudi meal for Uganda at Easter

At the back of the minds of the senior national team players, the clock is ticking fast to the ICC World Cricket League Division Four Championship.
That imminent showpiece comes April 28 - May 5 in Malaysia and each second counts for coach Steve Tikolo’s charges.
The Easter weekend will see his side physically and mentally away from their families as Team Uganda fine-tunes preparations for the Asia mission with a Bilateral Series against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The five-match Series begins today when Uganda faces the men from the Middle East in a T20 blitz at the University Oval in Kyambogo.
“Our target is to win here as we prepare for our next tournament in Kuwait,” captain Muhammad Afzal said, as his coach Liaquat Ali translated, at the Series’ launch in Lugogo yesterday. “The weather is quite pleasant and we believe we shall put up a challenge,” added Afzal.
Their Pakistan-born coach Ali played for Pakistan Islamic team from 1986-1988 and has coached in Saudi since.
“The Saudi tour gives us the opportunity to work on areas such as team strategy, plans and combinations and look to perfect them before Malaysia,” Tikolo told Daily Monitor following a lengthy selection meeting on Wednesday night. Key is how skipper Roger Mukasa consolidates the batting unit that comprises of experienced Hamu Kayondo and Shahzad Kamal as well as youngsters Simon Ssesaazi, Zephaniah Arinaitwe and Simon Ssesaazi.
There should also be a final toss of the coin between wicket-keepers Fred Achelam and Arthur Ziraba.
Spinners Irfan Afridi, Frank Nsubuga and Henry Ssenyondo will need company of seamers like the Waiswas Charles and Kenneth, Deus Muhumuza and Brian Masaba.
The East African nation last sat on a cricket table with the Saudis back at the Four-Nation Series in September, 2016. “I wish to state that they are a good team. I believe we are up and ready for the challenge at hand.” Tikolo recalled the previous meeting in Nairobi. “When we played them in Nairobi, they seemed a balanced side with a strong batting line up, two good opening bowlers and some good spinners. An area that they lacked a bit in was their fielding.
That might have changed since it’s about 19 months now since then. We just need to focus on our game, make sure we back ourselves and play good cricket.” Tikolo added.

SAUDI ARABIA TOUR OF UGANDA

BILATERAL SERIES ITINERARY
TODAY - MATCH 1 (T20- 2PM)
Uganda XI vs. Saudi Arabia XI
Game to be played at Kyambogo

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE & MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA     

Ssenyondo rallies batsmen as Uganda go 7-up

The fans have been gradually increasing in number to watch Uganda’s Tour to India matches here at the Mohanlal Desai Cricket Ground (Sanjay Farm) in South Gujarat, India.
Many of them have gone on to fall in love with the Cricket Cranes and support the coach Steve Tikolo-tutored outfit. Uganda have reciprocated the act by offering the natives as many autographs as per their wish.
But to many Indians, an autograph is not just a mere signature even if it’s from a budding cricket country’s national team player. It is equated to winning a million dollar jackpot in a casino.
And when Uganda wrapped their sixth win of the India Tour Series on Tuesday, the autograph-hunting locals told whoever cared to listen to them in the Ugandan camp that they (Cricket Cranes) would finally go down to highly-rated Bharuch District Cricket Association XI when the team met on the following day in a 40-over encounter.
Bharuch District C.A were the early birds in Chikhil Town having made a 150 kilometers road trip from the South Gujarat border to be in time for the 9.30am (7am Uganda time) pre-match toss yesterday.
Their captain Kayshap Prajapati swaggered into the middle for the toss with an aura of invincibility and when Uganda captain Roger Mukasa asked him to bat first, the former cut a posture of ‘thanks for playing into my hands’.
Prajapati (20 runs off 36 balls) returned to open the batting with Smith Patel (19 runs off 44 balls) played with assuredness as they reached 38 for no loss in 11.5 overs. 
But as they were planning to increase the scoring rate, Mukasa introduced his elder brother Frank Nsubuga, an off-spinner, into the attack.
Nsubuga (3 wickets for 8 runs in 7 overs) prized out both openers and Man of Match (MOM) Henry Ssenyondo (5 wickets for 6 runs in 5.3 overs) bowled exciting lines of deceit as the last nine wickets fell for 39 runs to leave the star-bolstered Bharuch C.A all out on 77 runs in only 31.3 overs.
Coach Tikolo’s plea to young openers Simon Ssesazi (13 runs off 23 balls) and Zephaniah Arinaitwe (6 runs off 11 balls) was that they chase down the set target without returning to the dug-out. 
But Arinaitwe was back for a quick shower at 21 for 1 in 3 overs and Ssesazi followed at 64 for 2 after 10.2 overs.

Yesterday’s results in Chikhil - 40 overs
Bharuch District C.A 77 runs all out in 31.3 overs lost to Uganda 80 runs for 5 wickets in 14.5 overs by five wickets with 151 balls remaining.
Man of Match: Henry Ssenyondo 
Today – 40-Over Match
Sterling Generators vs. Uganda

By Innocent Ndawula

Series decider for Uganda, Qatar

Friendly tours are not all about winning. But in sport, winning is, most of the time, everything. And if results are anything to go by on this Bilateral Cricket Series, Uganda can count themselves victors since they have triumphed over the senior men’s Qatar side twice after four games.
The East Africans blemish has been the two losses to the Qatar President’s XI – a mixture of the emerging players, senior squadsmen and those yet to make the grade to represent the gulf nation.

But in all four games played, Steve Tikolo’s boys have acquainted themselves well and run the opposition close even the lost matches as justified by the 13-run and 12-run loss in Game One (Twenty20) and Game Four (45-Over rubber) respectively.

Brand of cricket
Captain Roger Mukasa and his brigade have won over some local fans along the way for their never-give-up attitude and brand of cricket.
But all that could count for nothing in the eyes of the partisan fans back at home if the Cricket Cranes don’t seal the initiative in the tour-ending Twenty20 match at the Asian Town International Cricket Stadium today.
“We want to win,” said Mukasa without thinking twice. “But even if we lose, we want to do so after doing the basics right and playing to the team strategy. We have a big squad here and the coach wants everyone to put in a good number of games under their belt.”

Qatar National Sports Day
The series decider happens on a public holiday for the natives dubbed – The Qatar National Sports Day – held annually on the second Tuesday in February, with the main objective of promoting a healthy lifestyle among its population and celebrate the Qatar’s bid that earned the right to host the Fifa 2022 World Cup.
“Expect a good crowd at the stadium and expect fierce competition from us. We want to show our crowd that we can do well in the ICC World T20 Regional Qualifiers scheduled for Kuwait in April,” said Qatar captain Inam Ul-Haq.

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Unbeaten Uganda, Zimbabwe chase first slot to final

The two unbeaten sides; Uganda and Zimbabwe, at the on-going International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier clash in crucial encounter at the Wanderers Affies Oval today in Windhoek, Namibia.

Victory for either sides will not guarantee either of the sides a ticket to the global qualifying showpiece where the winner of the Africa Qualifying Event will meet other ICC regions winners including; Europe/Americas (Scotland & Netherlands), East Asia Pacific (Papua New Guinea) and two ICC Full Members (Bangladesh & Ireland).

But it will be one step closer to the coveted global qualifier scheduled for later this year or in early 2018 because the winner of today’s game will earn direct ticket to the Saturday’s all-important final.

The loser today will have a chance to still reach the final but fatigue and injury could halt their progress as they have to play an extra game – against the winner of the Namibia – Kenya encounter which will be the day’s curtain raiser.

“It is going to be a very tough game,” Lady Cricket Cranes coach Grace Mutyagaba, said after his team’s nets session yesterday. 
“But we know what to do. We must take it easy and embrace the game’s basics. I believe whoever shows willingness to exhibit them and hunger will carry the day.”
It will be a battle between Uganda’s clinical bowling and Zimbabwe’s power hitters.

The Ugandan sextet of Joyce Mary Apio, Rita Musamali, Stephanie Nampiina, Franklyn Najjumba, Consy Aweko and Gertrude Candiru run into the quartet of Zimbabwe’s polished batters; Ashley Ndiraya, Modester Mupachikwa, Chipo Mugeri and Precious Marange.

Uganda and Zimbabwe have six points apiece and none of them can slip to third whereas Kenya and Namibia are stuck on two and whoever finishes third will play the loser between the top two teams on the log. 
The loser will play Tanzania in the fourth-place playoff on Friday morning. Five teams are in the fray at this African showpiece.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Uganda on top after defeating hosts Kenya

There were no over-the-top celebrations as Uganda outmuscled Kenya by 69 runs in the highly-billed East African derby played at the Nairobi Jaffreys Sports Club Oval at the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa U-19 World Cup Qualifier yesterday.

But no one should be fooled. The Baby Cricket Cranes know a thing or two about partying hard. But as the Kenyans jogged around the field for their warm down, skipper Kenneth Waiswa summoned the team for a huddle and quick prayer. They then sat on the oval infront of Uganda’s dugout for a team meeting to review the day’s performance with coaches; Franco Otieno, Jackson Ogwang, Steve Tikolo and David Obuya.

On their faces, it was visible they were happy they had got one over the old enemy but were not about to celebrate in the Kenyans’ faces because the job is only half done with another full round of fixtures to play starting today against Botswana, who suffered their third consecutive defeat after Ghana mauled them by six wickets at the Gymkhana Oval.

“It is not over,” said Otieno, a man who captained Kenya at the U-19 Level in 1998. “We have to remain calm and continue to do well over and over. There are areas we didn’t do well, when we panicked and where we failed to capitalise. We have to continue improving.”

Jittery moments
Indeed there were a couple of jittery moments in both innings. When Zephaniah Arinaitwe (42 off38) helped Uganda breeze to 55 inside 7 overs and then connived to lose three quick wickets to stay in a precarious situation at 85 for 3. 
The innings was revived by a 36-run fourth stand partnership between Steven Wabwose (44 off 59) and Waiswa (60 off 93) which was toppled by another one of 67 runs by the captain and all-rounder SirajeNsubuga (43 off 55) for the seventh wicket that ensured Uganda set 231.

Then although Kenya crumbled to 26 for 4 in the second innings. The 101-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Kenya captain Sachin Bhudia (52 off 66) and Thomas Ochieng (54 off 101) sent shivers down the Ugandan bowling’s spine and left the field in a disarray.

But Nsubuga (2/38 in 9.4 overs)’s clever dismissal of Bhudia (a caught and bowled) at 128 ignited Kenya’s collapse and the hosts were soon all out for 162 in 46.4 overs.
Today, Kenya run into a wounded Ghana whereas Uganda face Botswana looking to make it four not out as they chase the continent’s lone slot to New Zealand for the World Cup early next year.

By Innocent Ndawula

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