Steely bowling gives Cricket Cranes 2-0 lead in Easter Series

Team Uganda needed a touch of class with the ball to defeat Kenya by 27 runs and take a 2-0 lead in the Easter Cricket Series at Lugogo Oval yesterday. 
Defending their score of 199, the Cricket Cranes bowled out Kenya with 57 balls to spare, leaving the visitors in a desperate state with two matches left to wrap up the Series. 
"We are delighted with this win," said skipper Davis Karashani. "We showed a lot of character to claw back into this game. Kyobe (Arthur) showed maturity and awareness with that catch to dismiss Collins (Obuya). 
And the slow bowling department rose to the occassion to pile on the pressure and strangle the Kenyan batting. We have to continue improving though." 
Opting to bat first, Uganda had a unique brilliant start with openers Arthur Kyobe (30 off 41) and Hamu Kayondo (30 off 63) putting on 51 runs for the first wicket in 11.3 overs. 
Then Steve Tikolo's charges folded superfast to 91-5 by the end of the 23rd over with Shem Ngoche (2/25) and Nelson Odhiambo (2/38) doing the damage. 
However, the Cranes were back in the frame when Deus Muhumuza (30 off 45) and Emmanuel Isaneez (33 off ) put up 74 runs for the sixth wicket to help Uganda set 199 in overs. 
Kenya had a shaky start to the chase, losing Kaul Karan and Gurdeep Singh for 30 runs in the opening 5.1 overs. 
Then, two half-centuries from experienced lad Collins Obuya (50 off 54) and promising U-19 graduate Dhiren Gondaria (56 off 52) who combined for an 83-run third wicket combo got Kenya within victory range. 
But all crumbled when Kyobe threw the ball in the air for 12th man Brian Masaba, in for injured Frank Nsubuga, to catch Gondaria inside the circle. 
"It was an easy score to chase but we lost cheaply," Gondaria told Daily Monitor in a post-match interview. "I played a silly shot which cost us the match," the 22-year-old said.
Then skipper Davis Karashani (3/30) turned on the mojo to unscrew the wheels off the Kenyan ship, putting a cusp to Kenya losing seven wickets in a fast and furios mode when they needed 87 runs to win off 173 deliveries.
"My teammates did not apply themselves," Obuya noted. "We need to do better in the remaining two matches."
Notwithstanding dropped catches, Karashani rotated his bowlers and Roger Mukasa (2/3), who relinquished the wicketkeeping gloves to swing the match into his country's favour with two maiden overs including a wicket-maiden in his match-winning four-over spell.


EASTER CRICKET SERIES
GAME THREE RESULT
Uganda 199/10 Kenya 172/10 
(Uganda won by 27 runs)

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Ondeko gives Nile relief, woes for Wanderers

Besides Challengers being top, the other rare aspect of this year’s National Men’s Division One 50-Over League has been the degree of intensity among bottom sides.
The fortunes of the sides in the eight-team log keep changing save for 1991 and 1992 champions Wanderers. Runners-up just four years ago, Wanderers remained winless in eight games and are now as good as relegated after a 160-run loss to Nile at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.

“I think we can now begin preparing for life in the lower tier next season,” a distraught Wanderers skipper Denis Musali conceded. With just a point, Wanderers’ only mathematical chance stands at winning all their remaining six games to survive, hoping other results go their way. 
“We won’t give up though,” chipped in bowling all-rounder David Mwesigwa.
For Nile, they moved out of the relegation zone to sixth on 23 points.

“Good way to begin the second round,” said opening batsman Martin Ondeko, who registered a match-winning knock of 78* off 141 balls. The former U-19 national player struck six boundaries and his 66-run first-wicket combo with Abu Seguya (30 off 37) and a 57-run third partnership with skipper David Musoke (22 off 47) formed the gist of Nile’s innings. 
Zephania Arinaitwe’s 28-run-a-ball, Richard Agamire (28 off 23) and Ivan Kakande’s (27* off 10) two sixes helped them set 263 for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 50 overs. 
Man-of-match Kakande’s left-arm spinners (4/12) sent Wanderers home early midway the 34th over.

While Kutchi Tigers relied on Nehal Bibodi’s 89-ball 52* to beat Tornado by in Kyambogo, third-placed KICC were left reeling after losing to Patidar Samaj by two runs in Entebbe.
Patidar captain Ankit Patel’s 36 off 56 helped them to set 123 in 29.3 overs but it is old boy Emmanuel Isaneez (4/39) whose pace blew away KICC ‘s clueless batsmen.

NATIONAL 50-OVER LEAGUE Weekend Results - Division One
Nile 263/6 Wanderers 103/10 
K. Tigers 162/10 Tornado 98/10
P. Samaj 123/10 KICC 121/10 
Division Two
Charity TF 264/7 SKLPS 124/10 
Division Three
Strikers 224/10 KC Budo 129/10.

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Win over Kenya gives Uganda slim chance

Things change quickly and that is the nature of Twenty20 cricket. One commanding victory against arch-foes Kenya got Uganda’s camp buzzing again on Sunday. 
The 53-run win was a true testimony of the huge talent in coach Jonathan Ssebanja’s side. 
It got everyone talking and wondering what could have been ‘if’ the earlier games had been played with similar grit and gusto. With everyone thinking Uganda had dropped their shoulders and destined for the wooden spoon at this International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Women World T20 Qualifier, the omens came good. Captain Barbara Mukankusi won her first toss of the tournament, opted to bat and watched in delight as her openers Mary Nalule (33) and former skipper Naome Kayondo (24) raced to 55 without loss in 10 overs.

Uganda went on to tally the tournament’s second ton of 114, the other being Zimbabwe’s crushing 147 against the Kenyans, and then produced a clinical wicket-to-wicket bowling display to bundle out Kenya for 61.
“There is no team that has better players than mine in this tournament,” a relieved Ssebanja said. “We have been our own problem. The girls feared to express themselves because they fear to fail. In the end, they failed. We were also bowling three extras during our trial matches in Kampala, now we giving away in the excess of 15. Look at our losing margins, we are only hurting ourselves. And I don’t want to give the excuse of jetlag or that one of playing 160 overs in two days.”

And with the rest day yesterday helping the team to dust off the rust at the beautiful Harare Sports Club’s nets, Ssebanja still believes the Lady Cricket Cranes can pull off a shocker and pip Zimbabwe and Kenya on Net Run Rate (NRR), if other results go their way, to the lone slot to the ICC Women World T20 Global Qualifier in West Indies 2018. “We have Tanzania in the morning and Zimbabwe in the afternoon. Tanzania got us on the back foot. We now know them better and we will execute.”
Zimbabwe top the log with 12 points, Kenya are second on six, and Uganda third with three.

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