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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Uganda, Ghana change battlefield

Ugandan cricket has suffered its fair share of highs and lows. 
And if you thought last May’s freefall of the Cricket Cranes at their own backyard in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III was the ‘lowest ebb’ moment for the game then you must rewind the clock to 2015.
It was then that a ‘little known’ Ghana threw a spanner in the works of what was a relatively subtle campaign for a new look and teen-packed Cricket Cranes that was destined to culminate into promotion to the ICC Global Twenty20 Qualifier.
Then Uganda buried its head in the sand when they lost by five runs after failing to chase down a joke of a target (74) in bizarre fashion at the Benoni Oval in Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Ugandan had previously made a fist of their blitz with powerhouses Namibia before emerging victors by two wickets and were literally one win away from qualification but the West Africans’ enthusiasm shut out the lights on them.
Baby Cricket Cranes skipper Kenneth Waiswa was part of that outfit that folded meekly in the face of adversity at Benoni.
But sport does give a second chance always. Today at the Nairobi Jaffreys Sports Club Oval in Nairobi, Waiswa, although he denies it, will want to make amends and get one over the unfazed Ghanaians.

“For us it is another day in office. Another day to try to do well and win a game for our country,” said the Aziz Damani all-rounder who evoked memories and comparisons with retired superstar Kenneth Kamyuka when he first broke onto the scene five years ago.
“We have no option but to go hard at Ghana because only the winner of this event goes to the World Cup in New Zealand next year. We know that they’re a hard fighting unit and not here by mistake.”
Ghana, alongside Botswana, have been labelled as the continent’s blue - eyed boys for their expanse development programmes that go beyond the boundary as justified by their recent rise in the rankings.

Both earned tickets to compete at this continental Qualifier after they hustled their way to the Africa Division II final in September last year in South Africa before Botswana toppled Ghana by three wickets in a swinging rubber that kept changing favours.
Ghana, never a side to be swayed by stage fright, will be bubbly when the umpires call for play to start but Waiswa, too, will have whispered ‘something’ to his comrades during the warm up session.
An evenly poised and no holds barred match is on our cards.
Host and favourites Kenya entertain Botswana, who are tutored by a son-of-the-soil in Joseph Angara, at the picturesque Nairobi Gymkhana Oval in the day’s other fixture.

 

Uganda starts T2O WC preps in Kigali

Ugandan cricket may be down but not entirely out. It is still a bitter pill to swallow that the Cricket Cranes got relegated to the unfamiliar ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Four on home soil a week ago.
But Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) can still save face via the ladies’ front. 
In September, this East African nation will be one of the five participants when Namibia hosts the ICC Africa Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers.

The development was announced at the weekend and UCA has already rolled out a plan for the big continental meet.

Yesterday, two teams; the U-23s and the Girls Cricket Week Select sides were named to represent Uganda at the annual Kwibuka Women’s T20 Peace Cup slated for Rwanda capital Kigali this weekend.

Yusuf Nanga, who guided Masaka SS to second place at the Cricket Week and Soroti Academy tutor Ivan Kakande are tasked to guide the sides respectively when they grace the four-team competition comprising Kenya and Rwanda national teams.
“This is not a normal tournament for us (Uganda) like in previous years,” Nanga told Daily Monitor before the teams left for Kigali last evening. “We expect tough cricket from Kenya and Rwanda to shape our girls,” the U-23s’ coach said.

Rightly so. Notwithstanding Pioneer Cricket Club’s Easter trip to Kigali, this competition is perhaps the biggest engagement lady cricketers are having since the start of the year.

The start of the National Women’s League was been delayed by the just concluded ICC WCL Division Three here last month.
“The plan is to have the girls play wholeheartedly as we prepare for Namibia. The statistics from here will be used by the selectors to choose the best players for the August trials in Nairobi before Windhoek.” Nanga added. Nanga, also a player with Africa Cricket Club, has six of his 14 players from defending champions Tornado Bee including captain Gertrude Candiru, Racheal Ntono, Mary Nalule, Rashida Kalsum, Saidat Kemigisha and wicket-keeper Patricia Munguryek.

Meanwhile, his students from Masaka SS including Janet Baluka, Teddy Ayella and Immaculate Nakisuyi made the cut to Kakande’s Cricket Week Select team. Champions Jinja SS only have captain Stephanie Nampiina and Rita Musamali in the side. The tournament starts on tomorrow at the Kicukiro Oval, Kigali.

U23 LADIES 
Gertrude Candiru (Captain), Racheal Ntono, Patricia Munguryek, Kevin Awino, Mary Nalule, Jennifer Nabwana, Janet Mbabazi, Rashida Kalsum, Martha Akello, Saidat Kemigisha, Irene Alumo, Dalphine Namubiru, Claire Mushakamba, Christian Tumusiime
COACH: Yusuf Nanga, 
MANAGER: Naome Kayondo

 

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Uganda seeks finer details, Kenya begins soul searching

Team Uganda coach Steve Tikolo already stated he would love his side to clinch the Easter Cricket Series against visiting side Kenya.

With three games done, Uganda leads their eastern neighbours 2-0 following Easter Monday’s gritty 27-run victory at Lugogo Oval.

“We showed a lot of character where Kenya really top of us,” Uganda’s captain Davis Karashani told this paper in an interview after they defended their 199 score.

Tikolo and his players know the job is not done yet in the Series as the Cricket Cranes prepare to host the ICC World Cricket League Division Three next month.

There were several pointers to pick and Uganda will not only hope to wrap up the Series but also seek finer details with bat and ball in Game Four at Lugogo today.

“We haven’t played the perfect game yet. We feel we have some areas to correct. So we’ll relax a bit and come out improve,” Karashani stressed.

Kenyan legend Tikolo will want to see more partnerships like the rare steady opening 51-run stand between Arthur Kyobe (30 off 41) and Hamu Kayondo (30 off 63) as well as the 74-run recovery combo between Deus Muhumuza (30 off 45) and Emmanuel Isaneez (33 off 52).

With Arnold Otwan (lost his mother) and Lawrence Ssematimba (groin), and Frank Nsubuga (hamstring) the latest casualty, their voids must be properly be filled.

Game Three had a team slump from 51-1 in midway the 12th over to 91-5 after 23 overs, a clear indication of a broken bridge between the top and middle order.

While the art of death bowling was duly tested, Karashani and company ought to avoid giving away cheap runs in the field, something Tikolo echoed after Game One last Friday.
On the other hand, Kenya will hope to step on the gears and make a difference.

“We have to improve on our batting,” noted veteran Collins Obuya, who leads the Series batting charts with 108 runs from three innings.

After Obuya (50 off 54) and Dhiren Gondaria (56 off 52) combined for an 83-run third wicket combo, Kenya needed 87 runs off 173 deliveries to win but they lost seven wickets in a rather fast and furious mode.

“Rather than going for big scores, we must rotate the strike and bat all the 50 Overs. My teammates should apply themselves better and stick to the basics.” Obuya urged.

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE & INNOCENT NDAWULA

Uganda off to a flyer in UAE T20 Cup

There is no better way Team Uganda’s coach Francis Otieno would have wanted his side to start the UAE International Women Twenty20 Cup.

The Lady Cricket Cranes started off at the invitational event with a convincing 87-run win over Oman at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

“It was a good game,” delighted senior player Franklyn Najjumba told this paper via phone. By then, the mood was a jovial one back in camp at Hotel Holiday International.

While Otieno will have to find solutions to a mid-order collapse, the Kenyan tactician will particularly be impressed with the team response.

Skipper Barbara Mukankusi’s three boundaries in an opening knock of 23 off 32 hardly got support from six batters on the order as Omani bowling trio Saya Channa (2/20), Sajina Rajesh (2/38) and Akshadha Gunasekar (2/21) enjoyed fine spells with the ball.

Uganda was reeling at 71-6 not until Najjumba and Carol Namugenyi walked onto the crease. The pair combined well for a 65-run partnership with 35 runs off 32 deliveries coming off Najjumba’s bat.

Namugenyi had 23 runs off 24 balls and 29 bowling extras had Uganda pile 126-7. The Ugandan fielding innings began with verve and put Oman in a tight spot at 5-3 after 5.5 overs courtesy of Namugenyi.

She snared outstanding figures of 4/3 and two maidens. That early blow set the tone as Consy Aweko (2/2) and Mackenzie Ayato (2/7) bowled out the Omanis for 39 runs. Today is rest day for Uganda but Oman takes on Kuwait in Group B.

UAE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S T20 CUP
YESTERDAY’S RESULT
Uganda 126/7 Oman 39/10 
(Uganda won by 87 runs)

Uganda playing for pride against Kenya

Yesterday’s listless display against Qatar ended Uganda’s interest in the ongoing Four-Nations Twenty20 Quadrangular Series.

Uganda went down by six wickets in a low-scoring one-sided affair at Nairobi Jaffrey’s Sports Club in Lavington. Coupled with Monday’s 31-run loss to Saudi Arabia at Nairobi Gymkhana Oval, the Cricket Cranes are out for contention for Friday’s final.

But Steve Tikolo’s charges have a chance of playing ‘Kingmaker’ when they play for pride against Kenya in today’s derby clash at Nairobi Gymkhana Oval. The match will be telecast live by ZUKU TV.

Kenya put on an insipid show as they went down by 39 runs to a fired-up Saudi Arabian-outfit at Gymkhana and now run into wounded Ugandan side eager to get the monkey off their back in the shorter code of the series.

Uganda’s only win in the One Day International (ODI) Series last weekend was against Kenya – a two wicket win last Friday.

And Tikolo believes that result will pump up the Ugandans to complete a rare double of their ‘big brothers.

“We have been losing matches but we are not a bad side,” 
said Tikolo, a man who played in five ICC Cricket World Cups.

“We have just been making small mistakes here and there. But the players are fired up for the Kenya game.”

For Kenya, coach Thomas Odoyo says they have no option but beat Uganda convincingly and keep their hopes of progressing alive. “Our shot selection was poor and we paid the price of complacency,” said Odoyo, without trying to find any excuse for his team that was bowled out for 84 while chasing 124 against Saudi Arabia yesterday.

“We have the experienced players to turn the tide. We shall don the thinking caps and stay on our toes.”
At the Nairobi’s Jaffrey’s Ground, Saudi Arabia will take on Qatar and if the latter win, they could as well be in final with a game to spare depending on what happens at Gymkhana Oval.

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