All To Play For At Kwibuka As Lady Cricket Cranes Eye Ranking Points

By Innocent Ndawula

The Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) gave its partisan fraternity a glimpse into the future by sending out a new-look, young, talented and energetic senior national women’s side – The Lady Cricket Cranes for the sixth edition of the Kwibuka Cricket For Peace Women’s T20 Tournament in Kigali, Rwanda.

Uganda’s side is without doubt an exciting mix; a reward to the six outstanding players that stood out in the Girls Cricket Week (GCW) in May and eight of the seasoned campaigners that are fresh from International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe that are looked at as a unit that will form the core of the Lady Cricket Cranes side for a long time in future.

Like the Victoria Tri-Series held in Uganda, this tournament, to be played at the beautiful Gahanga International Cricket Stadium, will have full Twenty20 International status as it will feature national sides as per ICC’s mandate to have all T20 games featuring nations attain that ranking.

The Lady Cricket Cranes side to Kigali has no less than seven players from the highly-rated Soroti Cricket Academy stable.

Defending champions and three-time winners Kenya have bowed out at 11th hour due to financial constraints whereas Zambia never confirmed when first contacted but the tournament will not be mourning their absence with two debutants – Mali from West Africa & Tanzania from East Africa – in the fold.

Second bite at cherry 

Lively all-rounder Rita Musamali of Aziz Damani gets a second bite at the cherry as captain of the side for the nine-day event that runs from June 16th to 24 in Kigali to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that claimed over one million lives in 100 days. In the absence of seniors; Franklyn Najjumba, Consy Aweko, Janet Mbabazi, Kevin Awino, Naomi Kayondo and Rachael Ntono, who were ‘ignored’ by the selectors in the favour of using the meet as an initiation ground for a new breed of players to kick-start their international careers, captain Musamali will look to club-mates Immaculate Nakisuyi, also the vice-captain and Stephanie Nampiina when the going gets tough.

Coach Michael Grace Ndiko will continue his gelling process with the side and he will be ably assisted by Ivan Kakande, fresh from coaching stint in Sri Lanka. Eight of the players on tour are from the Soroti Cricket Academy (SCA) stable whose head coach is Kakande. Four are actually from Olila High School won scooped their maiden GCW title after edging their friendly-foes Light SS of Soroti by six runs in the epic final played at Lugogo Oval on May 2.

“The selection of several youngsters is to look at the nearby future, two years to be specific, since that is the period when we expect the next Women World Cup Qualifiers to take place. We want to be ready by then. The more experienced players are still in our sights but the younger ones need more game time and guidance hence their domination of this time round,” said coach Ndiko.

Coach Michael Grace Ndiko and Ivan Kakande's Lady Cricket Cranes side will be looking to win only their third Kwibuka title. The tournament was initiated by the Rwanda Cricket Association in 2014.

The Kwibuka Cricket For Peace Tournament will be played on a two round-robin format with each country facing each other twice. The team with most points will be crowned 2019 champions.

CAST OF KWIBUKA T20 CHAMPIONS
2018: Kenya

2017: Kenya

2016: Uganda

2015: Kenya

2014: Uganda

ITINERARY FOR KWIBUKA CRICKET FOR PEACE WOMEN’S T20 TOURNAMENT
June 16: Arrival of Teams
June 17: Visit to Memorial Site, Training, Captains’ & Managers’ Meeting
June 18-23: Match Days
June 24: Team Departures

TOURNAMENT FIXTURES
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
9.30am: Tanzania vs. Uganda
1.30pm: Rwanda vs. Mali 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 
9.30am: Mali vs. Tanzania 
1.30pm: Uganda vs. Rwanda                                                                                                                                                                             

Thursday, June 20, 2019
9.30am: Uganda vs. Mali 
1.30pm: Rwanda vs. Tanzania

Friday, June 21, 2019
9.30am: Rwanda vs. Mali 
1.30pm: Tanzania vs. Uganda

Saturday, June 22, 2019
9.30am: Mali vs. Tanzania 
1.30pm: Uganda vs. Rwanda

Sunday, June 23, 2019
9.30am: Uganda vs. Mali 
1.30pm: Rwanda vs. Tanzania 
NB: All Games Will Be Played At Gahanga International Cricket Stadium

UGANDA LADY CRICKET CRANES SQUAD
The Players
Rita Musamali (Capt) - Aziz Damani, Immaculate Nakisuyi (V. Capt) – Aziz Damani, Damalie Busingye - Olila High, Joyce Mary Apio – Olila High, Stephanie Nampiina – Aziz Damani, Maria Kagoya Nyende – Aziz Damani, Evelyn Ayipo – Soroti Challengers, Sarah Walaza – Jinja SSS, Esther Iluko – Olila HS, Proscovia Alako – Olila HS, Mildred Anyigo – Olila HS, Susan Kakai – Jinja SSS, Gloria Obukor – Olila HS, Christine Anayo – Light SSS, Soroti
The Reserves
Shubaiker Naigaga – Jinja SSS & Janet Nakiranda – Victoria HS
The Officials
Coach: Michael Grace Ndiko Assistant Coach: Ivan Kakande Physiotherapist: Habiba Kulsum Anguyo Manager: Lwiza Nabulwala

Africa T20 Championship: Naomi Kayondo Explains Loss To Namibia

Monday, May 6
Namibia – 115/6
Uganda – 101/9 (20 ov)
*Namibia win by 14 runs

Uganda’s race to defend the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Regional qualifiers took a wrong turn after the side lost their first game of the ongoing championship in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The Lady Cricket Cranes lost to Namibia by 14 runs in a game that provided a scintillating finish.

After winning the opener against Sierra Leone by 90 runs on Sunday, every thing was going on plan, including winning the toss on Monday which Kevin Awino chose to bat last.

Despite strong efforts from Immaculate Nakisuyi (two wickets), Sarah Wakaza (two wickets) and Franklyn Najjumba (one wicket), Namibia squeezed through the first innings with 115/6.

The game was a tough one, like Captain Awino said earlier, every game was going to be like a final and indeed this was like one,” said Lady batter Naomi Kayondo.

“We lost it in the first innings. We did not field very well, we dropped a couple of catches, we had a couple of misfield and they ended up posting 115.

“We also didnt do well with the bat. The top order left a big chunk for the tail end which I think was a big ask for them so it had to go south for us.”

Naomi scored 18 runs with a boundary, Rachel Ntono had 16 runs off 23 balls, Musamali and Stephanie Nampiina had 17 and 25 respectively.

Fall of wickets: 1-0 (D Busingye, 1.2 ov), 2-30 (NK Bagenda, 6.6 ov), 3-40 (F Najjumba, 8.3 ov), 4-49 (R Ntono, 9.2 ov), 5-54 (I Nakisuuyi, 11.1 ov), 6-54 (J Mbabazi, 11.3 ov), 7-92 (R Musamali, 17.2 ov), 8-95 (S Nampiina, 18.3 ov), 9-99 (K Awino, 19.3 ov).

Uganda, second in group B below Namibia will then turn focus to Kenya, their last group game on Wednesday.

“We have to beat Kenya so bad that we level our net run rate and may be that will help us later in calculations and hope for the best thereafter.”

 

The winner of the tournament earns two tickets to both the 2019 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier and the 2020 Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament

Team Abagurusi bag opener but series set to grow into three-franchise affair

Team Abagurusi showed that old is golden, indeed, when they took an assured series 1-0 lead against Team Kisementi after scripting a six-run triumph over the latter at the University Oval in Kyambogo on February 9.

The build-up to the clash that saw a return of many yesteryears’ superstars to the oval for the first time in eons was dominated with a war of words between two camps as the players plotted to oust each other.
And although the younger Team Kisementi, comprising of corporates and previous league players, were the odds-on favourites to win series opener, Team Abagurusi rendered the pundits’ predictions useless as they stunned their foes in the charity themed friendly battle.

Peter Sawyer fell seven runs short of a deserved half century but his 38-ball-43 stood out as Abagurusi set 136 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in the allotted 20 overs. Openers Norman Batanda (13 off 11), Robert Kisubi (19 off 38) and captain Latimer Mukasa (18 off 17) also reached double figures as slow bowler Allan Ssematimba registered impressive figures of 3 for 4 in 2 overs for Kisementi to restrict Abagurusi’s piling on a bigger score.

Needing to move at 6.8 runs per over to win, all looked like smooth sailing for Team Kisementi with Paul Kaheru (41 runs off 36 balls) still out in the middle. But when he was clean bowled by William Kibukamusoke (1/30) in the 10th over, the wheels came off Kisementi’s chase.
Derrick Buwembo, who had earlier put in a good fielding shift, blossomed with 22-ball 17 and Cyrus Kibukamusoke added 10 off 2 balls (one six and one four) but it was a little too late as Kisementi run out of overs with three wickets in hand. 
Former Uganda all-rounder Andrew Othieno with figures of 3 for 11 in four overs was chief destroyer of Kisementi as his spell played a pivotal role in ensuring Abagurusi carry the day.

Stopping the celebrations
But Kisementi captain Elly Kibuka Mukasa aka Sober said it was early days in the series for the Abagurusi to brag about anything. “This is going to be a long series. You cannot afford to celebrate now in a seven-match series,” said Mukasa. “We also played hospitable to our elders. We wanted to motivate them to come back. But again, they wanted to win more than we did. Our body language in the field was poor and I call upon my players to start training so that they’re better when we meet next month.
Abagurusi captain Latimer Mukasa termed the day as a ‘perfect outing’ and urged the Bagurusi to stay fresh for what he said ‘will be an exciting series that will last the distance’.

Daily Monitor has also learnt that the organisers of the series, which will ride along a charity theme, are in advanced talks with another social group within the fraternity to increase the teams participating in the series from two to either three or four in a bid to make the series more involving and exciting.

ABARUSI - KISEMENTI SERIES
Results – Game One of Seven (Feb 9)
Abagurusi 136/7 Kisementi 130/7
Abagurusi won by 6 runs

MATCH DAY SQUADS
Team Abagurusi: Norman Batanda, Robert Kisubi, Peter Sawyer, Latimer Mukasa, Andrew Othieno, Kaushik Kuldeep, William Kibukamusoke, Abu Mayanja, Paul Nsibuka Luswata, Paul Ayo, Michael Nuwagaba, Steven Lumonya, George Ndiko
Team Kisementi: John Trust Mayeku, Paul Kaheru, Daniel Ligyalingi, Elly Kibuka Mukasa, Bashir Ansasiira, Nicholas Kebba, Derrick Buwembo, Robert Mukobe, Cyrus Kibukamusoke, Fred Lutaaya, Dunstan Nsubuga Kamunvi

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Mukankusi returns to Lady Cricket Cranes ahead of Africa Tournament

Barbara Mukankusi was one of the pioneer figures of the national women’s team in 2001 and actually is the last standing player from that first-ever assembled unit.
However, in recent years, nature’s call forced Mukankusi to sit aside and following the birth of her third child in 2017, she is back to the national fold.

The top-order batter was named among the 40-man squad that is set for early preparations for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers from May 8-13 in Zimbabwe. “Of late, I have been playing locally but internationally, I last played in 2016,” said Mukankusi.
The veteran’s basis for her selection is the decent batting figures she posted as Pioneer came close to a second Jazz Safari National Women’s League title last year.
“I wanted Pioneer to win the league last year and that’s why I played the way I did. I am only glad the selectors still see potential in me,” stated Mukankusi.

Mukankusi, led the teams for years, reckons there is work to do even if she has history and figures to back her up. “I played last season minus practice because of the busy work schedule and family and we had no coach (at Pioneer),” she said. “(Now) national team comes with full package, coach, I must attend training and so on. I will gain much from this and improve on my performance.”
The training sessions which commence on Monday will have two groups trained in Jinja by Habib Mugalula and at Lugogo by Micheal Ndiko.
The composition is eight from Sixes Challenge champions Olila High, Jinja SSS has seven in, League and T20 queens Aziz Damani have six players as is Soroti Challengers. Olila High School’s Damalie Busingye, too, returns after three-year lull.

FULL TRAINING SQUAD

Rita Musamali, Janet Mbabazi, Rachael Ntono, Immaculate Nakisuyi, Joyce Mary Apio, Stephanie Nampiina, Franklyn Najjumba, Gertrude Candiru, Kevin Awino, Consy Aweko, Carol Namugenyi, Patricia Malemikia, Esther Ilukor, Damalie Busingye, Evelyn Ayipo, Irene Alumo, Leona Babirye, Teddy Ayella, Maria Kagoya, Kevin Amuge, Barbara Mukankusi, Janet Nakiranda, Hope Wanichan, Claire Mushakamba, Mackenzie Ayato, Proscovia Alako, Gloria Obukor, Eunice Alungat, Brenda Nabisalu, Lynet Nakato, Patricia Munguryek, Maria Mwesige, Racheal Achan, Sarah Walaza, Sarah Akiteng, Susan Kakai, Saddick Shakira, Mary Akello, Charity Nyokaru, Eunice Kobusingye Coaches: Habibu Mugalula (Jinja), Micheal Ndiko (Lugogo)

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Ssesaazi, Arinaitwe lead batting charge, Damani off to a flyer

The race for slots on the senior national team to represent Uganda at the ICC Africa Men’s Twenty20 Qualifier due May will go down to the wire. 
And the UCA Men’s Twenty20 Divisional Tournament is the yardstick for that, then selectors are up for a headache while players are in for a pretty exciting and tight battle.

There is no batsman or bowler who wants to be left out for that showpiece that will be staged on home soil for two months. On Sunday, the run scorers went big and sent out a loud message to the selectors with many crossing the half-ton mark.
Pakistan-born Wasim Butt continued with the form as he made a quick-fire 56 off 28 to guide KICC to a morning 31-run victory over Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo Oval.

The double was complete for KICC, making it three wins in four tournament matches when left-hander Simon Ssesaazi struck a near-accurate half-century of 61 runs in the afternoon seven-wicket triumph over the Tigers.
“This is just the beginning,” said Ssesaazi. He recently made 244 runs in four innings, enough to emerge as best batsman for Uganda on their Sanjay Cricket Farm Tour in India last month.
“I am working hard to get a place on the national team. Then I hope I can keep it and we take it on from there but this is just the start,” added the top-order batsman.

Tigers had 109-9 with Nandikishor Patel making 36 off 31. Patel’s teammates had struggled to negotiate the bowling spells of Lawrence Ssempijja (3/16) and Irfan Afridi (3/17).
The chase was made easy by Ssesaazi, him making five boundaries and two sixes. Another new KICC signing Deus Muhumuza, also returning from India, fired 30 off 33.

“We are disciplined,” KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar stated. “I am happy that some of our players are really performing well,” he added.
The fire didn’t stop there. Left-handers Arthur Kyobe (52 off 27) and Arnold Otwani (45 off 46) punished SKLPS to help Challengers to a morning 108-run morning victory in Kyambogo. In the afternoon, Zephaniah Arinaitwe fired 66 off 39 whereas Kamal Shahzad struck 59 off 26 enroute to setting 239-4, enough to coast to a 158-run victory. Challengers are at 3-1 for the season.

Division one - cricket league

KICC 160/6 Kutchi Tigers 129/7
(KICC won by 31 runs)
Kutchi Tigers 109/9 KICC 115/3
(KICC won by 7 wickets)
Aziz Damani 183/6 Tornado Bees 99/7
(Aziz Damani won by 84 runs)

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Omtex promise more support to Uganda Cricket Association

When Team Uganda made their first-ever trip to India in 2018, they knew nothing about Vijay Patel and his healthy-sport clothing company Omtex.
All they knew was Sanjay Farm’s Swetal Desai who had extended an Olive Branch to Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) through Roger Mukasa and Charles Waiswa whom he had seen playing their trade for the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) XI in 2017.
The brand of cricket displayed by the two senior Cricket Cranes players while in Andhra Pradesh bowled Swetal, who asked the duo to extend a follow-up invitation to UCA.
But when Uganda made its maiden tour they won over more lovers, because of the fearless brand of cricket played with verve and skill, including Vijay.
This relationship between the two (UCA and Omtex) yielded quick fruits with the clothing company designing the current national stripe that is predominantly yellow, a warm-up kit that primarily red and black track-suit with red-stripes.

Good partnership
As a thank you, Omtex gifted UCA, 70 pieces of travelling shirts that national teams that have used as official wear since.
On Uganda’s second visit this year, Uganda has benefitted more from the partnership with Omtex, who provided a set of jerseys, sun-hats and caps for the team to use while on tour. Vijay also offered a set of fielding gloves and a coach from his set-up to tutor the team and six Under 19 players that stayed back in India for extra 15 days (Feb 24 – March 12) in a boot camp. 
“I want to do more to help Uganda develop as a cricket nation,” said Vijay Patel who also gave designer camouflage jackets to Uganda’s best performers on the tour including 16-year-old Juma Miyagi (18 wickets) and batsman Arnold Otwani.
“Maybe in future we grow this partnership to a level where we give you kits bags, fielding kits and training jersey as well as other equipment.”
On a light note, Vijay finished as the best bowler in a Mumbai Corporate League (Agent Jack’s Cup) that his club partakes in.
The six U-19 players in India are scheduled to return just in time for a flight to the World Cup Qualifiers in Windhoek on March 15.

Unimoni T20 Cup quarters Contenders out to lay claim

Aziz Damani’s 100 percent record enroute to the Jazz Safari National League crown earlier this year certainly did not go down well with the rest of the clubs.

Sport hates dominance. With Damani up the throats of many having won the men and women’s limited-overs’ titles plus the Mehta Twenty20 Premier League, a rare sweep beckons.

That’s if they win the Unimoni National Twenty20 Cup which is at the quarterfinal stage now.

However, with the overwhelming yet unusual deployment of foreign stars by other teams, Damani will have their work cut out.
The league champions Damani face a bitter rival in Tornado Bee at the University Oval in Kyambogo this afternoon in a familiar T20 quarterfinal. Specks of bother about Damani come with their record that has seen them play a final and two semi-finals in the last three editions.
“Our goal is to first get into the final then we take it from there,” Damani’s vice captain Brian Masaba stated. “Tornado Bee is hurting and they can be a dangerous side so we are not taking anything for granted.”

Damani has Jamaican Javian McFarlane available but Tornado Bee has recalled Kenyan old guards Obuya brothers Collins and David to back up Roger Mukasa, Deus Muhumuza and Australian Mitch Horrocks among others. “T20 has not been our hunting ground over the years. But there is a chance to fight for silverware this season,” said Tornado Bee captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke. “We have lost a bit of our thunder but the team with the most perfect strategy on the day will win,” he added.

Over the years, no side has executed better T20 strategies than holders Challengers who are on course to make a three-peat and four title in five years. Having finished second in Group A behind KICC, they now face stubborn Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo this afternoon.

Short code exponents
And they are not taking any chances. Club proprietor Mohammed Vaheed has brought in experienced Zimbabwean ODI players in captain Hamilton Masakadza and Timycen Maruma.

Also, Indian Abdulahad Malik of India Premier League (IPL) franchise Rasthajan Royals is here. “We are going for a treble implying a bigger task on our hands and we have great inclusions,” opening batsman Arthur Kyobe disclosed.

Kyobe is set to open with Hamu Kayondo. Malik, who boasts of the highest ever fourth wicket partnership (202*) with Manpreet Juneja will bat at three and Masakadza is expected to walk in at four. Tigers’ captain Alphesh Hirani remained tight-lipped but they have quietly brought in India-born Kenyans and retain a livewire in Dinesh Nakrani and 2015 winning captain Ankit Patel in their ranks.

The foreign legion doesn’t stop because after topping Group B, Ceylon Lions are now interested in the silverware and have brought in a Sri Lankan and Kenyan Alex Obanda to face Jinja SSS at Kyambogo this morning. In Lugogo, two-time finalists KICC are banking on high-flying batsmen Wassim Butt and Suleman Sharif when they meet explosive and brave youngsters of Strikers.

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE & INNOCENT NDAWULA

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