Rwenzori Region dominates Mini Cricket Festival

Primary Schools from Rwenzori Region dominated the just concluded Mini Cricket Festival, winning three of the four categories.

The event that attracted 18 Primary Schools from 5 regions with both boys and girls competing in the U11 and U13 categories.

Balawoli Primary School from Kamuli won the girls U11 category, while Bulembia Primary School from Kasese won the Boys U11 category.

Kyanjuki Primary School from Kasese won both the Boys and Girls U13 category capping a fine afternoon for the schools from the Rwenzori Region.

The competition which is mainly for Primary Schools is organised annually by Uganda Cricket together with its partners and the CEO Uganda Cricket Justine Ligyalingi whose own daughter Tamara Kalinaki was captain for Buddo Junior U13 was elated by the pupils.

“This event is the entry point for children who want to play cricket in future that is why we target both girls and boys who will feed into our national teams,” Ligyalingi said.

“However, at this level there are no losers and everyone is a winner the overall aim is to introduce the game to the children and making sure they enjoy the game.

“We encourage the children to take cricket serious but also their books, cricket has to go hand in hand with academics.”

Hanumant Kathkar a board member of Uganda Cricket also emphasized the role of mini cricket in the development of the game in Uganda

These are the roots of development of cricket in Uganda. We would like to thank the teachers who have been able to keep cricket alive in the schools and also helping nurture the children.

As a board we have pledged a winning bonus of 250,000 to every team in the 4 different categories.

The Kasese schools walked away with 750,ooo of the 1 million at stake and they keep the dominance of schools from the Rwenzori Region in Mini Cricket.

All schools were rewarded with new uniforms, net balls, footballs and certificates by Uganda Cricket Association as a token of appreciation for making it to the national finals.

Prepared By: Dennis Musali

Season Five Night Cricket has more prize money, new twists

Brace yourselves, members of the cricket fraternity! The pick of the tournaments and only Night Cricket event – The Kampala Boys Sports Cricket Club (KBSC) Premier League – Season 5 is here. 
The annual reloaded showpiece was officially launched on Thursday night at the Cooper Chimney Restaurant in Lugogo infront of a full house of the 16 teams participating teams, officials, organisers and members of the media. The previous seasons have showed that there is no lightweight in this tape-ball cricket format that will be played over 16 overs (preliminary phase) and 20 overs (knockouts) from next Friday (July 28) to September 4 at the home of cricket in Uganda – Lugogo Oval.

Despite the envisaged stiff competition, the franchises will not need any additional motivation to outlast defending champions Pak Stallions after the organisers announced that the stakes were higher this year with the winning team taking home Shs15m and runners up pocketing Shs8m – an increment from Shs10m and 7.5m respectively last season.

“We set the standard pretty high from the previous editions. We want to take it a notch higher this season. We want to keep everyone excited and involved,” said KBSC chairman Tejas, who also disclosed that there would be a tournament within the competition with the teams that don’t make it to the semifinals competing in a Super Over contest.
UCA’s Martin Ondeko lauded KBSC for being consistent in their endeavour to promote cricket and promised that the association would continue to support such projects.

GROUPS FOR SEASON 5
Group A 
1. Pak Stallions, 2. Cosmas Warriors, 3. Jain Samaj , 4.Haandi XI, 5. Jiya XI, 6.Yuva XI, 7. Abacus, 8. Lahore Lions. 
Group B
1. Afridi XI, 2. Hunza Warriors, 3. Metro Tyres, 4. Keshwala XI, 5. Keshwala Boys, 6. Azam XI, 7. Aziz Damani, 8. Lohana XI.

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Senior side to offer Baby Cricket Cranes final test

Uganda cricket has consistently taken the stick since the nation suffered shock relegation to the ICC World Cricket League Division Three last month. 
The interest for the gentleman’s game is not as huge as it was before May 23 on and off the oval. 
And the tiring mental constructs will take a while to fade away, more evidenced by low batting totals in recent Jazz Safari National League ties. 
The current senior men’s team generation has hinged on the class that partook at the 2004 and 2006 ICC U-19 World Cup tourneys. 
The inevitable feeling is to have new blood take up the spots.

The nation has a chance to forget the misery should the current U-19 side beat the odds and qualify for next year’s ICC Youth 50-Over World Cup in New Zealand. 
Unlike before, the Baby Cricket Cranes must finish top ahead of Kenya, Botswana and Ghana at the regional qualifier in Nairobi. 
“This team bats deep and that should do the jugular for us,” team’s coach Francis Otieno told Daily Monitor following a series of training sessions at Lugogo.

Squad cut in size
Otieno and assistant Jackson Ogwang trimmed their squad from 25 to 14 while dropping familiar names like Joseph Byaruhanga, John Gabula, Ronald Kinene, Juma Miyagi and Collins Okwalinga. 
Aziz Damani’s Kenneth Waiswa, who was dropped for the ICC WCL, is skipper and knows what’s at stake. “If we qualify for the World Cup, we can change the face of Ugandan cricket like it happened in 2006,” said the promising medium pacer. 
Waiswa will be deputized by Zephania Arinaitwe and the pair has two trial matches against their seniors tomorrow and on Saturday at Lugogo Oval. “Giving Arinaitwe means he must play with responsibility.” Otieno reasoned.

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By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE & INNOCENT NDAWULA

Mehta Group boosts Cricket Cranes

Cricket Cranes’ bid to lift the ICC World Cricket League Division Three trophy received a shot in the arm following the unveiling, by Mehta Group, of a sponsorship package worth Shs45 million.

The deal, signed at the weekend in Lugazi, will cater for among others players’ allowances, team bonuses and team kit for the upcoming six-team showpiece scheduled to bowl off next Tuesday (May 23).

According to Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) CEO Justine Ligyalingi, the partnership with Mehta began in 2012 and is only being revived.

“Mehta has been supporting cricket activities in the country with sponsorship to teams such as Nile Knights in the East African Premier League as well as the Women’s T20 League.

“Today, however, is special and we would like to thank Mehta for the financial support towards the men’s team for this upcoming event,” Ligyalingi said after appending his signature to the deal along with UCA chairman Bashir Ansasiira and Mehta Group CEO Anil Shah.

Although the deal will cater for the men’s national team, Shah promised to extend financial help to the ladies’ team as well. 
“Our commitment towards cricket development is unquestionable. This is just the beginning. Next will be the ladies,” Shah said, before urging the players to give their all during the 10-day event.

Uganda open their campaign against Canada at Lugogo Oval on May 23 and team captain Davis Karashani believes they have got what it takes to move a division up.

“The mood in the camp is positive. We have a great physio (Habiba) and she is working hard to ensure all the niggles are gone ahead of our opener. The squad is also littered with players of quality and I am positive they will make the country proud,” Karashani said.

Oman is expected to be the first country to jet in on Thursday with the rest USA, Canada, Oman, Malaysia and Singapore arriving on Saturday and Sunday. UCA will unveil the new team jersey tomorrow.

ICC WCL DIV III
UGANDA’S FIXTURES 
May 23: Uganda vs. Canada - Lugogo Oval
May 24: Uganda vs. Singapore -Entebbe Oval
May 26: Uganda vs. Oman -Kyambogo Oval
May 27: Ugandavs. Malaysia - Lugogo Oval
May 29: Uganda vs.USA - Entebbe Oval

By CAESAR ABANGIRAH

Tikolo pleased with avalanche of match winners in Cricket Cranes squad

There were a few murmurs arising from coach Steve Tikolo’s final 14-man side that will represent hosts Uganda at the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament from May 23-31.
Tikolo admitted the difficulty in sieving out the required numbers from a pool of 20. Of course, he had worked with nearly 40 players over the past eight months in a bid to find the perfect blend ahead of the nation’s first international engagement in 20 months.

The recent 4-0 whitewash over Kenya in the Easter Series left not only fans but also Tikolo a rather more pleased figure. “Our cricket has grown in leaps and bounds in the last eight months,” he noted.

The Kenyan legend stated the team’s greatest positive from the Series has been in strengthening the depth of the squad. “We played as a unit. It was not a one-man show,” Tikolo said while highlighting the variety of match winners against the eastern neighbours.

“Whichever player is asked to go out and do the job for the team, they put their hands. Previously, we used to depend on one or two players (Roger Mukasa and Arthur Kyobe) in the batting department. Right now, we have about six or seven players we can depend on.”

Tikolo is vindicated by the figures as Kamal Shahzad has grown to maintain a slot in the top order as backed up by his 107 runs off 114 balls in 4 innings against Kenya.

“Before we used to depend on Davis (Karashani), Frank (Nsubuga) and Charles Waiswa in the bowling department but that has changed too. There is good competition in the team so it ensures the guys will not sit on their laurels and think they have automatic slots.” Tikolo added.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Henry Ssenyondo (7/79 & 2 maidens in 23 overs) and right-arm medium pacer Jonathan Ssebanja (5/83 & 19.3 overs) got bigger dividends than the trio in four matches against Kenya.

The final selection

Team Uganda
Davis Karashani (captain), Brian Masaba (vice-captain), Arthur Kyobe, Hamu Kayondo, Roger Mukasa, Arnold Otwani, Kamal Shahzad, Frank Nsubuga, Henry Ssenyondo, Charles Waiswa, Deus Muhumuza, Jonathan Ssebanja, Irfan Sahibzada and Lawrence Ssematimba
Reserves
Naeem Bardai, Lloyd Paternott, Emmanuel Isaneez and David Wabwire

Best bastmen

East cricket series statistics
Roger Mukasa (111 off 140 in 4 innings)
Kamal Shahzad (107 off 114 in 4)
Arthur Kyobe (84 off 96 in 4)
Hamu Kayondo (74 off 129 in 4)
Emmanuel Isaneez (56 off 88 in 2)
Deus Muhumuza (53 off 64 in 2)
Derrick Bakunzi (49 off 69 in 1)

Best bowlers

East cricket series statistics
Henry Ssenyondo 
(7/79 & 2 maidens in 23 overs)
Jonathan Ssebanja 
(5/83 & 19.3 overs)
Davis Karashani 
(4/95 & 3 maidens in 29 overs)
Deus Muhumuza 
(3/27) in 7.4 overs)
David Wabwire 
(3/70 in 10 overs)
Roger Mukasa 
(2/3 & 2 maidens in 4 overs) 
Frank Nsubuga 
(2/39 & 3 maidens in 14 overs)

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Cricket Cranes deliver knockout blow to win Easter Series 3-0

Deus Muhumuza wrapped up the stiff chase of 186 with an upper cut shot for six over the third-man region as Uganda delivered a knockout out blow to defeat Kenya by six wickets and go 3-0 in the Easter Series at Lugogo Cricket Oval yesterday. 
There is still a game to be played by the friendly foes at Lugogo today but it will be a dead rubber with Kenya only seeking to salvage their dented pride with a consolation win.
Bowling all-rounder Muhumuza (23 off 19 balls) may have hit the winning runs but if it had been a boxing match he could as well have been an undercard fighter on the day.

The two main antagonists that took the fight to the Kenyan bowling and successfully wrestled the match from them were stylish stroke-maker Roger Mukasa and left-hander Shahzad Kamal.
Mukasa opened up early cuts (read chinks) in the Kenyan bowling arsenal with a boundary-filled 30-ball 43 and was unlucky not to reach the half-century landmark after one delivery from Kenya skipper Shem Obado Ngoche (1/46 in 5) kept low and disturbed his furniture.

But by the time Mukasa walked back to the dugout, the scoreboard was reading 74 for 3 in 9.1 overs and he had set a very good platform for his teammates to smoother along without the pressure of a steep run-rate.
Kamal, who ended unbeaten on a matching winning 75 off 55 balls, dug deep with skipper Davis Karashani (19 off 25) running hard between the wickets and picking the odd boundary in sensible fashion to avoid a twist in the tail.
And even when Karashani’s powerful cut short was caught at point by World Cup hero Collins Obuya, it was a little too late for the Kenyans as Uganda needed 58 runs to win from 62 balls – but more importantly with at least a handful of power hitters yet to bat.
“Once again the guys have showed that they can execute what they do in practice,” said Cricket Cranes coach Steve Tikolo, who is coincidentally a Kenyan legend.

“We have been practicing situations like this. But to go 3-up in the series also shows that there is maturity in the side and the team is hungry to deliver and make the combinations work.”
Kenya assistant coach Peter Ongondo was full of praise for Uganda. “Before, Uganda used to play boundary cricket. But now their batsmen are willing to bat for long spells. We have also been awed by their togetherness and teamwork. We came here to teach the Ugandans but we are also learning something,” said the former Kenya opening bowler.
Earlier before the heavens opened, Kenya was coasting along nicely on 165/4 in 36.5 overs with Irfan Karim (65* off 116), Dhiren Gondaria (50 off 42) and Obuya (37 off 48) contributing handsomely.
The rain interruption, though, could not allow them to proceed with their innings and had the match umpires ask Uganda to chase 186 in 27 overs after Duckworth and Lewis Method (D/L Method) calculations – a test they duly passed with flying colours.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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Steely bowling gives Cricket Cranes 2-0 lead in Easter Series

Team Uganda needed a touch of class with the ball to defeat Kenya by 27 runs and take a 2-0 lead in the Easter Cricket Series at Lugogo Oval yesterday. 
Defending their score of 199, the Cricket Cranes bowled out Kenya with 57 balls to spare, leaving the visitors in a desperate state with two matches left to wrap up the Series. 
"We are delighted with this win," said skipper Davis Karashani. "We showed a lot of character to claw back into this game. Kyobe (Arthur) showed maturity and awareness with that catch to dismiss Collins (Obuya). 
And the slow bowling department rose to the occassion to pile on the pressure and strangle the Kenyan batting. We have to continue improving though." 
Opting to bat first, Uganda had a unique brilliant start with openers Arthur Kyobe (30 off 41) and Hamu Kayondo (30 off 63) putting on 51 runs for the first wicket in 11.3 overs. 
Then Steve Tikolo's charges folded superfast to 91-5 by the end of the 23rd over with Shem Ngoche (2/25) and Nelson Odhiambo (2/38) doing the damage. 
However, the Cranes were back in the frame when Deus Muhumuza (30 off 45) and Emmanuel Isaneez (33 off ) put up 74 runs for the sixth wicket to help Uganda set 199 in overs. 
Kenya had a shaky start to the chase, losing Kaul Karan and Gurdeep Singh for 30 runs in the opening 5.1 overs. 
Then, two half-centuries from experienced lad Collins Obuya (50 off 54) and promising U-19 graduate Dhiren Gondaria (56 off 52) who combined for an 83-run third wicket combo got Kenya within victory range. 
But all crumbled when Kyobe threw the ball in the air for 12th man Brian Masaba, in for injured Frank Nsubuga, to catch Gondaria inside the circle. 
"It was an easy score to chase but we lost cheaply," Gondaria told Daily Monitor in a post-match interview. "I played a silly shot which cost us the match," the 22-year-old said.
Then skipper Davis Karashani (3/30) turned on the mojo to unscrew the wheels off the Kenyan ship, putting a cusp to Kenya losing seven wickets in a fast and furios mode when they needed 87 runs to win off 173 deliveries.
"My teammates did not apply themselves," Obuya noted. "We need to do better in the remaining two matches."
Notwithstanding dropped catches, Karashani rotated his bowlers and Roger Mukasa (2/3), who relinquished the wicketkeeping gloves to swing the match into his country's favour with two maiden overs including a wicket-maiden in his match-winning four-over spell.


EASTER CRICKET SERIES
GAME THREE RESULT
Uganda 199/10 Kenya 172/10 
(Uganda won by 27 runs)

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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