Jungle fight in Lugogo as Lions, Tigers face-off in Jazz Safari League

Having endured a torrid outing at the ICC World Cricket League Division IV event in Malaysia, Simon Ssesaazi reminded everyone of his batting potential last weekend.

He was ruthless against fellow Cricket Cranes’ players Riazat Ali and brother Henry Ssenyondo enroute to a 77-run-a-ball half-ton but it was not enough as his club Ceylon Lions lost to holders Aziz Damani by 95 runs in Lugogo. That third loss in four Jazz Safari National League matches could be vividly seen in Ssesaazi’s eyes after producing the best batting show on the day.

“We need to act,” the left-hand opener lamented ahead of today’s match against Kutchi Tigers at the same venue. 
“We need to just work on a few improvements, avoid giving away cheap wickets then build partnerships,” he said of his fellow top-order batsmen Eddie Agaba, Arnold Otwan, Varinder Singh, Lawrence Ssempijja and Jonathan Ssebanja.

But Tigers lost their last tie to KICC after an unmatchable display by Davis Karashani (74 off 70 and 3/31 in 8.1 overs) a fortnight ago in Lugogo.

So as Lions bid to roar, Tigers will equally want to be counted in the Lugogo jungle with the backing of Indian trio of Aezaz Kothariya, Devendra Poriya and Sachin Mevada.
Arup Kerai is another weapon for Alphesh Hirani’s team that will looking for a fourth win in six outings.


UCA National Academy gathers steam at Lugogo

What: National Cricket Academy
When: January 21-31
Venue: Lugogo Cricket Oval
Numbers: 25 participants

KAMPALA. Two days into the first-ever Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) National Boys Cricket Academy, the coaches in charge Steve Tikolo, Franco Otieno and David Obuya are overwhelmed by the talent exhibited thus far.

Lugogo Cricket Oval has been a bee-hive of activity with the 25 players in the academy making the field a beautiful spectacle alongside the men and women’s national sides – the Cricket Cranes and Lady Cricket Cranes respectively.

“Every time I see you Ugandans playing cricket, I see a group of talented individuals,” said Obuya, who also worked with Baby Cricket Cranes (national boys U-19 side) during the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Nairobi, Kenya last May.

“We are going to work on several aspects of their game to help them become better. Obviously talent is not their problem. But execution of shots, bowling to plans and better game reading. We want to empower them with a better understanding of the game and etiquette.”

UCA Development Officer Henry Okecho highlighted the importance of the training and also revealed that the ‘respected’ Kenyan tacticians were the most suitable to run this core programme for the association. 
“It is a 10-day residential programme with sessions in the morning (9am to 12pm) and afternoon (3 to 6pm),” disclosed Okecho.

“In my opinion it is long overdue as we had planned it for December 2017. There is no doubt that this programme will help us build our stocks for both the U-19 and National teams. Our plan is to set up an U-23 program that would take up most of these players and help prepare them for international competition. This program also acts as a bridge between junior and senior cricket.”

Notable players invited for the International Cricket Council (ICC), Bankstown Cricket Club (Australia) and the National Council of Sports (NCS) sponsored academy are national team trainees Steven Wabwose and Frank Akankwasa.

Soroti: Emma Twijukye, Aaron Okwi, Pius Oyena,
Jinja: Eddy Agaba, Steven Wabwose, Calvin Watuwa,
Robinson Obuya, Joel Elelu, Marvin Kitamirike, Pius Oluka. Kampala: Perry Wazombe, Cosmas Kyewuta, Juma Miyaji, Ashraf Ssenkubuge, Frank Akankwasa, Simon Okecho, Gerald Mubiru, Ronald Opio, Ramanthan Ochimi, Fort Portal: Pascal Murungi, Samuel Ntimba, Isaac Ategeka, Alfred Alijuna, Moses Ahura Masaka: Ronald Lutaaya

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Challengers castled, spinners rule Lugogo

A text-book ton from Ronak Patel and five-wicket hauls from spinners Innocent Ndawula and Hamza Amir highlighted the Jazz Safari National Cricket League on Sunday.
But there was a small matter of 2016 runners-up Challengers who, yet again connived to lose a fourth successive match by 18 runs to KICC at Kyambogo Oval.

With the latter having set 262-7 thanks to Siraje Nsubuga’s stand-out 104-ball 54, Challengers were 227-4 after midway the 42nd over before being bowled out in a space of 37 balls. Challengers’ pair Mohammed Aneef (59 off 92) and Naseer Ahmed’s (63 off 100) featured in a solid 90-run second-wicket combobut it was all in vain.

On the brighter side of things, Ronak struck 128 runs off 84 balls - the fourth ton of the season - as his side beat bottom side Patidar Samaj by 340 runs for the fifth win in nine matches in Entebbe. Barely a week into the country from India for the Rainbow Night Cricket Cup, Ronak made 14 boundaries and a six on his league debut. If Ronak carried the day for batsmen, it is spinners Ndawula and Amir who shared the limelight in Lugogo.

Despite making it eight wins in nine outings after beating Charity by 208 runs, Aziz Damani had no answers for left-arm orthodox bowler Ndawula who snared a career best bowling figures of 7/54. 
“I will frame this match ball,” burly Ndawula said moments after picking his innings’ ball from umpires Grace Mutyagaba and Patrick Makumbi.

However, Damani batsmen had been unstoppable especially Arnold Otwani (75) and Wasim Butt (63) as they set 280-9. Ndawula hoped his teammates would match his performance with the bat. But Charity were bowled out for 72 runs in 22 overs with Cosmas Kyewuta getting 18 runs as leg spinner Amis took 8/11 in a six-over spell to beat Ndawula to the Man of Match award.

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UCA intent to bear fruits at Mini Cricket finals

The obligation of nurturing talent through well-structured grass root systems has proved more of a burden than necessity to many sports federations in the country.
To a large extent, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) has done the opposite. Schools’ cricket week programmes, clinics, camps and Mini Cricket competitions are all part of the vindication. 
And as the latter Crown Beverages Pepsi and Banks Town Cricket Club-sponsored event climaxes at Lugogo Oval today, UCA wants to score highest.

“We are sure of getting tomorrow’s stars probably for the ICC 2023 ODI World Cup,” UCA development manager Henry Okecho.

“There are key youngsters from the regional qualifiers we are trying to keep our keen eyes on,” Okecho told Daily Monitor.

The Mini Cricket started early this year with the District competitions, where a total of 18 districts and 143 primary schools participated across five different regions. 
And 16 schools that triumphed in the different regions will take part in the U11 and U13 categories in both genders. 
Some of the current Cricket Cranes players now in South Africa are products of the Mini Cricket such as Roger Mukasa, Jonathan Sebanja and Henry Senyondo from East Kololo Primary School, Davis Karashani from Lohana Academy (Kampala) and Arthur Kyobe from Magwa Primary School (Jinja).

U-11 Boys - St Edwards PS 
U-11 Girls - Nsaasi PS 
U-13 Boys - Kihande PS 
U-13 Girls - Luwero Boys 
U-11 Girls - Kamuli Girls PS 
U-11 Boys - Kamuli Boys 
U-13 Girls - Bugabwe PS 
U-13 Boys - Bugabwe PS 
U-13 Boys - Kyanjuki PS 
U-13 Girls - Bulembia PS 
U-11 Boys - Kitiiri PS 
U-11 Girls - Kyanjuki PS 
U-11 Girls - Yoweri PS 
U-11 Boys - North Road PS 
U-13 Girls - Mudakori PS 
U-13 Boys - Yoweri PS 
U-11 Girls - East Kololo PS 
U-11 Boys - Naguru Infant PS 
U-13 Girls - Nagalama Mixed PS 
U-13 Boys - Entebbe Jnr. Sch.

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Mukasa charms Lugogo crowd with Super Over heroics in semis

With cash prizes at stake, fun tournaments are usually more competitive than organisers can anticipate.

That competitiveness was on show on Tuesday as Patidar Universal and Pak Coin required a Super Over to be separated in the first semifinal of the Night Cricket tournament.

Roger Mukasa was once again the difference between the two teams scoring 20 runs in the Super Over as Patidar claimed a four-run victory and a place in Saturday’s final.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, the game seemed to have drifted away from Patidar after being bowled out for 89 runs.

More lackluster batting from Pak Coin, however, ensured they were bowled out for the same score.

It was then that Mukasa took charge of the game. After conceding 16 runs in the Super Over, Mukasa had the last laugh, scoring 20 runs including a mighty six over the screen on the final ball that ensured a four -run victory.

For Patidar captain Nirav Patel, the passion shown by both teams was the night’s biggest highlight.

“It does not really matter who the winner is because both teams deserved the victory,” Patel said with more relief than delight after the game.

The moderate crowd on show will hope Jinja Keshwala and UWS put up a similar show when the two sides meet in the second semifinal today at Lugogo Oval.

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