Otwani dreams about Division II after redeeming career in Oman

ganda’s latest sensation Arnold Otwani was already talking about playing cricket in International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division II soon after guiding the Cricket Cranes to a five-wicket win over Denmark in the opening game of Division III here in Al Amarat, Muscat on Friday.
The Division II showpiece doesn’t happen until April 18-28, 2019 in Namibia but after his match-winning knock of 88 off 86 balls, Otwani can dare to dream.
“Oh Yeah, I feel so good. It has been more than a year away from the national team. I had some ups and downs but I have worked so hard to be here again,” said Otwani, whose knock comprised of 15 boundaries and helped Uganda reach their target with 82 balls to spare.
“I have proved my critics wrong. I am happy to deliver and this should be the start of many good things to come. I dedicate this award to the coach (Steve Tikolo) because he believed in me. 
“Now our main target is to go to Division II. We don’t want to either look back or even go a level down. Even in the next matches our plan is to come hard at the opponents but by playing basic cricket. We are hungry to do well.”
Only two places, for the top two finishers, are at stake from this six-team global event to progress to the Division II in a series of leagues constituted as the qualification pathway to the 2023 World Cup in India.
The 23-year-old Otwani also paid tribute to his fellow top performer on the day Charles Waiswa, who finished with figures of 4 for 25. “Charles bowled very well. He earned all his wickets because he had to hit the deck hard and extract some more pace and bounce from the wicket.”
The Cricket World Cup (CWC) League 2 line-up will be completed by the top four teams from Division 2, who will join Scotland, Nepal and United Arab Emirates. The bottom four teams from the Oman event will play in the ICC Cricket World Challenge League.
By press time, Uganda was taking on USA in a crunch fixture looking to make the Americans pay for having inflicted a 13-run defeat on them during the same event hosted by the former in May 2017 at the lakeside Entebbe Cricket Ground. 
It was that loss that condemned Uganda to unchartered territory with their first-ever relegation to the Division IV tier. Luckily, Uganda quickly regained its status by winning subsequent Division IV event in Malaysia May 2018.


Game 1 
Kenya 164 all out in 49.2 overs
Oman 166/5 in 42.5 overs
Oman won by 5 wickets 
(with 43 balls remaining)
Man of Match: Kaleemullah of Oman 
(4 for 26 in 10 overs including 4 maidens)

Game 2
Denmark 165 all out in 44.2 overs
Uganda 167/5 in 36.2 overs
Uganda won by 5 wickets 
(with 82 balls remaining)
Man of Match: Arnold Otwani
(88 runs off 86 balls (15 fours) & 4 catches)

Oman vs. Denmark, OCA Turf 1
Uganda vs. Kenya, OCA Turf 2

Mukasa, Najjumba not about to rest on laurels

 When many consistently nodded their heads accompanied with several hand claps, it certainly felt right that all were worthy winners at the annual Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) Awards Gala on Thursday night.
This serene mood at Copper Chimney Restaurants hardly fluctuated as nine awards were dished out at the Castle Lite/Pepsi-sponsored event.

The evening climaxed with pundits’ favourite Roger Mukasa being announced as the 2015 UCA Male Cricketer of the Year in front of the elegantly dressed 200 guests. “I am extremely happy,” the smiling batsman told Sunday Monitor shortly after being crowned by chief guest Commissioner of Sports Omara Apitta.
“First, I dedicate this award to my fiancee Hajara Nabukenya,” he said while pointing at her. “Without her support, may be things would have been different. I also thank my friends, teammates and everybody who helped me got here.”


All-round performance
He beat three other nominees Hamu Kayondo, Irfan Afridi and Ivan Thawithemwira, having notched 797 runs in 13 innings, snared 12 wickets and clung onto 14 catches as his side Tornado Bee won their third successive National Men’s Division One 50-Over League title. 
Mukasa, also voted 2014 MVP, was also fourth best batsman with 85 runs as the Uganda’s senior national team finished fifth at last year’s ICC World Cricket League Div. II tournament in Namibia.


Three-horse race
Meanwhile, Franklyn Najjumba pipped KICC pair Gertrude Chandiru and Consy Aweko for the Female MVP gong. 
“Though I won this in 2010, I am really grateful to God for another award,” Najjumba said after receiving a standing ovation from her Pioneer teammates, the 2015 Women’s 40-Over League champions. 
“It was not easy. I was consistent throughout 2015 with bat (an average of 42 runs per innings) and ball which I think gave me the advantage. Hopefully, 2016 turns out even better,” she concluded.

Male MVP: 
Roger Mukasa
Female MVP: Franklyn Najjumba
Young Male MVP: Kenneth Waiswa
Young Female MVP: Ritah Musamali
Coach of the Year: Emmanuel Isaneez
Umpire of the Year: John Trust Mayeku
Best Volunteer: Ivan Thawithemwira
Best Groundsman: Julius Bukulu
Best Team Manager: Rita Tinka

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