Tikolo focuses on death bowling, squad for Africa T20 announced

It takes a great level of keenness to notice sweet emotions flying all over the senior national men’s cricket team camp.
And they are all coming at a time after fixtures for the ICC World Cricket League Division Three due November 6-21 in Oman were released on August 22. That very day was Cricket Cranes’ captain Roger Mukasa’s 29th birthday.
On the next day, coach Steve Tikolo celebrated his 21st marriage anniversary in an emotional post on his Facebook account. So howzat!
One underlining factor is that there is no fear or pressure ahead of this crucial showpiece for Team Uganda. The vibes in the non-residential camp are getting better ever since they won the ICC WCL Division IV title in Malaysia back in May.
“After Malaysia, we have added a few players like Ronak (Patel) and Dinesh (Nakrani) and we have continued with our normal progress,” Tikolo told Daily Monitor yesterday.
“Division III is important for us to progress to Division II and it is coming in six months which is not bad in terms of team momentum.”
But the Kenyan legend further warns; “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, we still need to do the basics right and we cannot be complacent.”
Like the rest of the team, Tikolo is sparing more time to think on how to tackle the humid conditions of Oman and pass the five-match puzzle at the six-nation tournament.
“The Oman conditions are no different from those of Malaysia and that is in the sense of the same sub-continent type of wickets. We did not see too many in Malaysia but Uganda is one of the few teams that averaged 200 runs. 
From what we saw in the ICC World T20 Africa B Qualifier in Rwanda, Ronak and Dinesh have brought in some good morale but batting is an area that we need to work on and as well as tighten the death bowling.”
Speaking of bowling and spin-favouring wickets in the Arabian Peninsula, Tikolo interestingly has more medium pace bowlers (Charles Waiswa, Bilal Hassun, Riazat Ali, Deus Muhumuza, Jonathan Ssebanja and Nakrani) than spinners (Irfan Afridi, Henry Ssenyondo, Frank Nsubuga plus part-timers Brian Masaba and Mukasa) in the team. But he sees things differently.
“Let’s not look at one side of the pace bowlers’ game. Don’t forget that Dinesh, Deus and Riazat can get you runs,” Tikolo argued.
“As a technical bench, we will not assume anything. We shall do our ground work and hopefully be in Oman at least three days before the tournament.”

Paying back the faith
On Tuesday, Tikolo repaid the faith in teenage batsman Zephaniah Arinaitwe who has been scoring centuries for fun over the past three months. 
He is into the team selected by the UCA Selection Committee that will represent Uganda at the Cricket South Africa (CSA) hosted Africa T20 Tournament due September 14-16 before taking part in three 50-over warm-up matches against Kwazulu-Natal Inland and the South Africa Academy teams set for September 17-21. But Ronak is unavailable, Jonathan Ssebanja has again been overlooked whereas Ssenyondo joins his little brother Simon Ssesaazi in the reserves of the notable selections and omissions made to the Rainbow Nation. 
Then after the buffer month of October, Uganda will start its quest for Division II cricket against Denmark and USA on November 9 and 10 in Muscat but the gaffer hasn’t put much focus onto the itinerary that has three reserve days and as many off-days.
“At the end of the day, the rest days will be a benefit for all teams unlike the previous WCL tournaments where there are back-to-back games which take a toll on the players,” concluded Tikolo.

TEAM TO SOUTH AFRICA FOR T20s

Players: Brian Masaba (vice captain), Fred Achelam (wicket-keeper), Zephaniah Arinaitwe, Roger Mukasa (captain), Hamu Kayondo, Dinesh Nakrani, Muhammad Irfan, Frank Nsubuga, Charles Waiswa, Kenneth Waiswa, Deusdedit Muhumuza, Bilal Hassun, Riazat Ali Shah
Reserves: Henry Ssenyondo, Simon Ssessazi, Emmanuel Issaneez
Officials: Jackson Kavuma (Manager), Steve Tikolo (Coach), Jackson Ogwang (Assistant Coach)

POOLS - AFRICA T20 CUP

Pool A - Pietermaritzburg: 
KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns, 
KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Uganda and 
Western Province.
Pool B – Oudtshoorn: 
South Western Districts, Free State, 
Gauteng, Northerns and Zimbabwe;
Pool C – East London: 
Border, Eastern Province, Kenya, 
Mpumalanga and Namibia
Pool D – Paarl: 
Boland, Limpopo, Nigeria, Northern Cape 
and North West.

By Innocent Ndawula & Darren Kyeyune

Cricket Cranes captain Mukasa welcomes Africa T20 Cup invite

Cricket Cranes skipper Roger Mukasa says playing in the revamped Africa Twenty20 Cup will give Uganda a ‘priceless’ chance to get international exposure ahead of the Division III International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) in Oman this November.
“We are looking at this opportunity as a priceless one to play against the best franchises in South Africa,” said Mukasa when news filtered in that tournament organisers Cricket South Africa (CSA) had officially announced Uganda as the replacements for Ghana.
The West Africans cited logistical reasons as their notion for pulling out of the expanded 2018/19 Africa T20 Cup which is set to take place in September with the preliminary round on September 14-16 followed by the finals’ weekend on September 23-24.
“We are going to face the best bowlers on the continent and our seamers are going to have to do well against proven hitters of the ball. This will help us improve on our bowling at the death and improving our power-hitting especially in the powerplays,” added Mukasa. Uganda join other African nations including Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia in the competition. 
The Cricket Cranes are in Pool A alongside KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns, Western Province and KwaZulu-Natal Coastal. 
The exciting T20 action will take place in 4 coastal venues in Pietermaritzburg, Oudtshoorn, East London and Paarl featuring 12 CSA Affiliates, 3 Associate Members and 5 ICC Africa teams taking place over two thrilling weekends of T20 cricket.
“We are glad Uganda are in because they’re a capable replacement. This event will provide the ideal opportunity for them to test themselves against some of the best young cricketers on the continent. I know Uganda will be ready to compete, and we are excited as we wait for the highly anticipated competition to get underway,” said ICC Africa Development Officer Justine Ligyalingi. Uganda will remain in South Africa following the conclusion of the Africa T20 Cup to play 50-over warm-up matches against KwaZulu-Natal Inland and the South African Academy respectively.

POOLS - AFRICA TWENTY20 CUP

Pool A - Pietermaritzburg: 
KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns, 
KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Uganda and 
Western Province.
Pool B – Oudtshoorn: 
South Western Districts, Free State, 
Gauteng, Northerns and Zimbabwe;
Pool C – East London: 
Border, Eastern Province, Kenya, 
Mpumalanga and Namibia
Pool D – Paarl: 
Boland, Limpopo, Nigeria, Northern Cape 
and North West.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

T20 : Uganda Qualifies

 Affable all-rounder Riazat Ali Shah was adjudged Most Valuable Player (MVP) as Uganda defeated Kenya by seven wickets at Gahanga Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda on July 14 to qualify for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Twenty20 Cup scheduled for May next year.

Nicknamed Rizu, the 20-year-old who plies his trade for Aziz Damani Cricket Club in the Jazz Safari National League, was easily the standout player with an unbeaten seven-ball blitz of 20 runs as Uganda avenged their first round loss to Kenya. Overall, Rizu finished among the top four batsmen, top six bowlers and equalled the best fielders’ count with four catches.

He managed 247 runs with a highest score of 96 not out, averaging a staggering 123.5 with a strike rate of 226. And then with the ball, he notched 7 wickets at an average of 14 per scalp and economy of 7.5 from 13 overs to finish among the top six bowlers.

But it wasn’t a one-man show as Uganda grabbed one of the two slots at stake for the East African region to the ICC World Twenty20 Africa Qualifier scheduled for May 2019.

Chart Toppers
Dinesh Nakrani, 26, with a table-topping aggregate of 320 runs, at an average of 80 per innings and top score of 102 not out in the seven-wicket win over Kenya on Saturday - a feat achieved with seven balls to spare - deserves all the plaudits.

Leg-break bowler Irfan Afridi, too, was among the three-man MVP shortlist with 13 wickets and 34 runs. 
Champions Kenya and Uganda joined Nigeria and Ghana to the African showpiece with two more countries expected to make the grade from Africa Zone C (Southern Africa) later this year. The top from the continental showpiece will make it to the Global Qualifer whose top six will reach the World Cup in Australia 2020.

ICC 20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier
Result - Final Game
Kenya 188/5 Uganda 189/3
Uganda won by 7 wickets
FINAL TABLE STANDINGS 
TEAM M W L PTS NRR
KEN 6 5 1 10 2.924
UGA 6 4 2 8 2.725
TAN 6 3 3 6 -0.429
RWA 6 0 6 0 -4.887


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Damani dominance in air after winning T20 title

Ugandan sport has witnessed spells where teams dominate different disciplines. 
The SC Villa of the 1980s’ stands out. The good old Falcons and today’s City Oilers will be remembered for years in men’s basketball.

Tornado Bee had its share a few years ago in club cricket but something bigger could be brewing.
Yet again, Aziz Damani Masaka Cricket Club was at the top of the podium after the ladies clinched their maiden Mehta Twenty20 Premier League title on Saturday.

Only four years old, Damani has swept all accolades on offer on the men’s front bar the T20 title and for the women’s team formed a year ago, the tree is dropping fruits faster than expected. On Saturday, Damani ably chased a target of 103 runs to stop Olila High School from retaining the T20 crown in the final washed by a sizeable number of fans at Lugogo Oval. “Today is our day,” Damani CEO Siva Koti would say at the podium, moments before captain Gertrude Candiru lifted the trophy in company of teammates.

As Right Said Fred’s famous Stand up for the champions played at 6:04pm, the imagination of a firm grip by Damani on Uganda’s cricket would sink in.

Damani’s men are on course to retain the topflight title following six successive wins. 
And for the ladies, coach Yusuf Nanga has laid firm foundation with students from Masaka SS and now blends with stars like Teddy Oyella, Kenyan experience, stars captain Candiru and Immaculate Nakisuyi.

The tournament cusp belonged to Nakisuyi. In the final, she first picked figures of 3/10 as they stopped 2017 winners Olila at 102-9 majorly thanks to Esther Iloku (34 off 32) and Gloria Obukor (19 off 23). With the bat, Nakisuyi showed a fine glimpse of the future by top-scoring with a pivotal 30 runs off 19 balls including three boundaries and a six.

Kenyan import Sarah Bhakita stood out as well with a 22-ball 24 as her experience came to the fore when Olila’s cast forgot the basics under pressure.

Damani were home in 16.2 overs, sparking off celebrations accompanied with Shs1m and as many packs of sugar from sponsors Mehta.

“We tried to play out all our 20 overs,” said winning coach Nanga. “It is important that we have won here which inspires our feeder team, ” he added.

WOMEN’S T20 LEAGUE RESULTS
FINAL
Olila High 102/9 Aziz Damani 106/6 
(Aziz Damani won by 5 wickets)
SEMIFINALS 
KICC 89/9 Olila High 90/1
(Olila High won by 9 wickets)
Aziz Damani 129/7 Pioneer 91/6
(Aziz Damani by 35 runs)

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Damani, Olila stretch lead atop Mehta T20s’ log

 Aziz Damani-Masaka SS and Olila High School Cricket Clubs continued to enjoy fine form in the Mehta Women’s Twenty20 Premier League round-robin phase with flawless victories on Saturday.

Leaders Damani added to their 169-point tally with eight-wicket and 79-run victories over KICC in Entebbe. 
And holders Olila found it pretty against old guard Wanderers, winning 169 and 125 runs in the morning and afternoon encounters at the University Oval in Kyambogo.

Damani and Olila were separated by nine points after six matches heading into Saturday’s duels. 
And their commanding displays imply they will be the top seeds come the semi-finals.

For Damani, experienced Kenyan Margaret Banja was the star of the morning win thanks to her 14-ball 19 that ably got her side meet KICC’s 48-run target in 6.2 overs.

But UK-bound Immaculate Nakisuyi took charge of the afternoon with standout bowling figures of 4/12 in her four-over spell as they stopped KICC at 67-9 in pursuit of Damani’s 146-8.

That figure piled up courtesy of Irene Alumo (42 off 45) and Consy Aweko (26* off 17).
For holders Olila, Wanderers barely put up a challenge in all departments.
“We had little to do for the wins,” Olila’s Racheal Ntono said.

In the morning, Joyce Mary Apio (55 off 26) and Janet Mbabazi (52 off 41) secures half-tons as Olila set 189-5. 
In response, Wanderers was bowled out for a paltry 20 runs in 10 overs with Apio (4/2 in 4 overs) and Kevin Amuge (3/14 in 4 overs) bowling for fun.

Mbabazi would against make 69 off 65, helping Olila to 171-5 but her former club withered at 46 all-out in 14 overs.

Victory. Leaders Damani added to their 169-point tally with eight-wicket and 79-run victories over KICC in Entebbe. And holders Olila found it pretty against old guard Wanderers, winning 169 and 125 runs in the morning and afternoon encounters at the University Oval in Kyambogo.

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Damani eye revenge in face of T20 cricket title

T20 winners
2016: Challengers
2015: Patidar Samaj
2014: Challengers
2013: Wanderers
2012: Tornado

Men’s T20 league
Semi-finals - Today at 10:30am
KICC vs. Kutchi Tigers, Lugogo
Aziz Damani vs. Challengers, Kyambogo
FINAL (3PM)
Winner 1 vs. Winner 2, Lugogo

KAMPALA. It is now only two matches that separate Challengers Cricket Club from a third National Twenty20 League title in a space of four years.
Should they beat the big stumbling block in Aziz Damani at the semi-final stage, another trophy could be within reach.

But there is a strange superstition in sport that it is difficult to lose twice to the same team in a particular competition.
On December 3, 2017, Challengers beat Damani by 16 runs in the group stages and their run has now gone to 10 straight victories.

One senses that one thing on the minds of Damani’s players when the two face off in what appears to be a ‘final before the final’ at Kyambogo this morning.
“We are going to revenge and possibly win the trophy,” Damani skipper Ghulam Hunzai told Sunday Monitor.

The 2014 and 2016 winners Challengers are only playing to cover up for a bizarre show in the longer format. “At the stage we are, we do not want to lose the momentum,” stated batsman Hamu Kayondo.

Damani is sharper with inclusions of Zimabwean Kai Roy and Indian Manoj Sai who made 60-ball 89* against 2012 finalists Charity in the quarterfinals.
But, Challengers’ opener Arthur Kyobe, recently dropped in the national team, could have a point to prove and as well close the 20-run gap between him and leading batsman Roger Mukasa (263 runs).

Meanwhile, no team in the second semi-final between KICC and Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo should be overlooked as Tigers’ imports Indian imports Jaydev Parmar, Rakesh Kahar, Vyas Nisarg and Saumil Patel pose a big threat.

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By Darren Allan Kyeyune

Sweet T20 success for Olila

Olila High School Cricket Club spent the entire weekend on cloud nine after lifting the Mehta Women’s Twenty20 Premier League on the first time of asking on Saturday. The side beat two-time champions Jinja SS by 59 runs in a much boring one-sided final at Kyambogo Oval. “Great,” Olila team manager Felix Musana explained the feeling moments after deliver first fruits from the four-year-old Soroti Cricket Academy orchard. “It has been an effort,” Olila coach Ivan Kakande stated. “The girls know what they want and our Soroti project is taking the right path.” “All the hard work we put in finally paying off is priceless,” enchanted Musana, moments before taking his girls out for a drink at Legends. Saturday was a day perfectly crafted for Olila in literally every sense. Right after senior two student Gloria Obukor (2/6 in 3 overs) stopped Pioneer at 60-6, Margaret Banja (22-run-a-ball) and Racheal Ntono (17 off 34) easily got the target in 11.1 overs to win the morning semifinal. Yet while Olila rested, Jinja SS saw off Wanderers in the second semifinal by 23 runs after defending their 99-5 score through Stephanie Nampiina (2/5 in 4 overs) and Rita Musamali (1/15 in 4 overs). In the past, semifinals are played at Lugogo and Kyambogo, with the latter victor moving 5km to Lugogo for the final. Owing to the intensity in the field during matches of the shorter code, Jinja ought to have batted first after winning the toss in the final. But instead, they unanimously opted to field first, burning out and that playing into Olila’s favour. “The team chose to field first,” Nampiina would later say. “For me, it was about letting Olila bat first, prolong the final and give ourselves a chance,” Jinja coach Habibu Mugalula said. The impact of fielding 38 successive overs across two matches had Olila set 110-4 in 20 overs. Between the 14th and 17th overs, Jinja gave away 44 runs, Kenyan Sarah Bhakitah getting 21* off 15. But it was her country-mate Banja (37 off 53) who had taken the game away prior with a 43-run third-wicket partnership with Gertrude Candiru (27 off 26). MEHTA TWENTY20 PREMIER LEAGUE FINAL RESULT Olila HS 110/4 Jinja SS 51/9 (Olila HS won by 59 runs) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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