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

Uganda aim to reclaim Kwibuka Peace Trophy

Uganda are setting out on a mission to enhance their reputation as real African giants.
Yesterday, a 16-man contingent led by coach Habibu Mugalula and manager Harriet Nanziri departed for Kigali in attempt to reclaim the Kwibuka Cricket For Peace Women’s Twenty20 Tournament title.

But unlike other teams, Uganda have thrown their young girls - The Schools Select XI - into the deep end against national teams of Rwanda, Zambia and Kenya to fight for honours. Mugalula takes the best players selected from the just-concluded Pepsi Girls Schools’ Cricket Week won by his Jinja SS last month.

“This is another chance for the youngsters to grow as we have done for their seniors,” acting Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) CEO Martin Ondeko said before the team was flagged off by National Council of Sports General Secretary David Katende in Lugogo on the cold morning. And the intent is clear for June 7-10 event at the Gahanga Stadium. “We are going to bring back the trophy,” said assistant captain Immaculate Nakisuyi after receiving the flag.

Nakisuyi is selected alongside Jinja SS teammates captain Rita Musamali and Stephanie Nampiina.

The trio is also part of the senior team preparing for the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in Netherlands next month.

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Pioneer claim third straight league win

The race for title already seems to be brewing a photo-finish as the first round of the Women’s League approaches a final bend.
On Saturday, Pioneer Cricket Club became the fourth different side to move to the summit of the eight-team log after they defeated Jinja Association of Cricket Clubs (JACC) in Jinja.

The commanding 177-run win, third in a row after four fixtures meant Pioneer moved from fourth place to dislodge Jinja SS (18 points) via a better Net Run Rate. Prior, moneybags KICC and Tornado B have also hit the pinnacle. 
“We don’t care about the opposition,” Pioneer coach Davis Turinawe told Daily Monitor. “We just want to keep making noise with the bat and ball.”

Nine-man JACC’s opening bowler Nuru Nakaziba (4/24) struck early to leave Pioneer at 24-2 inside 4.4 over.

But former Lady Cricket Cranes skipper Barbara Mukankusi (40 off 45) combined well with Mary Nankinga (53 off 78) for 70-run third-wicket partnership.

Mukankusi was caught behind by Irene Nekesa off Grace Nabaaza (1/36) on the penultimate ball of the 18th over. It mattered less as Nankinga shared another 46-run stand with Carol Namugenyi (24 off 21) before Pioneer set a 200-8 total in 35 overs.

JACC barely posed a threat in the 7.4-over innings as only Nabaaza (13-run-a-ball) got double digits after Namugenyi (4/12 and two maidens) and Franklyn Najjumba (3/10) bowling spells.

NATIONAL WOMEN’S 40-OVER LEAGUE

Pioneer 200/8 JACC 23/8
(Pioneer won by 177 runs)


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