- Published in Boys' 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.
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
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
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:
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.