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.


Ugandan sides could face off

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.

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)










Uganda off to a flyer in UAE T20 Cup

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.

Uganda 126/7 Oman 39/10 
(Uganda won by 87 runs)

Girls Cricket Week stars off to Kigali for Kwibuka Peace Tourney

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.

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Kayondo knock sets KICC off to a flyer

KICC defeated Charity Trust Fund by 169 runs to send out a warning statement on their National 40-Over League opener at Lugogo Oval on Saturday. 
Having faltered to deceive at the Sixes Challenge competition nine days ago, KICC’s star-cast turned on their mojo in their only second tournament since club inception in February.
“Many people were disappointed when we failed to win the Sixes’ crown last weekend,” KICC opener Flavia Laker said. “We are pleased with this perfect start and I hope we can build our title credentials on this victory.”

Opting to bat first, an opening 56-run partnership between Laker (35 off 42) and Kevin Apio (19 off 34) ensured KICC were well out of the blocks.
Then, Naome Kayondo made five boundaries in a solid 44-ball 41 knock and Esther Kayaga’s bowling spell (3-38) barely gave a flicker of resistance as KICC were spurred by 51 extras to pile 216 all-out in 36.1 overs. 
Lady Cricket Cranes’ skipper Kayondo was even more elated with her individual score on the day after her 25th birthday. “Actually, I didn’t want to score anything less than the number of years I had made yesterday (Friday),” she said. “So I was not going to let myself score anything below 25 years.”

National Women’s league
Weekend result
KICC 216/10 Charity TF 47/10
(KICC won by 169 runs)
Pioneer 126/10 Tornado B 127/6
(Tornado B won by four wickets).

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Cricket Cranes off to Cape Town

The Cricket Cranes’ preparations for the Division II International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) tourney due January 17-24 in Windhoek, Namibia negotiate the final bend with a 10-day boot camp in Cape Town, South Africa starting today.
While in Cape Town, the team will get a chance to train at the ultra modern Newlands Park that is currently hosting the third Test between South Africa and West Indies, catch the final two days of the riveting Test and watch the Twenty20 blitz between the two giants on Friday (Jan. 9).

Coach Peter Kirsten’s boys will also have training sessions at Western Province Academy (WPA) and play three rubbers against WPA and Western Province XI but the peak of the boot camp will be presence of legendary South African Test player Gary Kirsten.
Peter and Gary are half brothers but the latter is more famous because he ended his career as South Africa’s most capped player and top Test runs-scorer (7,289) when he called it a day in March 2004 against New Zealand in Wellington.
Gary has also built a niche as a successful coach as he is credited for having taken powerhouse India to the top of the Test rankings during his stint, which ended, quite fittingly, with India’s World Cup triumph in 2011.
Gary, on the invitation of Peter, is scheduled to watch over a couple training sessions, have one-on-one sessions with the players and offer motivational speeches on Jan 13 and 14.
“He (Gary) played this game at the very top level and his presence in our camp is a big boost. He has done it all before and will be easy to believe,” assistant coach Michael Ndiko told Daily Monitor after National Council of Sports (NCS) general secretary Jasper Aligawesa flagged off the team yesterday at the NCS Headquarters in Lugogo.
Skipper Frank Nsubuga, too, made a bold vow about the team’s goals. 
“We have been working hard and are looking forward to meet and work with Gary for the next 10 days. We promise to work hard and ensure that we don’t get relegated back to Division III.”

Jan 17: Uganda vs. Nepal (Wanderers Affies)
Jan 18: Namibia vs. Uganda (Wanderers)
Jan 19: Rest/reserve day
Jan 20: Kenya vs. Uganda (United)
Jan 21: Canada vs. Uganda (Wanderers Affies)
Jan 22: Rest/reserve day
Jan 23: Netherlands vs. Uganda (Wanderers)
Jan 24: Playoff finals

F. Nsubuga (captain), D. Karashani, H. Kayondo, A. Kyobe, B. Masaba (vice captain), D. Muhumuza, R. Mukasa, P. Mukobe, A. Mutyagaba, P. Ochan, D. Ruyange, J. Ssebanja, L. Ssematimba, H. Ssenyondo 
OFFICIALS: A. Meya (Team Manager), P. Kirsten (Coach/ Technical Director), M. Ndiko (Trainer), T. Le Roux (Team Physiotherapist)

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Tornado sign off first round with sixth consecutive win

Charity Trust Fund captain Jonathan Ssebanja saw his side’s title hopes go up in the smoke after they suffered a 79-run defeat to Tornado in a Division One National 50-Over League encounter at Kyambogo Oval on Sunday.
Charity’s were a different unit from the one that has put up solid shows in recent outings as they imploded for only 93 while needing 173 for victory that would have seen them takeover the log leadership.
“We did well with the ball and then gave Tornado’s bowlers very cheap wickets,” a disappointed Ssebanja after his side remained stuck in third with 24 points. 
Tornado lost three of the top five batsmen for ducks but a 71-run second-wicket stand between Davis Turinawe (28 off 48) and Steven Kahuma (34) renewed their hopes before spinners Henry Ssenyondo (3-29), Viraj Patel (3-26) and Derrick Bakunzi (2-17) struck. Deus Muhumuza (41 off 82) and Nsubuga (35 off 66) helped repair Tornado’s innings at the end.
Tornado 172 Charity TF 93
Patidar 73 KICC 77/3
Makerere Univ 122 Warriors 116
Kutchi Tigers 101 SKLPS 69
ACC 277/6 JACC 126

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