- Published in Boys' Cricket Week
It is now six years since a side defended the Uganda Cricket Association-organised Boys Schools’ Cricket Week tournament.
Kololo Secondary School is the last team to win back-to-back titles when they did a sweep between 2007-3013 bar 2009 when nemesis Busoga College Mwiri.
Since, the trophy has rotated between Mukono Parents, Mwiri and Kololo before Jinja Secondary School won it last year.
One forever stand-out pillar in Jinja SSS’ cricket is coach Habibu Mugalula. He has served the game diligently at that institution, making the girls’ side a powerhouse in the national league and schools’ cricket.
Last year, Mugalula ended Jinja’s 15-year wait for a Boys’ Week gong after they beat Mwiri by six wickets with 68 balls remaining in the final.
The plan is to defend the title, some Jinja failed to do in 2003. “We shall try play, compete and take it game by game,” Mugalula told Sunday Monitor before teams assembled at Makerere College for the 2018 edition yesterday. “Of course, respect for opponents is paramount on my side but it’s my dream to defend it,” he said.
Mugalula is banking on three star players Cosmas Kyewuta, Acram Nsubuga and Isaac Ssekatawa who is recovering fast from a nasty accident. But Perry Wazombe, who was Jinja’s best player last year with the MVP honour comprising 303 runs with best score of 105, 10 wickets and 6 fielding dismissals, crossed to rival team Mwiri this year.
However, during the Eastern Region Qualifiers, Jinja ably chased a target of 117 runs in 13.3 overs to beat Mwiri and win the tournament unbeaten.
But Jinja must not rest on its laurels as the Emmanuel Isaneez and Daniel Batuwa-tutored Mwiri is filled with U-19 talent like Trevor Bukenya, Wazombe, Ramathan Ochimi, Ronald Opio and Ashraf Senkubuge who was the best wicket-keeper with 12 dismissals last year.
It is going to be quite a star-lit showpiece with in-form batsman Zephaniah Arinaitwe featuring for Mukono’s St. John’s High School.
The draws were set to be conducted last evening at Lugogo.
By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE
2015: Patidar Samaj
Men’s T20 league
Semi-finals - Today at 10:30am
KICC vs. Kutchi Tigers, Lugogo
Aziz Damani vs. Challengers, Kyambogo
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.
By Darren Allan Kyeyune
Takashinga are not untouchable. The Zimbabweans have chinks in their armour as exposed by the Kenya and Ugandan sides over the past three days in the ongoing Uganda Quadrangular Series.
The latest of their scares was provided by Brian Masaba’s Uganda Select side that bowled them out for 196 runs in 37.4 overs only for them to bounce back with the ball enroute to comfortably emerging victorious by 104 runs.
While reeling at 30 for 4 in 12 overs, Takashinga once again got out of jail thanks to the experience of Zimbabwe internationals Shingirai Winston Masakadza and Tymcen Maruma who were solid in a fourth-wicket tandem partnership of 105 runs that came off at a healthy rate of 6.5 per over.
Masakadza, in particular, was brutal in his knock of 69 off 61 with a flurry of boundaries and four sixes whereas Maruma redefined the phrase ‘controlled aggression’ in his beautiful half-century knock of 52 off 69 balls.
Despite not batting their quota of overs, Takashinga capitalised on that stand to set 196 in 37.4 overs – a total that proved out of reach for the Ugandans (92 all out) at the end of the day.
“They are a good side,” Takashinga coach Eric Chauluka said about coach Michael Ndiko’s troops. “They put us under pressure with the early wickets but paid the price of not grafting singles and instead opting to unwisely go for boundaries.”
Masaba blamed his troops for not coming to the party on a day they should have won. “It is still a learning curve for us,” admitted the bowling all-rounder. “I thought the guys bowled well upfront. But we didn’t bat with heart. We need to show that we can get ourselves out of trouble situations.”
Stay in the picture
Meanwhile, Davis Karashani and his Uganda XI men will take a deserved break today after another clinical show that earned them a 213-run win against Kenya XI at Kyambogo Oval.
The result means Uganda XI have two wins from three games and must beat their ‘nemesis’ Takashinga on Thursday at the same oval. Roger Mukasa fell two runs short of a crafty century at 98 off 77 balls on the last ball of the innings. Prior opener Hamu Kayondo (55 off 66), Shahzad Kamal (37 off 41) and later Lawrence Ssempijja (25*) were among the runs as Uganda sent 267 for 6 in a match that was reduced to 44 overs due to a rain interruption.
Kenya folded meekly for 54 with Aman Ghandi top scoring with 18 off 27 balls thanks to the superb bowling spells of Karashani (3 for 8 in 6 overs), Henry Ssenyondo (3 for 22 in 8) and Charles Waiswa (2 for 7 in 7).
Takashinga 196/10 Uganda Select 92/10
Takashinga won by 104 runs
Uganda XI 267/6 Kenya XI 54/10
Uganda XI won by 213 runs
Today: Rest Day
Tomorrow’s fixtures – 10am
Uganda XI vs. Takashinga (Kyambogo)
Uganda Select vs. Kenya XI (Lugogo)
The start to their Pepsi Girls Twenty20 Schools’ Cricket Week script was so unfamiliar.
A tournament opening 20-run loss to Olila High School sent strong waves down their spines.
But Jinja Secondary School exuded pure character to recover and bag their record sixth title yesterday.
Following an eight-wicket semifinal victory over holders Kololo - a repeat of last year’s final - Jinja’s momentum saw them beat St James SS by 14 runs in a captivating final at Lugogo Oval.
“Losing to Olila was a wake up call,” winning coach Habibu Mugalula told Daily Monitor.
The title was Jinja’s fourth title in five years. Yet for Mugalula, he had just beaten his former student Saddam Oyaga to his fifth individual title, making him the tournament’s most successful coach.
“Look, winning is a bonus to me. I am happy the girls have made it again,” he said after adding to the 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014 gongs.
“Mugalula is a very experienced coach,” Oyaga offered. “Congratulations to him but to my players most. They have earned us pride by making their first ever final here.”
On a day bossed by heavy rains, littering sawdust allover the field was inevitable. Nonetheless, several St James fielders felt the pinch of the soggy outfield.
They slid in phases as Rita Musamali (34* off 32), Dinah Adong (16 off 18), Kevin Awino (12 off 15) and Stephannie Nampiina (17* off 9) guided Jinja SS to a comfortable 92-2 in 12 overs. By then, Mugalula appeared relaxed. Just as the tourney has panned out, it is tournament MVP Rachael Ntono who stood out most for St. James.
Despite the loss, she wrapped the showpiece with a respectable knock of 61* off 45 balls but it could hardly topple her former school.
The half-ton was the first in a final of this tourney but individually, lifting St. James this far meant Ntono left her name written allover this edition.
Pepsi Girls Schools Cricket final
Jinja SS 92/2 St James SS 78/4
(Jinja SS won by 14 runs)
St. James 47/1 Olila HS 25/2
Kololo SS 27/4 Jinja SS 28/2
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)
Jinja Secondary School has won three back-to-back Pepsi Girls’ Schools Cricket Week titles.
With such pedigree and no big improvements from perennial contenders Gayaza High School and Kololo SS, Jinja SS are fancied to take home their fourth straight crown when action bowls off this morning. “Despite a few departures, my side is ready to retain its title,” said Jinja SS coach Habibu Mugalula. Mugalula will be without the experienced trio of Janet Mbabazi, Racheal Ntono and 2013 Uspa Female Cricketer of the Year Prico Nakitende, who helped Jinja SS lift the Women’s Mehta Twenty20 Premier League in October last year.
“Since the core of players like Damalie Busingye, Patricia Busingye, Immaculate Nakisuyi and Kevin Awino are still in the team, the new faces will easily blend into the side,” Mugalula noted.
PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS: Kilembe SS, Kyebambe Girls, Jinja SS, St. James SS, PMM Girls, Busoga High, Olila High, Masaka SS, Gayaza HS, Kololo SS, Ndejje SSS and King’s College Budo.
Past five winners
2010: Jinja Secondary School
2011: Gayaza High School
2012: Jinja Secondary School
2013: Jinja Secondary School
2014: Jinja Secondary School