- Published in International Competitions
Zimbabwean top franchise Takashinga came to town and carried top honours at the 2016 Uganda Quadrangular Seriers as expected on Saturday.
But it was Uganda, who fielded two sides (Uganda XI and Uganda Select), that were celebrating most after they comprehensively defeated the Kenya XI side and run the Zimbabweans close during the eight-day tour.
Davis Karashani’s Uganda XI and Takashinga finished on 25 points. Takashinga’s Net Run Rate (NRR) of 1.686 was however better than that of Uganda XI (1.516) by just 0.07 hence granting the vistors the title by the slimmest of margins.
Winston Shingirai Masakadza’s tournament haul of 178 runs, nine wickets and eight fielding dismissals made all the difference for the southern Africans and duly notched the Man of Series Award.
Takashinga showed immense awareness by chasing down Uganda Select’s set target of 157 in just 25.3 overs at Kyambogo Oval to surpass the NRR of Uganda XI, who had earlier scored 225 and bowled Kenya XI for 85 for a 140-run win at Lugogo Oval. But although Ugandan captains Karashani and Brian Masaba said that they would have loved the trophy to stay at home but they were not shedding any tear.
“Any sharp person has picked something from this Series,” said Karashani, who captained Uganda XI that was coached by Steve Tikolo and Jackson Ogwang. “The exposure we got is priceless. Guys got good time out their in the middle to express themselves and know exactly which areas they need to work on. Such tours build momentum.”
Masaba, too, was happy that many ‘rookies’ looking to get into the senior side had got a chance to play against top quality opposition and gauge their potential.
“Uganda benefited most from the tournament,” said Masaba, who was skipper for the Uganda Select side. “The more game time we get, the better for us. The guys looking to get a look in, it served as a good eye opener. Also picking up advice and tips from Takashinga guys after the game was great for the boys.”
While Africa Cricket Association keeps participants guessing about the dates of the ICC Africa Women’s Twenty20 Championship, Team Uganda has kept up with its training routine.
In a bid to gauge what they have learnt in practice, coaches Jonathan Ssebanja and Grace Mutyagaba had slotted a series of trial matches for the Lady Cricket Cranes for tourney expected to happen in April.
Although winning was not the essence, the two build-up matches at the lakeside oval in Entebbe on Saturday, left the national women’s side with several unanswered questions.
The Lady Cricket Cranes lost by 80 and 124 runs in the respective morning and afternoon contests.
“We brought in the boys to give the ladies a different kind of ball game,” Mutyagaba explained. The previous four trial matches were between selected Mackenzie Ayato XI, Franklyn Najjumba XI and Naomi Kayondo X1 sides.
“The U-23 boys played with aggression the ladies were not accustomed to,” said one of the coaches Mutyagaba.
“They also exposed that we are a weak spin-playing unit. We know that giants Zimbabwe have got some good spinners and if we work on how to play the slow bowlers it could give us an advantage over them.”
Perhaps, Mutyagaba will be triggered to think more about his bowlers Najjumba, Ayato, Patricia Malemkia, Ritah Musamali and Stephannie Nampina.
This is after the quintet conceded an unbeaten century of 135 runs off Zephania Arinaitwe’s willow as U-23 Boys set 178-5 in the afternoon duel.
Only Saidat Kemigisha managed to reply with a meagre 15 runs off 34 deliveries.
TRIAL MATCH RESULTS
U-23 X1 148/7 Lady Cricket Cranes 68/10
U-23 XI 178/5 Lady Cricket Cranes 54/10
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).
ICC W. CRICKET LEAGUE DIV. 3
TEAM UGANDA FIXTURES
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)