Sweet T20 success for Olila

Olila High School Cricket Club spent the entire weekend on cloud nine after lifting the Mehta Women’s Twenty20 Premier League on the first time of asking on Saturday. The side beat two-time champions Jinja SS by 59 runs in a much boring one-sided final at Kyambogo Oval. “Great,” Olila team manager Felix Musana explained the feeling moments after deliver first fruits from the four-year-old Soroti Cricket Academy orchard. “It has been an effort,” Olila coach Ivan Kakande stated. “The girls know what they want and our Soroti project is taking the right path.” “All the hard work we put in finally paying off is priceless,” enchanted Musana, moments before taking his girls out for a drink at Legends. Saturday was a day perfectly crafted for Olila in literally every sense. Right after senior two student Gloria Obukor (2/6 in 3 overs) stopped Pioneer at 60-6, Margaret Banja (22-run-a-ball) and Racheal Ntono (17 off 34) easily got the target in 11.1 overs to win the morning semifinal. Yet while Olila rested, Jinja SS saw off Wanderers in the second semifinal by 23 runs after defending their 99-5 score through Stephanie Nampiina (2/5 in 4 overs) and Rita Musamali (1/15 in 4 overs). In the past, semifinals are played at Lugogo and Kyambogo, with the latter victor moving 5km to Lugogo for the final. Owing to the intensity in the field during matches of the shorter code, Jinja ought to have batted first after winning the toss in the final. But instead, they unanimously opted to field first, burning out and that playing into Olila’s favour. “The team chose to field first,” Nampiina would later say. “For me, it was about letting Olila bat first, prolong the final and give ourselves a chance,” Jinja coach Habibu Mugalula said. The impact of fielding 38 successive overs across two matches had Olila set 110-4 in 20 overs. Between the 14th and 17th overs, Jinja gave away 44 runs, Kenyan Sarah Bhakitah getting 21* off 15. But it was her country-mate Banja (37 off 53) who had taken the game away prior with a 43-run third-wicket partnership with Gertrude Candiru (27 off 26). MEHTA TWENTY20 PREMIER LEAGUE FINAL RESULT Olila HS 110/4 Jinja SS 51/9 (Olila HS won by 59 runs) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Damani up for genuine Challengers

While both teams have already been tipped by the bookmakers, Challengers and Aziz Damani have had contrasting starts to the 2017 Jazz Safari National Cricket League.

2016 runners-up Challengers were inspired by Arthur Kyobe’s 127-ball 108 century knock as they cleaned out the cobwebs and dust with a season opening 218-run win over Nile a fortnight ago.

To the contrary, Damani were welcomed to the topflight with a four-wicket loss to holders Tornado Bee last Sunday. For all Damani CEO Siva Koti’s investment, losing two in a row is an unacceptable.

Hence, star-filled Damani must break the duck against all odds when they meet Challengers in a highly-billed contest at Kyambogo Oval today. “After we lost to Tornado Bee,” Damani’s all-rounder Brian Masaba recollects, “We realised we can beat Challengers if we correct our mistakes. Our fielding was not up to scratch,” added the Cricket Cranes vice captain.

The 2017 UCA Super Cup champions Damani carelessly gave away runs in field, dropping catches in the process as Lawrence Ssematimba’s captivating half-ton of 50* off 86 helped opponents crawl to victory.

Ssematimba’s experience will be vital again as Tornado Bee face Nile in Entebbe.

Damani have added retired national team batsman Benjamin Musoke and off-spinner Fahad Sadiq. The latter will cherish the battle against his former club Challengers, who want to make it two in two.

“Damani are stronger opponents than Nile but we have the ammunition and must deliver,” Challengers’ left-armer Henry Ssenyondo said.

In Lugogo, Kutchi Tigers will face newly-promoted Charity Trust Fund - the first match for both clubs this season. Tigers, whose target is to make the top two, have signed former Patidar Samaj captain Ankit Patel and Shantilal Raghvani.

On the other hand, the Lawrence Ssempijja-led Charity have struggled to retain the services of Singh brothers Narindrer and Varinder.

They will bank on newly-recruited youngsters Ashraf Ssenkubuge, David Wabwose and Joseph Byaruhanga plus Ronald Opio, Simon Ssesaazi and Cricket Cranes star Jonathan Ssebanja for an opening day victory.

JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL CRICKET LEAGUE 
TODAY AT 10.30AM - DIVISION ONE
Nile vs. Tornado Bee, Entebbe
Kutchi Tigers vs. Charity TF, Lugogo
Challengers vs. Aziz Damani, Kyambogo
Tornado Bee vs. Nile, Entebbe
DIVISION TWO
Wanderers vs. SKLPS, Budo
Jinja SS vs. Tornado, Jinja

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