Cricket Cranes crave for 2-0 lead in Easter Series

Tactics. Tikolo saluted his boys for the shift on Friday. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO Tactics. Tikolo saluted his boys for the shift on Friday. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO

Cricket Cranes coach Steve Tikolo was vastly impressed with his side’s opening five-wicket win over visitors Kenya in the Easter Series at Kyambogo Oval on Friday. 
“It was a good team performance,” Tikolo told journalists shortly after the match at the University Oval in Kyambogo. 
“Our bowlers stuck to the team strategy. The seamers were backed up well by the spinners. We had a good team performance in the field.” 
With Kenya captain Shem Ngoche opting to bat first, the visitors struggled on what was referred to as a tough wicket by both gaffers and were bundled out for 147 runs in 44.3 overs. Uganda reached the target in 37.5 overs hence with 73 balls to spare. 
Despite the good start in their build-up series for for next month’s ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament, Tikolo hopes his troops can tighten the noose in the second rubber of the five-match East African derby games at Kyambogo today.

“We dropped two catches and missed one run-out,” Tikolo said about the Friday game.
“So we need to tighten up because at the highest level, once you give a team a chance, you’re punished. 
I would like to see the guys go on to win this series.” added the man regarded as the best Kenyan cricket player ever. 
Either way, half a loaf is better than no bread. On Friday, Tikolo cut a relaxed pose when Rushab Patel (8 off 20) was trapped by Frank Nsubuga (2/24) for lbw, leaving Kenya at 38-2 after 14 overs. 
It got worse when the mid-order collapsed from 53-3 to 82-7 as chinaman Henry Ssenyondo (4/36) rain riot. 
Nelson Odhiambo stood out with two boundaries and a six to top-score with 61-ball 38 to add to opener Irfam Karim’s hard-fought 24 off 78, helping Kenya to a bit a reasonable total. 
“We didn’t pitch up. We did not apply ourselves the way were supposed to do,” Kenya’s coach Thomas Odoyo stated. “Uganda looked really sharp in the field and even with the batting,” he acknowledged.
Uganda began the chase with opener Hamu Kayondo making 23 off 40 before he was trapped by Odhiambo (1/8) to leave the score at 60-3 midway the 15th over. And it needed some batting maturity to restore parity.
A composed Roger Mukasa (29 off 66) led the recovery when he combined with Kamal Shahzad (19 off 37) for a 45-run fourth-wicket combo. 
Then Brian Masaba (13* off 19) and skipper Davis Karashani (23* off 33) crossed the line, the latter giving the 250 fans a perfect finish with a big six to the top of the clubhouse.
“We have to quickly forget it (defeat) as we want to do better.” Odoyo added.

“I would like to see the guys go on to win this series,” added the Kenyan legend. Either way, half a loaf is better than no bread. 
On Friday, Tikolo was a relaxed man Rushab Patel (8 off 20) was trapped by Frank Nsubuga (2/24) for LBW, leaving Kenya at 38-2 after 14 overs. It got worse when the mid-order collapsed from 53-3 to 82-7 as left arm spinner Henry Ssenyondo (4/36) skittled through the Kenyans batting line-up. 
Nelson Odhiambo stood out with two boundaries and a six to top-score with 61-ball 38 to add to opener Irfam Karim’s hard-fought 24 off 78, helping Kenya go past three figures. “We didn’t pitch up. We did not apply ourselves the way were supposed to do,” Kenya’s coach Thomas Odoyo stated. 
“Uganda looked really sharp in the field and even with the batting,” he acknowledged.
Uganda began the chase with opener Hamu Kayondo making 23 off 40 before he was trapped LBW by Odhiambo (1/8) to leave the score at 60 for 3 midway the 15th over. And it needed some batting maturity to restore parity.
Roger Mukasa (29 off 66) led the recovery when he combined with Kamal Shahzad (19 off 37) for a 45-run fourth-wicket combo. 
Then Brian Masaba (13* off 19) and skipper Davis Karashani (23* off 33) crossed the line, the latter giving the 250 fans a perfect climax with a mighty heave that landed infront of the clubhouse. 
“We have to quickly forget it (defeat) and look to do better on Sunday (today).” Odoyo added.Tikolo demands more from Cranes

EASTER CRICKET SERIES 
TODAY AT 10AM
Uganda vs. Kenya, Kyambogo 
FRIDAY RESULT
Kenya 147/10 Uganda 148/5
(Uganda won by five wickets)

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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