As the Cricket Cranes move to India, they leave Qatar bruised winning just two games out of the scheduled five.

They were able to win one T20 game and one 50-over game in very tough conditions. The very cold, humid and windy conditions made it difficult for batsmen against the new ball and also taking the high catches in the field.

The Cricket Cranes uncharacteristically put down a lot of chances in the field which led to them having to chase big totals in the games they lost. While the hosts exploited the windy conditions to swing the ball, Uganda’s bowlers had no control with the new ball straying down the leg a couple of times and bowling a lot of full balls.

However, there were some stand out performances. Deus Muhumuza marked his return to the Cricket Cranes with some gusty knocks in the middle order. Youngster Frank Akankwasa, on his maiden tour with the senior side, put in a wonderful all-rounder shift scoring runs as well as picking wickets with his slow bowling. Akankwasa, a former captain of the U19 Cricket Cranes, has taken the opportunity with both hands and he is the perfect replacement for the evergreen Frank Nsubuga.

Saud Islam, though ineligible to play for Uganda yet, was the star of the 50-over matches. He scored a century and a half-century in the two games a further notice to the selectors that he can cope with international cricket.

The Cricket Cranes have switched camp to India where they will be joined by six players from Kampala, Frank Nsubuga and Saud Islam return to Kampala from Qatar with youngsters Robinson Obuya, Gerald Mubiru, Calvin Watuwa and Jonathan Kiiza linking up with the other players in Mumbai.

The team is preparing for the inaugural Africa T20 Cup slated for March 20-28 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Prepared by: Denis Musali.

Cricket Cranes to make light weather of Oman

Team Uganda have calmly settled into the Arabian Peninsula of Oman ahead of their International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III campaign.

With Uganda set to play its opening match on Friday (November 9), Uganda Cricket Association chairman Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasiira worked his magic to send the Cricket Cranes for at least four days of acclimatization here in Muscat.

All seems to be going according to plan for the team based at the five-star City Seasons Hotel as the team continues with preparation and adapting programme.

“We are grateful to Mr Khimji Kanak the director of KR Group here in Oman who has hosted and ensured our desire to acclimatize becomes a reality,” said Jackson Kavuma, the Cricket Cranes Team Manager.

“He has taken care of a large chunk of our logistics to ensure that we have a decent place to put our heads and also access training facilities. This preparation is priceless as the team embarks on a tough but possible mission.”

The Cricket Cranes arrived in Muscat in the wee-hours of Monday morning, had a cardio session including gym, swimming and stretching at the hotel’s rooftop pool and did shake off the jet-lag proper yesterday with fully-fledged training session at OC Turf for two hours.

The season is winter here but doesn’t differ too much from that of Uganda with the conditions hot and air staying dry. The team will continue to adapt before taking on Denmark and USA on two back-to-back days (Friday and Saturday).

Acclimatizing. ItThe Cricket Cranes arrived in Muscat in the wee-hours of Monday morning, had a cardio session including gym, swimming and stretching at the hotel’s rooftop pool and did shake off the jet-lag proper yesterday with fully-fledged training session at OC Turf for two hours.

By Innocent Ndawula

Cricket Cranes continue to make hay in Gujarat

Seven Match Series in Chikhil
Surat City – Gujarat State
Summary For Twenty20 Match – Feb 16
Uganda 129/6 beat ND Warriors XI 75/9 
by 54 runs (with 32 balls remaining)
*Man Of Match: Deus Muhumuza
Summary For Twenty20 Match – Feb 16
Skipper XI Gujarat 108 all out in 19.2 overs
lost to Uganda 112 for 4 in 17.3 overs by six
wickets with 15 balls remaining.
*Man Of Match: Simon Ssesazi

CHIKHIL. India and Qatar are worlds apart in every inch of the phrase. Whereas Qatar remains on track of becoming a first world country, India is gnawing as a third-world nation.

But the latter make up for what they don’t have in infrastructure by being the No.1 cricketing nation in the world, something Qatar may never achieve in eons.

The Cricket Cranes, too, are gradually taking the baby steps and showing that they can adapt and survive in both worlds – the high-end of Doha and lowlife in Gujarat.

From an impressive shift on the national team’s maiden visit to the oil-rich nation, Steve Tikolo’s troops have showed no signs of fatigue after settling into the remote but beautiful Sanjay Farm in Chikhil which is 225 kilometers from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai.

Two games down the road, the Cricket Cranes have not only excited the locals with a free-spirt brand of cricket as justified by the numbers that keep trickling in to watch but have also picked up satisfactorily if not convincing victories. All-rounder Deus Muhumuza mixed hard-running and clean hitting on his way to a Man of Match (MOM) innings of 35 runs as Uganda breezed to a 54-run win on the Tour to India’s opening Twenty20 match against ND Warriors XI.

Uganda set 129 and then bowled out the hosting side for 75 thanks to a brilliant spell of 3 wickets for 5 runs in 4 overs from debutant Dinesh Nakrani.
In the afternoon on Friday, Simon Ssesazi flourished with a chanceless half century of 51 as Uganda secured a six-wicket win against Skipper XI Gujarat in the second Twenty20 match at the Shri Mohanlal Desai Cricket Ground (Sanjay Farm).

The 21-year-old left-hand batsman featured in a 44-run match-changing partnership with Nakrani (15) as Uganda chased down 107 and duly deserved his MOM award – the second on this 16-day long tour.

“The guys are starting to realise their roles,” said coach Tikolo. “But we are still not yet hitting our set targets. We were ran close in these two games and I have told the guys that we can do a lot better. We need to pump ourselves for the remaining games.”

By press-time Uganda were taking on a much-polished Surat Cricket Association U-19 side, whose players feature for the Gujarat State U-19 side – a straight feeder to the India U-19 outfit that has just won the ICC Junior World Cup down under in New Zealand.

The team will play three more Limited Over matches and one Twenty20 before they return home on February 23.

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KICC miss T20 party, Damani make quarters

Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) will turn their energies to the 50-over format after failing to make the National Men’s Twenty20 League quarterfinals.
KICC failed to chase identical 150-run targets in narrow 11 and one-run defeats to Aziz Damani and Tornado respectively at Lugogo Oval on Sunday. 
The losses meant they finished fifth in the T20 league, a drop from last year’s display when they came second. “Losing by a single run and missing out on the last eight is really tough to bear,” KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar said. “Those were two must-win matches but we missed key players like Emmanuel (Isaneez) and Hamza (Saleh).”

The newly-formed Damani will now play their maiden T20 quarterfinals in a fortnight.
“We have been playing as underdogs and our patience has paid off,” Sarfaraz Chunara, the Pakistan-oriented club captain, said. Despite Sai Ware’s 3/24, Damani built on Ali Hunzai’s innings of 41 off 25 Ghulam Hunzai’s 15-ball 30 to set 149 for 9. 
John Gabula made 33 off 45 while Abdul Mubarak added 38 off 25 but KICC’s lower order crumbled at the hands of Chunara (3/29). 
Later, KICC failed to contain Deus Muhumuza and his unbeaten half-ton of 51 runs off 39 balls guided Tornado to 149 for 6.

Ruyange keen to make most of national team comeback

It is often difficult for many sportsmen to regain their top form once they suffer injuries or undergo surgeries.

Such has been the case for Daniel Ruyange. The multi-talented player has not fully regained his fast bowling mojo ever since he tore muscles in his right shoulder while representing Uganda at the 2009 ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Three event in Argentina.

Lucky enough, the 29-year-old returned to action after one year and is now part of national coach Peter Kirsten’s plans as Uganda finalises preparations for the upcoming WCL in Malaysia.

“From the time I underwent surgery, my performance has never been the same,” Ruyange said in an exclusive interview early this week.

“The last five years have been tough for me but I am glad to be back into the national team set-up,” he said. Within the last half-a-decade, he played at the ICC 2011 WCL Div.II in UAE and the ICC Regional Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier here last year.

And now, all-rounder Ruyange is the only second player after club-mate Suleman Sharif in the senior national side selected from the men’s Division Two National 50-Over League largely because of his good displays with both bat (565 runs in 11 innings) and ball (15 wickets) that helped KICC earn promotion to the top-flight next year.

“Playing in the lower league helps to build my confidence and improves my game especially with the bat,” he said. It is the second successive time he has helped a team get promoted to the top tier after Challengers last year.

And Ruyange, a doubles partner to his sibling tennis ace Duncan Mugabe, now wants to shift the form from the red and blue club stripe to the yellow national colours when they travel to play on the small spin-favouring pitches in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

“The form partly showed while we were in national camp recently in South Africa. The wickets in Malaysia are flat and they favour batsmen, so I expect even a better performance,” a confident Ruyange noted before hinting on how to tackle the spin bowlers. 
“In training, we are working hard against spin and foot movement on the wicket and good enough the coach is not putting us on pressure,”

“Once our top-order batsmen like Arthur (Kyobe) and Roger (Mukasa) play longer innings, then a top-two finish in Malaysia will be on the cards for us,” he added.

Team to Malaysia 
Frank Nsubuga (captain), Brian Masaba (asst. captain), Roger Mukasa, Daniel Ruyange, Arthur Kyobe, Deusdedit Muhumuza, Jonathan Ssebanja, Davis Karashani, Hamu Kayondo, Henry Ssenyondo, Naeem Bardai, Selowa Mukobe, Lawrence Ssematimba and Suleman Sharif.
OFFICIALS: Andrew Meya (team manager), Peter Kirsten (coach/ technical director), Tania Le Roux (physiotherapist).

October 23: Nepal vs. Uganda (Kinrara Academy Oval) 
October 24: Uganda vs. Singapore (Kinrara Academy Oval)
October 26: USA vs. Uganda (Selangor Turf Club)
October 27: Malaysia vs. Uganda (Bayeumas Oval) 
October 29: Uganda vs. Bermuda (Bayeumas Oval)

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