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

Challengers seeks fine start in belated season

The final decision on the status of Tornado club had an implication on both ends of the 2016 National Men’s Division One 50-Over League log.

That they suffered the knife for the first time in one of the fraternity’s bold decisions passed by new Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) chairman Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasira, Challengers, too, lost the title to Tornado Bee last month.

“After playing all a thrilling brand of cricket, it was painful to lose the title,” Challengers’ batsman Arthur Kyobe told Sunday Monitor in a recent interview.

Challengers would have celebrated a maiden title after earning promotion in 2013.

However, that ‘set-back’ is one they want to leave in their past which is some 231 days later from last season’s turbulent final day - July 17, 2016.

Fresh chapter
Vaheed Mohammed’s club now wants to start a fresh chapter on a high when the new season bowls off with an interesting match against Nile at Lugogo Oval this morning.

“We want to take one game at a time,” left-hander Kyobe said. “Obviously, the big target is to claim the championship at the end of the day.”

The 2016 Twenty20 winners Challengers have added Irfan Afridi (from KICC), Kamal Shahzad (Aziz Damani) and David Wabwire (Tornado) to bolster their batting and bowling attacks.

However, 1995 winners Nile, who survived relegation at the expense of Tornado, want a better season.

“We had a good team last year but didn’t perform well generally,” Nile skipper David Musoke told this paper.

“Nile is ready to compete for a top slot,” he added while promising to unveil a surprise package.

Meanwhile, record top-flight champions Tornado start life in the lower tier against Challengers’ feeder side Strikers at the lakeside oval in Entebbe.
Strikers welcome trio Derrick Bakunzi, Sohaib Ehsan and Fahad Sadiq all from Challengers.

NATIONAL MEN’S 50-OVER LEAGUE 
TODAY’S FIXTURES - 10:30AM
DIVISION ONE
Challengers vs. Nile, Lugogo
DIVISION TWO 
Tornado vs. Strikers, Kyambogo

By Darren Allan Kyeyune

 

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