- Published in Boys' Cricket Week
BUSOGA College Mwiri claimed a record 16th crown after thumping Kololo SS in a rematch of last year's final of the Pepsi Boys Schools Cricket Week.
In match-up of the top contenders of the 2015 edition, there was little to separate Mwiri and Kololo. Not only did the two teams reach the final game without losing a game, they came in as defending co-champions.
While Mwiri had arguably been the more explosive team on the way to the championship round, the game was delicately poised. But Mwiri had five players score in double figures as they raced to 115/6 in 20 overs to put the pressure on Kololo.
Zephania Arinaitwe, Joseph Byaruhanga, Kenneth Waiswa (who was named Man-of-series), David Wabwire and Donald Opio scored 20, 17, 17, 17 and 16 runs respectively for Mwiri SS, with Siraje Nsubuga and Simon Oketcho claiming two wickets apiece for Jinja SS.
Mwiri's bowling unit had been outstanding all tournament long, bowling out Mukono Parents for 48 in as late as the semi-finals. Kololo had their work cut out and as it turned out, they didn't cut it.
Mwiri's pace dismantled Kololo, restricting them to 85/10 in 20 overs. Mwiri skipper Wabwire claimed a game-best 3/17 while Davis Aciire, Waiswa and Collins Okwalinga added two wickets apiece.
"We were organized as a team," said Mwiri star Waiswa said. "We lived up to the tactics of the coach. We expected to win even though Kololo surprised us with their spirited fight."
Mwiri 115/6 Kololo 85 (Mwiri win by 30 runs)
Mwiri 112 Mukono 48 (Mwiri win by 62 runs)
Jinja 77/8 Kololo 78/4 (Kololo win by six wickets)
Man of series: Kenneth Waiswa – BC Mwiri
Best batsman: John Gabula – Kyambogo college
Best bowler: Simon Ssesaazi – Mukono Parents
Best fielder: Gerald Mubiru – Kololo SS
Best wicketkeeper: Hillary Balyeijuka – Nyakasura School
PREPARED By: Kasozi Balikuddembe & Charles Mutebi ( New Vision)
Unlike last year when dark horses Nyakasura School stormed the party and dumped 15-time winners Busoga College Mwiri to reach the semifinals of the Pepsi Schools Cricket Week, the big four; Mukono Parents, Jinja SS, Kololo SS and Mwiri have lived up to the billing this year and will face off in today’s semifinals at Lugogo and Kyambogo Oval.
Defending champions Mukono Parents face Kololo SS in a repeat of last year’s semifinal fixture at Lugogo Oval this morning whereas 2002 winner Jinja SS lock horns with record winners Mwiri at Kyambogo Oval.
Mukono defeated Kololo by 42 runs last year but with two of their star players; Derrick Bakunzi (Best Batsman last year) and all-rounder Simon Ayella done with school, the holders have lost their aura of invincibility.
They lost to rejuvenated Mwiri by four wickets in a low-scoring thriller and their two other stars in last year’s Player of the Tournament Simon Ssesaazi and Lawrence Ssempijja, who ply their trade for Charity Trust Fund Cricket Club, have struggled for consistency.
But their coach Frank Nsubuga, the new national captain, is unfazed.
“We beat Kololo SS in the final of the Central Region qualifiers two weeks ago. We are not scared. My boys know what to do and some of them have league experience.”
Kololo SS coach Jackson Okwang will demand for big plays from his top players including Siraje Nsubuga (Challengers CC) and Boris Aguma (Charity TF).
But Emmanuel Isaneez and Abraham Oduch, the two men in charge of Mwiri, are certain that they can topple ‘stubborn’ Jinja SS despite the former outlasting them in the final of the Eastern region.
“We are like a hot plate,” joked Isaneez after yesterday’s victory over Mukono. “We want to burn everything in our way. Our plan is to restrict them to 40 all out and if we bat first, we will be targeting 120 runs.”
Mwiri will be led by former King’s College Budo captain David Wabwire, who boasts of free wicket-taking Collins Okwalinga (14 wickets), Richard Agamire and Zephania Arinaitwe in his ranks.
Jinja SS coach Habib Mugalula will bank on Sadam Oyaga, Eddie Agaba, Steven Wawase and big-hitting all-rounder Kenneth Waiswa.
BC Mwiri vs. Jinja SS
Kololo SS vs. Mukono Parents
Final: 2pm at Lugogo Cricket Oval