- Published in International Competitions
The race for slots on the senior national team to represent Uganda at the ICC Africa Men’s Twenty20 Qualifier due May will go down to the wire.
And the UCA Men’s Twenty20 Divisional Tournament is the yardstick for that, then selectors are up for a headache while players are in for a pretty exciting and tight battle.
There is no batsman or bowler who wants to be left out for that showpiece that will be staged on home soil for two months. On Sunday, the run scorers went big and sent out a loud message to the selectors with many crossing the half-ton mark.
Pakistan-born Wasim Butt continued with the form as he made a quick-fire 56 off 28 to guide KICC to a morning 31-run victory over Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo Oval.
The double was complete for KICC, making it three wins in four tournament matches when left-hander Simon Ssesaazi struck a near-accurate half-century of 61 runs in the afternoon seven-wicket triumph over the Tigers.
“This is just the beginning,” said Ssesaazi. He recently made 244 runs in four innings, enough to emerge as best batsman for Uganda on their Sanjay Cricket Farm Tour in India last month.
“I am working hard to get a place on the national team. Then I hope I can keep it and we take it on from there but this is just the start,” added the top-order batsman.
Tigers had 109-9 with Nandikishor Patel making 36 off 31. Patel’s teammates had struggled to negotiate the bowling spells of Lawrence Ssempijja (3/16) and Irfan Afridi (3/17).
The chase was made easy by Ssesaazi, him making five boundaries and two sixes. Another new KICC signing Deus Muhumuza, also returning from India, fired 30 off 33.
“We are disciplined,” KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar stated. “I am happy that some of our players are really performing well,” he added.
The fire didn’t stop there. Left-handers Arthur Kyobe (52 off 27) and Arnold Otwani (45 off 46) punished SKLPS to help Challengers to a morning 108-run morning victory in Kyambogo. In the afternoon, Zephaniah Arinaitwe fired 66 off 39 whereas Kamal Shahzad struck 59 off 26 enroute to setting 239-4, enough to coast to a 158-run victory. Challengers are at 3-1 for the season.
Division one - cricket league
KICC 160/6 Kutchi Tigers 129/7
(KICC won by 31 runs)
Kutchi Tigers 109/9 KICC 115/3
(KICC won by 7 wickets)
Aziz Damani 183/6 Tornado Bees 99/7
(Aziz Damani won by 84 runs)
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.
By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE
In the aftermath of the Cricket Cranes debacle when they got relegated from the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III to IV a fortnight ago, the healing process is gradually continuing for the Ugandan cricket fraternity.
And the displays of the two Ugandan women franchises (U-19 Women & U-23 Women) at the ongoing Kwibuka Cricket For Peace T20 Tournament in Kigali, Rwanda could go a long way in ensuring there isn’t any more salt rubbed onto those (sinking feeling) wounds.
The Uganda Schools Combined XI (named U-19s by the event organisers) is the talk of the tournament after they turned on the style to notch the first upset of the meet – a one-wicket win over overwhelming favourites Kenya on Friday.
The student-packed side pulled off a stiff chase off 107 set by the full-strength Kenyan side with four balls remaining. Despite a terrific mid-order collapse, the quartet of Masaka SS’ Immaculate Nakisuyi (32 off 30), Kololo SS’ Hope Wanichan (17* off 15), Jinja SS’ Stephanie Nampiina (15 off 22) and captain Rita Musamali (12 off 14) ensured there was little left for the tail-enders as the Ugandan youngsters notched a famous win. Earlier on Thursday, the U-19s had made light work of the Rwanda National Women side when they chased down a set target of 52 with six wickets in hand and 60 balls remaining.
One win apiece
Their seniors - the U-23 Women side – despite being short of practice have also made a good account of themselves. They went down to Kenya on Day One by five wickets but recovered in spectacular with a clinical 31-run over Rwanda.
Mary Nalule, who led the batting charts by press time with unbeaten scores of 29 and 21, has been their star thus far. And after spending at least a year in the cold, the 2012 Nile Special/Uspa Female Cricketer of the Year will certainly force the hand of the selectors with the team preparing for the ICC Africa Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Namibia later in September. The two Ugandan sides could face off in the final at Kicukiro Oval, but only if Rwanda claims a big scalp by upsetting regional powerhouse Kenya, who also have just one win, again. The two Ugandan sides were facing off each other in a virtual semifinal by press time.
KWIBUKA CRICKET FOR PEACE T20 TOURNAMENT
Rwanda 52/6 Uganda U-19s 53/4
(Uganda U-19s won by 6 wickets)
Uganda U-23s 78/5 Kenya 79/5
(Kenya won by 5 wickets)
Kenya 107/5 Uganda U-19s 108/9
(Uganda U-19s won by 1 wicket)
Uganda U-23s 106/6 Rwanda 75/4
(Uganda U-23s won by 31 runs)
By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNEA
There is no better way Team Uganda’s coach Francis Otieno would have wanted his side to start the UAE International Women Twenty20 Cup.
The Lady Cricket Cranes started off at the invitational event with a convincing 87-run win over Oman at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday.
“It was a good game,” delighted senior player Franklyn Najjumba told this paper via phone. By then, the mood was a jovial one back in camp at Hotel Holiday International.
While Otieno will have to find solutions to a mid-order collapse, the Kenyan tactician will particularly be impressed with the team response.
Skipper Barbara Mukankusi’s three boundaries in an opening knock of 23 off 32 hardly got support from six batters on the order as Omani bowling trio Saya Channa (2/20), Sajina Rajesh (2/38) and Akshadha Gunasekar (2/21) enjoyed fine spells with the ball.
Uganda was reeling at 71-6 not until Najjumba and Carol Namugenyi walked onto the crease. The pair combined well for a 65-run partnership with 35 runs off 32 deliveries coming off Najjumba’s bat.
Namugenyi had 23 runs off 24 balls and 29 bowling extras had Uganda pile 126-7. The Ugandan fielding innings began with verve and put Oman in a tight spot at 5-3 after 5.5 overs courtesy of Namugenyi.
She snared outstanding figures of 4/3 and two maidens. That early blow set the tone as Consy Aweko (2/2) and Mackenzie Ayato (2/7) bowled out the Omanis for 39 runs. Today is rest day for Uganda but Oman takes on Kuwait in Group B.
UAE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S T20 CUP
Uganda 126/7 Oman 39/10
(Uganda won by 87 runs)
There is always a prize for good deed. Beyond the certificates and diadems, the best players selected from last month’s Pepsi Girls’ Schools Cricket Week will represent Uganda at the annual Kwibuka Peace Women’s tourney this weekend.
A team of 16 departed yesterday for Kigali by road where they will play six round-robin matches against Kenya and Rwanda national sides.
“This is another bigger opportunity for the girls to express themselves,” said Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) CEO Justine Ligyalingi during the flag-off at Lugogo yesterday.
Girls’ Cricket Week champions Jinja Secondary School have been rewarded with three slots on the team plus their coach Habibu Mugalula.
“Much as I have my own girls here, this is a chance to closely look and groom more players from other schools,” noted Mugalula, who has nurtured several female players.
None of Mugalula’s students Stephannie Nampiina, Kevin Awino and Ritah Musamali will captain the side. That job is for Mugalula’s former prodidy Racheal Ntono.
Clearly, this is a reward for Ntono, who single handedly lifted St. James SS to their first-ever final with a respectable 45-ball 61* despite losing to Jinja SS by 14 runs on May 10.
“I am delighted with this position,” Ntono said after receiving the flag from National Council of Sports (NCS) assistant general secretary David Katende. “We shall deliver in Rwanda.” The tourney ends June 15.