T20 : Uganda Qualifies

 Affable all-rounder Riazat Ali Shah was adjudged Most Valuable Player (MVP) as Uganda defeated Kenya by seven wickets at Gahanga Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda on July 14 to qualify for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Twenty20 Cup scheduled for May next year.

Nicknamed Rizu, the 20-year-old who plies his trade for Aziz Damani Cricket Club in the Jazz Safari National League, was easily the standout player with an unbeaten seven-ball blitz of 20 runs as Uganda avenged their first round loss to Kenya. Overall, Rizu finished among the top four batsmen, top six bowlers and equalled the best fielders’ count with four catches.

He managed 247 runs with a highest score of 96 not out, averaging a staggering 123.5 with a strike rate of 226. And then with the ball, he notched 7 wickets at an average of 14 per scalp and economy of 7.5 from 13 overs to finish among the top six bowlers.

But it wasn’t a one-man show as Uganda grabbed one of the two slots at stake for the East African region to the ICC World Twenty20 Africa Qualifier scheduled for May 2019.

Chart Toppers
Dinesh Nakrani, 26, with a table-topping aggregate of 320 runs, at an average of 80 per innings and top score of 102 not out in the seven-wicket win over Kenya on Saturday - a feat achieved with seven balls to spare - deserves all the plaudits.

Leg-break bowler Irfan Afridi, too, was among the three-man MVP shortlist with 13 wickets and 34 runs. 
Champions Kenya and Uganda joined Nigeria and Ghana to the African showpiece with two more countries expected to make the grade from Africa Zone C (Southern Africa) later this year. The top from the continental showpiece will make it to the Global Qualifer whose top six will reach the World Cup in Australia 2020.

ICC 20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier
Result - Final Game
Kenya 188/5 Uganda 189/3
Uganda won by 7 wickets
FINAL TABLE STANDINGS 
TEAM M W L PTS NRR
KEN 6 5 1 10 2.924
UGA 6 4 2 8 2.725
TAN 6 3 3 6 -0.429
RWA 6 0 6 0 -4.887


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Damani dominance in air after winning T20 title

Ugandan sport has witnessed spells where teams dominate different disciplines. 
The SC Villa of the 1980s’ stands out. The good old Falcons and today’s City Oilers will be remembered for years in men’s basketball.

Tornado Bee had its share a few years ago in club cricket but something bigger could be brewing.
Yet again, Aziz Damani Masaka Cricket Club was at the top of the podium after the ladies clinched their maiden Mehta Twenty20 Premier League title on Saturday.

Only four years old, Damani has swept all accolades on offer on the men’s front bar the T20 title and for the women’s team formed a year ago, the tree is dropping fruits faster than expected. On Saturday, Damani ably chased a target of 103 runs to stop Olila High School from retaining the T20 crown in the final washed by a sizeable number of fans at Lugogo Oval. “Today is our day,” Damani CEO Siva Koti would say at the podium, moments before captain Gertrude Candiru lifted the trophy in company of teammates.

As Right Said Fred’s famous Stand up for the champions played at 6:04pm, the imagination of a firm grip by Damani on Uganda’s cricket would sink in.

Damani’s men are on course to retain the topflight title following six successive wins. 
And for the ladies, coach Yusuf Nanga has laid firm foundation with students from Masaka SS and now blends with stars like Teddy Oyella, Kenyan experience, stars captain Candiru and Immaculate Nakisuyi.

The tournament cusp belonged to Nakisuyi. In the final, she first picked figures of 3/10 as they stopped 2017 winners Olila at 102-9 majorly thanks to Esther Iloku (34 off 32) and Gloria Obukor (19 off 23). With the bat, Nakisuyi showed a fine glimpse of the future by top-scoring with a pivotal 30 runs off 19 balls including three boundaries and a six.

Kenyan import Sarah Bhakita stood out as well with a 22-ball 24 as her experience came to the fore when Olila’s cast forgot the basics under pressure.

Damani were home in 16.2 overs, sparking off celebrations accompanied with Shs1m and as many packs of sugar from sponsors Mehta.

“We tried to play out all our 20 overs,” said winning coach Nanga. “It is important that we have won here which inspires our feeder team, ” he added.

WOMEN’S T20 LEAGUE RESULTS
FINAL
Olila High 102/9 Aziz Damani 106/6 
(Aziz Damani won by 5 wickets)
SEMIFINALS 
KICC 89/9 Olila High 90/1
(Olila High won by 9 wickets)
Aziz Damani 129/7 Pioneer 91/6
(Aziz Damani by 35 runs)

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Damani, Olila stretch lead atop Mehta T20s’ log

 Aziz Damani-Masaka SS and Olila High School Cricket Clubs continued to enjoy fine form in the Mehta Women’s Twenty20 Premier League round-robin phase with flawless victories on Saturday.

Leaders Damani added to their 169-point tally with eight-wicket and 79-run victories over KICC in Entebbe. 
And holders Olila found it pretty against old guard Wanderers, winning 169 and 125 runs in the morning and afternoon encounters at the University Oval in Kyambogo.

Damani and Olila were separated by nine points after six matches heading into Saturday’s duels. 
And their commanding displays imply they will be the top seeds come the semi-finals.

For Damani, experienced Kenyan Margaret Banja was the star of the morning win thanks to her 14-ball 19 that ably got her side meet KICC’s 48-run target in 6.2 overs.

But UK-bound Immaculate Nakisuyi took charge of the afternoon with standout bowling figures of 4/12 in her four-over spell as they stopped KICC at 67-9 in pursuit of Damani’s 146-8.

That figure piled up courtesy of Irene Alumo (42 off 45) and Consy Aweko (26* off 17).
For holders Olila, Wanderers barely put up a challenge in all departments.
“We had little to do for the wins,” Olila’s Racheal Ntono said.

In the morning, Joyce Mary Apio (55 off 26) and Janet Mbabazi (52 off 41) secures half-tons as Olila set 189-5. 
In response, Wanderers was bowled out for a paltry 20 runs in 10 overs with Apio (4/2 in 4 overs) and Kevin Amuge (3/14 in 4 overs) bowling for fun.

Mbabazi would against make 69 off 65, helping Olila to 171-5 but her former club withered at 46 all-out in 14 overs.

Victory. Leaders Damani added to their 169-point tally with eight-wicket and 79-run victories over KICC in Entebbe. And holders Olila found it pretty against old guard Wanderers, winning 169 and 125 runs in the morning and afternoon encounters at the University Oval in Kyambogo.

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Damani eye revenge in face of T20 cricket title

T20 winners
2016: Challengers
2015: Patidar Samaj
2014: Challengers
2013: Wanderers
2012: Tornado

Men’s T20 league
Semi-finals - Today at 10:30am
KICC vs. Kutchi Tigers, Lugogo
Aziz Damani vs. Challengers, Kyambogo
FINAL (3PM)
Winner 1 vs. Winner 2, Lugogo

KAMPALA. It is now only two matches that separate Challengers Cricket Club from a third National Twenty20 League title in a space of four years.
Should they beat the big stumbling block in Aziz Damani at the semi-final stage, another trophy could be within reach.

But there is a strange superstition in sport that it is difficult to lose twice to the same team in a particular competition.
On December 3, 2017, Challengers beat Damani by 16 runs in the group stages and their run has now gone to 10 straight victories.

One senses that one thing on the minds of Damani’s players when the two face off in what appears to be a ‘final before the final’ at Kyambogo this morning.
“We are going to revenge and possibly win the trophy,” Damani skipper Ghulam Hunzai told Sunday Monitor.

The 2014 and 2016 winners Challengers are only playing to cover up for a bizarre show in the longer format. “At the stage we are, we do not want to lose the momentum,” stated batsman Hamu Kayondo.

Damani is sharper with inclusions of Zimabwean Kai Roy and Indian Manoj Sai who made 60-ball 89* against 2012 finalists Charity in the quarterfinals.
But, Challengers’ opener Arthur Kyobe, recently dropped in the national team, could have a point to prove and as well close the 20-run gap between him and leading batsman Roger Mukasa (263 runs).

Meanwhile, no team in the second semi-final between KICC and Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo should be overlooked as Tigers’ imports Indian imports Jaydev Parmar, Rakesh Kahar, Vyas Nisarg and Saumil Patel pose a big threat.

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By Darren Allan Kyeyune

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.

Uganda starts T2O WC preps in Kigali

Ugandan cricket may be down but not entirely out. It is still a bitter pill to swallow that the Cricket Cranes got relegated to the unfamiliar ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Four on home soil a week ago.
But Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) can still save face via the ladies’ front. 
In September, this East African nation will be one of the five participants when Namibia hosts the ICC Africa Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers.

The development was announced at the weekend and UCA has already rolled out a plan for the big continental meet.

Yesterday, two teams; the U-23s and the Girls Cricket Week Select sides were named to represent Uganda at the annual Kwibuka Women’s T20 Peace Cup slated for Rwanda capital Kigali this weekend.

Yusuf Nanga, who guided Masaka SS to second place at the Cricket Week and Soroti Academy tutor Ivan Kakande are tasked to guide the sides respectively when they grace the four-team competition comprising Kenya and Rwanda national teams.
“This is not a normal tournament for us (Uganda) like in previous years,” Nanga told Daily Monitor before the teams left for Kigali last evening. “We expect tough cricket from Kenya and Rwanda to shape our girls,” the U-23s’ coach said.

Rightly so. Notwithstanding Pioneer Cricket Club’s Easter trip to Kigali, this competition is perhaps the biggest engagement lady cricketers are having since the start of the year.

The start of the National Women’s League was been delayed by the just concluded ICC WCL Division Three here last month.
“The plan is to have the girls play wholeheartedly as we prepare for Namibia. The statistics from here will be used by the selectors to choose the best players for the August trials in Nairobi before Windhoek.” Nanga added. Nanga, also a player with Africa Cricket Club, has six of his 14 players from defending champions Tornado Bee including captain Gertrude Candiru, Racheal Ntono, Mary Nalule, Rashida Kalsum, Saidat Kemigisha and wicket-keeper Patricia Munguryek.

Meanwhile, his students from Masaka SS including Janet Baluka, Teddy Ayella and Immaculate Nakisuyi made the cut to Kakande’s Cricket Week Select team. Champions Jinja SS only have captain Stephanie Nampiina and Rita Musamali in the side. The tournament starts on tomorrow at the Kicukiro Oval, Kigali.

U23 LADIES 
Gertrude Candiru (Captain), Racheal Ntono, Patricia Munguryek, Kevin Awino, Mary Nalule, Jennifer Nabwana, Janet Mbabazi, Rashida Kalsum, Martha Akello, Saidat Kemigisha, Irene Alumo, Dalphine Namubiru, Claire Mushakamba, Christian Tumusiime
COACH: Yusuf Nanga, 
MANAGER: Naome Kayondo

 

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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.

UAE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S T20 CUP
YESTERDAY’S RESULT
Uganda 126/7 Oman 39/10 
(Uganda won by 87 runs)

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