MWIRI FACE TRICKY MUKONO PARENTS WHILE ST JOHN’S TAKE ON NYAKASURA IN SCHOOLS CRICKET WEEK SEMIFINALS

The Schools Cricket Week has reached the business end as the men have been separated from the boys.

After three days of group action, Busoga College Mwiri and St John’s Kauga remain the only unbeaten sides and favourites for the finals on Saturday morning.

However, before the finals, both sides will have to negotiate very tricky semifinals but with St John’s having the easier tie.

St John’s emerged top of the difficult Group B that has two previous winners in Jinja SSS, Mukono Parents and St Johns who were losing finalists last year.

They will face Nyakasura who finished second in Group A that had most of the upcoming schools. This semifinal will be played at the University Oval in Kyambogo.

In the exciting semifinal of the day defending champions, Busoga College Mwiri will be taking on two-time winners Mukono Parents.

Mukono has relied on Trevor Bukenya and Juma Miyagi to get this far and they will be the key players in the semifinal. On the other hand, the defending champions have been setting records with a record opening stand of 342 between Hassan Mpanuka (164 not out) and Ronald Opio (128 not out) against a helpless Makerere College School. However, all these records will mean nothing if they can’t take care of Mukono Parents to make the final on Saturday. This semifinal will be at the Lugogo Cricket Oval.

This expanded edition of the Schools Cricket Week has had 14 teams from just 12 schools last year and has seen the return schools such as Makerere College and Kiira College Butiiki.

The finals of the week-long tournament will be held on Saturday morning at the Lugogo Cricket Oval.

BUSOGA COLLEGE MWIRI WINS 18TH CRICKET WEEK TITLE UNBEATEN

Busoga College Mwiri claimed their 18th Cricket Week crown after defeating St John’s High School by 65 runs.

The early morning final was an easy game for Mwiri who posted 143/4 in 20 overs. In reply, St John’s never got going as Mwiri put the brakes on putting up wickets at regular intervals. Suleiman Mwebaze claimed the final wicket to spark celebrations among the big Mwiri crowd.

Both Mwiri and St John’s High School were the only unbeaten sides in the week-long tournament that ended today with Mwiri winning tournament unbeaten.

The 2019 edition of the Schools Cricket Week had 14 teams with games played in Lugogo, Kyambogo, Budo, Gayaza and Ndejje.

Mwiri also claimed three of the five individual awards;

  • Hassan Mpanuka – Player of the tournament
  • Cyrus Kakuru – Best Wicketkeeper
  • Ronald Opio – Best Batsman

Kakaire Godfrey from Masaka SSS and Edwin Nuwagaba from St John’s High School scooped the best bowler and best fielder awards respectively.

Twenty players were selected from all the schools that participated for a high-performance camp that will run from September 1-8. These players will be handled by three specialist coaches and they will form the basis of the next generation of junior cricketers.

Boys' Schools Cricket Week 2019 - Makerere College Back, Can Mwiri Win 18th Crown?

The boy’s schools cricket week edition of 2019 will see the return of Makerere College even though they got a wild card to the tournament as hosts. Makerere College is one of the four pioneer schools of the cricket week that started in 1939 alongside Kings College Budo, Busoga College Mwiri and Nyakasura School.

In the history of the school’s cricket week, Makerere College is better known for being the hosts of the annual tournament. The proximity of the school to most of the grounds used during the tournament makes them the ideal host plus the Wandegeya nightlife is also a thing for students to enjoy after a long day of standing in the sun.

However, everything is not lost in Makerere College being the hosts of the tournament, they have produced some of the best talents in Uganda Cricket. Maco Lutaaya, Innocent Ndawula, Fred Isabirye, Arthur Kyobe, Charles Waiswa, Emmanuel Nyakana, Daniel Ruyange, Madish Patel,  Diana Musiime, and Lydia Bakumpe have all gone through Makerere College. The problems of being an urban school caught up with them as they could no longer access the University Oval that would help them keep the game alive in the school.

All in all, it is refreshing to have Makerere College back in the school’s cricket week, as long as they are playing they will get better. 

Favorites

Defending Champions and seventeen-time winners of the school’s cricket week Busoga College Mwiri are favorites. Despite losing some of the 2018 title-winning team and they are still a very capable side. The problem of Mwiri has been a failure to groom cricketers relying on students from other schools but since the turn of the year Mwiri has made a genuine effort to introduce the game to juniors which should serve them well in future. Ronald Opio will have to bear the bulk of most of the run-scoring with Collins Okwalinga tasked with taking wickets.

St Johns Mukono is another team that should be a threat, they have a big group of U19’s some of whom are in Nairobi for the Star Field Tournament. Their strength is their ability to rely on one another considering they have played together for a long time. They lost to Mwiri in the final last year and they will be hoping that this time they can go all the way.

Mukono SSS is another school that should at least make the last four, they will be led by Juma Miyagi and Simon Oketcho. Mukono has won the schools tournament on two previous occasions which makes them dangerous since they know the feeling of being a champion. 

Dark Horses

Nyakasura School lost a generation that should have won them the school’s cricket week but in Pascal Murungi and Joseph Baguma they have talent that can hurt any team. While in the past Nyakasura was always content with soda and T-shirts, the mindset changed when they started playing in the league three years ago they have shown the hunger to go all the way and they will be no pushovers. 

Jinja SSS just like Nyakasura lost a lot of players after they finished their high school education but Coach Habib Mugalula has produced talent every year and he knows to get the best out of his troops despite their skill levels.

Masaka SSS has not quite dominated the boys game as they have done with the gilrs but they are closing the gap on their more historical rivals. The lack of competition in their region also inhibits their ability to test their skills before coming to Kampala but if coach Yusuf Nanga has done his homework he will be able to make the knockouts at least.

Mentions

These days Ndejje SSS and Ntare School are never interested in winning the cricket week despite having a rich history. Both were very powerful cricket schools that produced very fine cricketers in the late 90s and early 2000’s but that history is lost on the current generation. The cricket week for them is just another school event where they will take anything they get.

Teso College will travel from the furthest place to take part in the cricket week, while they are limited by resources they never seem content with settling for a trip to Kampala. They give their best in every game and once the resource gap is bridged they will be contenders in a few years to come.

Kololo SSS previous winners of the school’s cricket week have fallen off the radar for a while, they have produced the talent but most of it has moved to other schools.

This year the tournament has grown to 14 schools that came through the respective Regional qualification process as follows - Ntare School and Nyakasura School (Western Region), Jinja Senior Secondary School, Busoga High School, Kira College Butiki and Busoga College Mwiri (Eastern Region), Masaka Senior Secondary School (South Western Region), Kings College Budo, Mukono Parents School, Kololo Senior Secondary School, Kyambogo College School, and St John High School (Central Region) and Teso College Aloet (Soroti Region). Makerere College School was granted a wild card entry this year as the host school.

 Prepared by : Denis Musali

Mukono’s Miyagi tons it up on Day Two of Cricket Week

Sixteen-time record winners Busoga College Mwiri and defending champions Jinja Secondary School made it a perfect three after three matches on Day Two of the 2018 Schools Cricket Week yesterday.

U-19 star Ronald Opio was the star as Mwiri defeated Rwanda Select XI by six wickets at Lugogo in the morning with spell of 2 for 9 that restricted the visitors to 96 all out in 18.1 overs and later returned with the bat for 21-ball 27 to knock off the desired runs in 15.3 overs.

Opio was at it in the afternoon with 15 runs off 13 balls as Mwiri chased down Masaka SS’ set target of 57 in just 7.5 overs for a seven-wicket win. Jinja SS also added to Monday’s perfect start with a commanding nine-wicket triumph over St James SS Jinja after the later set on 87.

Yesterday’s centurion Okecho managed 29 off 23 to remain atop the runs charts but it was Joel Elelu (4/3 in 4) that took the match gong.

Miyagi’s day
But the news of the day belonged to 15-year-old Juma Miyagi, who plies his trade for Ceylon Lions in the National League. The Mukono Parents all-rounder picked up two Man of the Match awards as his school overcame St James SS Jinja by 33 runs and Ntare School by 157 runs at King’s College Budo.

In the first game, Miyagi bowled impeccable lines enroute figures of 4 for 9 in 3.2 overs to restrict St James, who were chasing 243, to just 86 runs all out.

In the afternoon, the Baby Cranes player put on a masterclass with the bat to notch the tournament’s second ton of 104 off 49 balls. Coming on Miyagi peppered the boundary ropes 16 times with seven fours and nine monster sixes against Ntare School, who are just making a return to the national championship. Ntare’s consolation is that they had earlier got off the mark against Aga Khan School who they outlasted by 43 runs. 
Day Three promises more fireworks today.

By Innocent Ndawula & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

inja SSS pursue title defence at star-lit Schools 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

School raise stakes ahead of Cricket Week

There was a catalyst as the battle lines were drawn for this year’s Pepsi Schools Cricket Week that bowls off tomorrow at five different ovals in Kampala.

Although champions Busoga College Mwiri have bossed the last two editions, the rivaling schools have borrowed a leaf from the 16-time record winners by hiring permanent coaches. Coach Emmanuel Isaneez’s wit and pace philosophy was the difference as Mwiri dismantled Kololo by 30 runs in last year’s heated final at Lugogo Oval.

“It is going to be an extremely exciting edition,” said Justine Ligyalingi, the Uganda Cricket Association CEO, during the tournament’s media launch at Lugogo yesterday. “Every school has prepared well and we have equipped them well thanks to Bankstown Cricket Club in Sydney, Australia. Many of the boys also play club cricket and know there is a chance to push into the national junior sides for international competitions.”

Mukono Parents, winners in 2013, have secured the services of national all-rounder Frank Nsubuga, Kololo still have the know-it-all Jackson Ogwang, debutants Rainbow International have pro-active John Tumusiime, Jinja SS have soft-spoken Habibu Mugalula, Masaka SS hired ACC’s Yusuf Nanga whereas Teso College Aloet will bank on coach Ivan Kakande’s advice. The tournament that ends on September 9 will be played on a Twenty20 format and Makerere College will host all the school teams and officials.


Participating schools & coaches:

  1. Busoga College Mwiri – Isaneez
  2. Mukono Parents – Frank Nsubuga
  3. Jinja SS – Habibu Mugalula
  4. Rainbow International - John Tumusiime
  5. Masaka SSS – Yusuf Nanga
  6. Ndejje SS – William Kamanyi
  7. Kololo SS – Jackson Ogwang
  8. Ntare - Alvin Bagaya
  9. Nyakasura Ivan Thawithemwira
  10. Teso College Aloet – Ivan Kakande
  11. King’s College Budo - Ivan Jurua & St James - Juma Gabula.

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Girls Cricket Week stars off to Kigali for Kwibuka Peace Tourney

There is always a prize for good deed. Beyond the certificates and diadems, the best players selected from last month’s Pepsi Girls’ Schools Cricket Week will represent Uganda at the annual Kwibuka Peace Women’s tourney this weekend.
A team of 16 departed yesterday for Kigali by road where they will play six round-robin matches against Kenya and Rwanda national sides.

“This is another bigger opportunity for the girls to express themselves,” said Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) CEO Justine Ligyalingi during the flag-off at Lugogo yesterday. 
Girls’ Cricket Week champions Jinja Secondary School have been rewarded with three slots on the team plus their coach Habibu Mugalula.
“Much as I have my own girls here, this is a chance to closely look and groom more players from other schools,” noted Mugalula, who has nurtured several female players.

None of Mugalula’s students Stephannie Nampiina, Kevin Awino and Ritah Musamali will captain the side. That job is for Mugalula’s former prodidy Racheal Ntono.
Clearly, this is a reward for Ntono, who single handedly lifted St. James SS to their first-ever final with a respectable 45-ball 61* despite losing to Jinja SS by 14 runs on May 10.
“I am delighted with this position,” Ntono said after receiving the flag from National Council of Sports (NCS) assistant general secretary David Katende. “We shall deliver in Rwanda.” The tourney ends June 15.

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