- Published in National League
Game 1: Uganda vs. Tanzania
Game 2: Uganda vs. Tanzania
Kampala. Ordinarily, there is a hangover that breeds after one attains an achievement.
But for the Uganda national women’s cricket team, it must have been a brief one after they garnered the title at the ICC Africa Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers in Windhoek, Namibia last September.
In December, victorious coach Grace Mutyagaba and his superior Francis Otieno embarked on preparations for the ICC Global T20 Qualifier which bowls off July 3-14 in Netherlands.
The team broke off for the festive season on December 22, resumed training on January 8 and yesterday, the selected 14 players flew out to Dar-es-Salaam for a build-up tour against hosts Tanzania.
“This gives players a different challenge,” coach Otieno explained the importance of the trip to the coastal city moments after the team had been flagged off by Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) administrator Martin Ondeko on Friday.
The team will play six T20 matches against Tanzania beginning today until Wednesday. Normally, Uganda tours Kenya, so why the change?
“We played Kenya before Dubai (2016) and Namibia (2017) trips. So this is a change is menu for the players. And besides, Tanzania is such a strong side that they have something we can pick from them,” Otieno said.
Four players who were part of the Africa T20 triumph including tournament MVP Gertrude Candiru (malaria), Carol Namugenyi (work), Naomi Kayondo (school in UK) and Joyce Mary Apio (form) miss out.
But their voids will be filled by returning Claire Mushakamba as well as eager and enterprising debutants Irene Alumo, Evelyn Anyipo and Esther Ilukor.
In July, Uganda will be featuring at the Global Qualifier alongside Thailand, UAE, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Bangladesh and the Dutch for the first time.
By Darren Allan Kyeyune & Innocent Ndawula
Zimbabwean top franchise Takashinga came to town and carried top honours at the 2016 Uganda Quadrangular Seriers as expected on Saturday.
But it was Uganda, who fielded two sides (Uganda XI and Uganda Select), that were celebrating most after they comprehensively defeated the Kenya XI side and run the Zimbabweans close during the eight-day tour.
Davis Karashani’s Uganda XI and Takashinga finished on 25 points. Takashinga’s Net Run Rate (NRR) of 1.686 was however better than that of Uganda XI (1.516) by just 0.07 hence granting the vistors the title by the slimmest of margins.
Winston Shingirai Masakadza’s tournament haul of 178 runs, nine wickets and eight fielding dismissals made all the difference for the southern Africans and duly notched the Man of Series Award.
Takashinga showed immense awareness by chasing down Uganda Select’s set target of 157 in just 25.3 overs at Kyambogo Oval to surpass the NRR of Uganda XI, who had earlier scored 225 and bowled Kenya XI for 85 for a 140-run win at Lugogo Oval. But although Ugandan captains Karashani and Brian Masaba said that they would have loved the trophy to stay at home but they were not shedding any tear.
“Any sharp person has picked something from this Series,” said Karashani, who captained Uganda XI that was coached by Steve Tikolo and Jackson Ogwang. “The exposure we got is priceless. Guys got good time out their in the middle to express themselves and know exactly which areas they need to work on. Such tours build momentum.”
Masaba, too, was happy that many ‘rookies’ looking to get into the senior side had got a chance to play against top quality opposition and gauge their potential.
“Uganda benefited most from the tournament,” said Masaba, who was skipper for the Uganda Select side. “The more game time we get, the better for us. The guys looking to get a look in, it served as a good eye opener. Also picking up advice and tips from Takashinga guys after the game was great for the boys.”