Cricket Cranes off to Cape Town

The Cricket Cranes’ preparations for the Division II International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) tourney due January 17-24 in Windhoek, Namibia negotiate the final bend with a 10-day boot camp in Cape Town, South Africa starting today.
While in Cape Town, the team will get a chance to train at the ultra modern Newlands Park that is currently hosting the third Test between South Africa and West Indies, catch the final two days of the riveting Test and watch the Twenty20 blitz between the two giants on Friday (Jan. 9).

Coach Peter Kirsten’s boys will also have training sessions at Western Province Academy (WPA) and play three rubbers against WPA and Western Province XI but the peak of the boot camp will be presence of legendary South African Test player Gary Kirsten.
Peter and Gary are half brothers but the latter is more famous because he ended his career as South Africa’s most capped player and top Test runs-scorer (7,289) when he called it a day in March 2004 against New Zealand in Wellington.
Gary has also built a niche as a successful coach as he is credited for having taken powerhouse India to the top of the Test rankings during his stint, which ended, quite fittingly, with India’s World Cup triumph in 2011.
Gary, on the invitation of Peter, is scheduled to watch over a couple training sessions, have one-on-one sessions with the players and offer motivational speeches on Jan 13 and 14.
“He (Gary) played this game at the very top level and his presence in our camp is a big boost. He has done it all before and will be easy to believe,” assistant coach Michael Ndiko told Daily Monitor after National Council of Sports (NCS) general secretary Jasper Aligawesa flagged off the team yesterday at the NCS Headquarters in Lugogo.
Skipper Frank Nsubuga, too, made a bold vow about the team’s goals. 
“We have been working hard and are looking forward to meet and work with Gary for the next 10 days. We promise to work hard and ensure that we don’t get relegated back to Division III.”

Jan 17: Uganda vs. Nepal (Wanderers Affies)
Jan 18: Namibia vs. Uganda (Wanderers)
Jan 19: Rest/reserve day
Jan 20: Kenya vs. Uganda (United)
Jan 21: Canada vs. Uganda (Wanderers Affies)
Jan 22: Rest/reserve day
Jan 23: Netherlands vs. Uganda (Wanderers)
Jan 24: Playoff finals

F. Nsubuga (captain), D. Karashani, H. Kayondo, A. Kyobe, B. Masaba (vice captain), D. Muhumuza, R. Mukasa, P. Mukobe, A. Mutyagaba, P. Ochan, D. Ruyange, J. Ssebanja, L. Ssematimba, H. Ssenyondo 
OFFICIALS: A. Meya (Team Manager), P. Kirsten (Coach/ Technical Director), M. Ndiko (Trainer), T. Le Roux (Team Physiotherapist)

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Another Cricket Gear for Uganda

Our eighth container load of donated gear for Uganda left Bankstown Oval 25th November - thanks to Bankstown Sports Club - who, in case you don’t know, cover all the freight costs for the container each year to arrive at the Uganda Cricket Association. This container is expected to arrive in January 2015.

We greatly appreciate our volunteers who helped pack the 20 foot container... Brian Freedman, Marty Klumpp, Linsey Roworth, Eris Dignam, David Clifton – but special thanks go to Matt Clifton and his mates from uni: Josh Hall, Tim Bennett and Diego Garcia - thanks guys - it made the job so much quicker and easier for us oldies! 
See the photos of the latest container being packed.


Prepared by: Bankstown Sports Club.

Cricket Cranes edge Takashinga

The Cricket Cranes rallied to snatch victory from the glaring jaws of defeat as they overcame Zimbabwe outfit Takashinga by 23 runs in a low-scoring thriller at Kyambogo Oval yesterday.

It was a day of two insipid batting displays but it will be the Ugandans, who despite clinching the rubber, that will want to look themselves in the mirror and forthwith shed some skin.

Uganda set 99 all out in 36.1 overs with under-fire wicketkeeper Lawrence Ssematimba (20 off 57), former skipper Davis Karashani (18 off 37) and vice-captain Brian Masaba (13 off 34) crawling to double figures as the slow-bowling trio of Sikandar Raza Butt, Chamu Chibhabha and Tinotenda Mutombodzi claimed two scalps apiece.

And with the Ugandan fans thinking their team was going to face a successive defeat, captain Frank Nsubuga had different ideas.

The 34-year-old introduced himself into the attack early in the second over and immediately bowled a wicket maiden claiming the scalp of Kudzai Maunze (1).

He finished with miserly figures of 6 for 16 in the allotted 10 overs that also comprised of three maidens as the tourists were bundled out for 76 in 31.5 overs.

Nsubuga’s other victims were Odecious Manje (11), Butt (18), and Shingirai Masakadza (2), Regis Chakabva (5) and Timycen Maruma (0).

Left-arm spinner Henry Ssenyondo (3/21 in 9.5) and Karashani (1/20) supplemented their skipper as Uganda pulled off a nervy win on a turf that offered palpable assistance to the bowlers. 
The tour which wraps up on Sunday resumes tomorrow.

Yesterday’s result - 50 overs
Uganda 99/10 Takashinga 76/10
Uganda won by 23 runs
Tomorrow – 50 over game
Emerging Uganda vs. Takashinga, Lugogo
Sunday – 50-over game
UCA Chairman’s XI vs. Takashinga, Kyambogo

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No trophy but Mukasa MVP

 History repeated itself as Uganda lost to Nepal in the second successive Pepsi International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III final.

The Cricket Cranes lost by five wickets to the Asians last year in Bermuda and the tale of the tape was similar as the Nepalese ousted Uganda by 62 runs in a one-sided affair at Kinrara Academy Oval in Malaysia yesterday.

But as Nepal celebrated both on the ground and back in their cricket-mad capital Kathmandu, there were no tears in Uganda’s camp and love lost after Roger Mukasa was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Albeit a slow start, the 25-year-old opening batsman, who battled malaria in the last two days, was easily the most outstanding player of the eight-day showpiece.
Mukasa collected 265 runs from six innings with a highest score of 86 against Bermuda at an average of 52.8 per innings and only fell short of best batsman Malaysian Arjurn Mutreja (282)’s aggregate by 17 runs.

The athletic all-rounder’s tidy part time off-spin deliveries that accounted for 27.5 overs also prized out 13 wickets at a cost of 125 runs, just one scalp behind the tourney’s best bowler Basanta Regmi of Nepal. 
In the final, Mukasa snared a six-wicket haul for 27 runs – the tournament’s best bowling figures – as Nepal set a competitive aggregate of 223 in 49.5 overs.
At 23 for no loss, Mukasa (12 off 23) temporarily retired not out but later returned and gave Uganda some hope of winning the final with four boundaries and three sixes in his third half ton of the tournament – a 52-ball 51. When he departed in the 42nd over at 151 for 7, only 10 runs were added to the score as Uganda crumbled for 161 with 35 balls to spare.

But Mukasa had done enough to earn himself a record fourth Man-of-Match award, adding to those notched in victories over Singapore (one run), USA (24 runs after D/L) and Bermuda (seven wickets). Team Uganda returns this afternoon.

Individual honours 
Roger Mukasa (Uganda) - 265 runs & 13 wickets
Best Batsman 
Arjurn Mutreja (Malaysia) – 282 runs from seven innings
Best Bowler
Basanta Regmi (Nepal) – 14 wickets
Best Fielder
Paras Khadka (Nepal) – 10 catches
Best Wicket-Keeper
Subash Khakurel (Nepal) – 10 dismissals

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Final hurdle for Uganda

Mission accomplished. The Cricket Cranes showed that Monday’s 20-run defeat to Malaysia was a mere ‘bad day at office’ as they returned to winning ways against Bermuda – securing a clinical seven-wicket victory – to earn promotion to Division II and a place in today’s final against Nepal at Kinrara Academy Oval.
The Pepsi International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Division II will be played from January 17 to 24 in Windhoek, Namibia. 
Uganda must finish among the top four in the six-team event to secure its status as an ICC High Performance Programme (HPP) nation to attract increased funding from the ruling body.
The Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2 is the final step in the qualification pathway to the ICC’s four-day, first-class competition for Associate and Affiliate Members, the ICC Intercontinental Cup, as well as the 50-over Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship.

Nepal test 
But first things first. Team Uganda will be anxious to stamp their authority over Nepal by completing a double when the two arch-foes face off in today’s final. Both teams finished the league phase on eight points apiece but Nepal top the log with a better Net Run Rate (+1.985).
Uganda defeated Nepal by six wickets during the round-robin stage of last year’s event held in Bermuda only for the latter to exact revenge with a five-wicket win in the final.
And on the opening day (October 23) of this meet in Kuala Lumpur, Uganda edged the Nepalese by 20 runs but will be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself in the final as they seek a sensational climax.
Yesterday, Uganda banked on ‘sick man’ Roger Mukasa to seal the near perfect qualification campaign with a whirlwind 68-ball 86 half ton to help Uganda make light work of Bermuda’s target of 140 in 24.5 overs. 
Reports from the team’s camp at the five-star Hotel Istana indicated that Mukasa had malaria and played under medication in what many of his teammates described as the ‘knock of the tournament’ on Facebook.

Mukasa shared an opening stand of 75 runs in less than 13 overs with Arthur Kyobe (18 off 35) before Jonathan Ssebanja sealed it with 20 off 35. And with Mukasa likely to be rested for the final, captain Frank Nsubuga will be hoping Uganda can win their second Div. III title after their inaugural triumph in Darwin, Australia 2007 when they overwhelmed Argentina by 91 runs.
“We are happy with the win today, and to qualify to WCL Div.2. We’re looking forward to it, but we will need to go back and work hard. We need to play a lot of cricket before we go to Namibia,” said Nsubuga.

Previous meetings 
Uganda 203/8 Nepal 183/10 
(Uganda won by 20 runs)
Nepal 240/10 Uganda 80/10 
(Nepal won by 160 runs)
2013 ICC WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE DIV.Nepal 116/10 Uganda 117/4
(Uganda won by 6 wickets)
Final: Uganda 151/8 Nepal 153/5 
(Nepal won by 5 wickets)


Uganda beat USA, face Malaysia

After three wins in as many matches at the ongoing Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Three in Malaysia, there is optimism in Uganda’s camp that they can rewrite the winning script of 2007 in Darwin, Australia.

This is after the Cricket Cranes maintained their unbeaten streak with a 24-run Duckworth and Lewis method victory over USA at the horseracing Selangor Turf Club in the Klang Valley yesterday. And in the early hours of today, coach Peter Kirsten’s troops will walk onto to the Bayeumas Oval to play hosts Malaysia for the second time in history with less pressure.

For now, Uganda’s bid to seal a ticket to next year’s WCL Division Two showpiece in Namibia is so intact thanks to opening batsman Roger Mukasa, who put in a match-winning performance to help Uganda to their fourth win over the Americans in seven meetings yesterday.

After skipper Frank Nsubuga won the toss, Mukasa firmly backed his brother’s decision to bat first when he struck a pivotal half-ton of 71 runs off 100 balls to help Uganda set 215.

In his 122-minute innings, the 25-year-old clobbered four boundaries and two maximums to move his tournament tally to 119 runs in three matches – now fifth on the batting chart.

Before he suffered lbw (leg before wicket) by Danial Ahmed (2/36) for the third wicket, Mukasa had shared an opening 42-run partnership with Arthur Kyobe (8 off 31) and a second 51-run stand with Hamu Kayondo (21 off 55).

Despite Timil Patel’s figures of 3/42, assistant captain Brian Masaba (36 off 47), Philemon Mukobe (27 off 47), Nsubuga’s (17 off 7) late explosion and 23 extras were enough to guide the East African nation to the tourney’s third highest team score.

Due to rains, the Americans’ response was delayed and their target was revised to 153 from 35.4 overs. Nsubuga was clinical and tore through the Americans’ top-order for modest figures of 4-14.

Despite Srini Santhanam’s 37 off 73 and Karan Ganesh’s (22 off 54), USA were condemned to their second tournament defeat. Today, Nsubuga and company must watch out for Malaysia skipper Ahmed Faiz who leads the batting charts with 176 runs in three innings.

Bermuda 257/8 Malaysia 179/7 
Bermuda won by 37 runs (D/L method)
Nepal 263/9 Singapore 73/10 
(Nepal won by 190 runs)
Uganda 215/8 USA 128/6 
Uganda won by 24 runs (D/L method)
TODAY, 5.15AM 
Malaysia vs. Uganda
Nepal vs. USA
Bermuda vs. Singapore



By Darren Allan Kyeyune & Innocent Ndawula

Uganda bank on batsmen

 Will this Pepsi International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III showpiece in Malaysia provide another new dawn for Uganda? 
The Cricket Cranes have on three occasions made the grade from Division III to Division II only to slump back into the former.
Coach Peter Kirsten, the latest in an array of tacticians that have overseen Team Uganda’s progress since their debut during the WCL Div. III in Darwin, Australia 2007 will be hoping this campaign is one that will offer final reprieve. 
Uganda open their account against familiar foes Nepal at Kinrara Academy Oval this morning (4.15am) aiming for a clinical start in pursuit of the desired top-two finish. 
Nepal have won two of the three rubbers between the two top seeds and they will have a slight edge coming into this clash as the six-nation event is hosted in Asian conditions.
But Kirsten has made no secrets about his plan to defy the favourites by unleashing his ‘Big Three’ to counter Nepal’s spinners.
“Roger (Mukasa), Arthur (Kyobe) have been in good nick whereas Hamu (Kayondo) has been looking good at No.3. These are my go to guys. I have instructed them to bat deep and allow the other guys to play their natural games,” the 59-year-old former South Africa Test batsman said in praise of the top order batsmen.
Kyobe and Kayondo weren’t part of the World Cup Qualifier no-show in New Zealand and Kirsten is philosophical they can offer a new dimension to the team set-up.

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Peter Kirsten, the Uganda Cricket Cranes coach, believes the national team can finish among the top two at the ICC WCL Div III tournament that gets underway on Thursday in Malaysia.

“I have done a lot of coaching for teams across Africa and by far this is the most prepared I have seen a team,” said the former South African batsman.

“I have been in charge for nine competitive matches and have won five and lost four,” added the 59-year-old in an interview with Kawowo Sports. “I think that is a pretty good return plus we have had time to work on those areas that have been wanting.”

The former Proteas Test player Kirsten, who has been in charge for barely two months after taking over from Davis Turinawe to lead Uganda in Malaysia, is optimistic that they can actually go on and win the tournament.

 We have worked on the spin bowlers, organized our batting order and our general attitude and mental strength is excellent. Franco (Nsubuga) gets a lot of respect from the boys and our goal going into the ICC WCL Div III is to win.

“We have managed to find a good balance between the batting and bowling, the gym has been a permanent residence and they are pretty agile in the fielding as well’

Uganda, who set off on Monday for Kuala Lumpur, will be tussling it out with Nepal, USA, Bermuda, Singapore and hosts Malaysia after the tournament was moved from Kampala, Uganda citing security concerns

The top two sides qualify for the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament in Namibia due early 2015.

On playing at the sub-continent, Kirsten believes that the training and build-up games down under will be key. “I first met them on September 5th but since then they have stuck to the training regime, they are nice and hungry and I feel that is always a good way to start off a tournament.”
Assistant coach, Micheal Ndiko who is more familiar will the players agrees on working with Player experience.

“A couple of players were part of the U19 World Cup contingent that played in Bangladesh including Karashani (Davis), Kyobe (Arthur) and Mukasa (Roger) something that we can build on,' echoes Ndiko and the debutants have given a good account of themselves so far.' 

On coaching in Uganda, the amiable Kirsten believes it is a match made in heaven. “I have been in Zambia and Kenya and was aware of Uganda Cricket and where they have been,” he said.

“For me this is match–up came at the right time. A call from head of Africa Cricket, Kassim Suleiman, on the 25th August about Uganda Cricket needing some technical help and high profile assistance (and) I was happy to help because I believe Uganda has a lot of talent and I am always available to further their development.”

The short-term goal, the former right-hander believes; is to finish among the top two sides at the ICC WCL Division III in Kuala Lumpur.

“Every team makes plans against sides you play. Cricket is a game of situations, you have to have a killer instinct and control aggression but with good thought.

“If you do not apply thought and read the game it changes so fast. I will assist and help out during the drink breaks but ultimately it is about thinking correctly, choosing the batting team selection and keeping calm.
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