- Published in National League
Since Tornado B earned the required point to seal their third successive National Men’s Division One 50-Over League title last Sunday, there are now new points of focus.
The remaining interest lingers around how and where the rest of the beaten pack will finish by the time the championship folds up later this month. With Nile (55 points) appearing to have sealed second, the battle for third place is still alive. Challengers (40) can leapfrog Kutchi Tigers (44) and take it only if Mohammed Aneef and company can beat Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) at Kyambogo Oval today.
“If all players turn up and perform on any day, Challengers can’t be matched,” said Aneef whose side has struggled with perpetual absence of key players. Arthur Kyobe, Arnold Otwan and Ivan Thawithemwira hold the mantle for a Challengers’ side that survived the knife by two whiskers last season. But Sudhir Ruparelia-funded KICC (31) will hope to win and keep their battle for fourth alive as well.
“If we can win our two remaining matches, we’ll finish fourth,” KICC’s Hanumant Katkar said.
Men’s 50-over league
KICC vs. Challengers, Kyambogo
WOMEN’S MEHTA T20 PL
Pioneer vs. Wanderers, Lugogo
It probably wasn’t appealing enough in the eyes of many as new skipper Brian Masaba was handed the national flag by National Council of Sports official David Katende during the Cricket Cranes’ flag-off at Lugogo to the Pepsi ICC Africa Twenty20 Championship on Wednesday.
The bitter truth is that the fraternity at large is either yet to brush off the recent failure at January ICC World Cricket League (ICC) Division II tourney in Namibia.
Or, many a fan were yet to offer full confidence to the faces in a new-look team that Masaba leads at this weekend’s continental showpiece in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“After that substandard show in Namibia, it is difficult to win over our fans that easily again,” Masaba concurred before the team flew out yesterday.
“But I urge the fans to count on us,” the batting all-rounder said. “The past is behind us and our vibrant side is ready to play and restore the pride of Ugandan cricket.”
To quickly affirm his words, Masaba must mastermind an opening victory for the 2011 champions against southern neighbours Tanzania in Benoni this morning. “Once the players apply themselves as expected, we will be on course for a decent show,” added the former U-19 skipper.
“Our two months of hard work must be vindicated with perfect start against the Tanzanians,” said Varinder Singh, one of the four debutants.
“This is the time for some of us to perform and stamp our mark at the bigger stage,” another new comer Derrick Bakunzi, the current U-19 captain, chipped in.
With experienced Abram Mutyagaba having withdrawn from the set-up in the 1th hour, 2013’s tournament best batsman Arthur Kyobe (221 runs) will likely open the innings with 18-year-old Abdallah Lubega, who is having a second crack in the senior side after his short-lived first outing in 2011.
But Uganda must keenly watch Tanzania’s skipper Hamisi Abdallah, top order batsman Abhik Patwa, Athuman Kakonzi and enterprising all-rounder Benson Mwita.
The latter emerged the best bowler with an economy rate of 7.42 and 15 wickets as Tanzania finished third behind Uganda at the 2013 edition held in Kampala.
PEPSI ICC AFRICA TWENTY20 CHAMPIONSHIP
TODAY’S FIXTURES – BENONI (10am)
Uganda vs. Tanzania
Namibia vs. Ghana
Kenya vs. Botswana