Ugandan sport has witnessed spells where teams dominate different disciplines.
The SC Villa of the 1980s’ stands out. The good old Falcons and today’s City Oilers will be remembered for years in men’s basketball.
Tornado Bee had its share a few years ago in club cricket but something bigger could be brewing.
Yet again, Aziz Damani Masaka Cricket Club was at the top of the podium after the ladies clinched their maiden Mehta Twenty20 Premier League title on Saturday.
Only four years old, Damani has swept all accolades on offer on the men’s front bar the T20 title and for the women’s team formed a year ago, the tree is dropping fruits faster than expected. On Saturday, Damani ably chased a target of 103 runs to stop Olila High School from retaining the T20 crown in the final washed by a sizeable number of fans at Lugogo Oval. “Today is our day,” Damani CEO Siva Koti would say at the podium, moments before captain Gertrude Candiru lifted the trophy in company of teammates.
As Right Said Fred’s famous Stand up for the champions played at 6:04pm, the imagination of a firm grip by Damani on Uganda’s cricket would sink in.
Damani’s men are on course to retain the topflight title following six successive wins.
And for the ladies, coach Yusuf Nanga has laid firm foundation with students from Masaka SS and now blends with stars like Teddy Oyella, Kenyan experience, stars captain Candiru and Immaculate Nakisuyi.
The tournament cusp belonged to Nakisuyi. In the final, she first picked figures of 3/10 as they stopped 2017 winners Olila at 102-9 majorly thanks to Esther Iloku (34 off 32) and Gloria Obukor (19 off 23). With the bat, Nakisuyi showed a fine glimpse of the future by top-scoring with a pivotal 30 runs off 19 balls including three boundaries and a six.
Kenyan import Sarah Bhakita stood out as well with a 22-ball 24 as her experience came to the fore when Olila’s cast forgot the basics under pressure.
Damani were home in 16.2 overs, sparking off celebrations accompanied with Shs1m and as many packs of sugar from sponsors Mehta.
“We tried to play out all our 20 overs,” said winning coach Nanga. “It is important that we have won here which inspires our feeder team, ” he added.
WOMEN’S T20 LEAGUE RESULTS
Olila High 102/9 Aziz Damani 106/6
(Aziz Damani won by 5 wickets)
KICC 89/9 Olila High 90/1
(Olila High won by 9 wickets)
Aziz Damani 129/7 Pioneer 91/6
(Aziz Damani by 35 runs)