- Published in Development
The Lady Cricket Cranes side to Kigali has no less than seven players from the highly-rated Soroti Cricket Academy stable.
Coach Michael Grace Ndiko and Ivan Kakande's Lady Cricket Cranes side will be looking to win only their third Kwibuka title. The tournament was initiated by the Rwanda Cricket Association in 2014.
Team Abagurusi showed that old is golden, indeed, when they took an assured series 1-0 lead against Team Kisementi after scripting a six-run triumph over the latter at the University Oval in Kyambogo on February 9.
The build-up to the clash that saw a return of many yesteryears’ superstars to the oval for the first time in eons was dominated with a war of words between two camps as the players plotted to oust each other.
And although the younger Team Kisementi, comprising of corporates and previous league players, were the odds-on favourites to win series opener, Team Abagurusi rendered the pundits’ predictions useless as they stunned their foes in the charity themed friendly battle.
Peter Sawyer fell seven runs short of a deserved half century but his 38-ball-43 stood out as Abagurusi set 136 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in the allotted 20 overs. Openers Norman Batanda (13 off 11), Robert Kisubi (19 off 38) and captain Latimer Mukasa (18 off 17) also reached double figures as slow bowler Allan Ssematimba registered impressive figures of 3 for 4 in 2 overs for Kisementi to restrict Abagurusi’s piling on a bigger score.
Needing to move at 6.8 runs per over to win, all looked like smooth sailing for Team Kisementi with Paul Kaheru (41 runs off 36 balls) still out in the middle. But when he was clean bowled by William Kibukamusoke (1/30) in the 10th over, the wheels came off Kisementi’s chase.
Derrick Buwembo, who had earlier put in a good fielding shift, blossomed with 22-ball 17 and Cyrus Kibukamusoke added 10 off 2 balls (one six and one four) but it was a little too late as Kisementi run out of overs with three wickets in hand.
Former Uganda all-rounder Andrew Othieno with figures of 3 for 11 in four overs was chief destroyer of Kisementi as his spell played a pivotal role in ensuring Abagurusi carry the day.
Stopping the celebrations
But Kisementi captain Elly Kibuka Mukasa aka Sober said it was early days in the series for the Abagurusi to brag about anything. “This is going to be a long series. You cannot afford to celebrate now in a seven-match series,” said Mukasa. “We also played hospitable to our elders. We wanted to motivate them to come back. But again, they wanted to win more than we did. Our body language in the field was poor and I call upon my players to start training so that they’re better when we meet next month.
Abagurusi captain Latimer Mukasa termed the day as a ‘perfect outing’ and urged the Bagurusi to stay fresh for what he said ‘will be an exciting series that will last the distance’.
Daily Monitor has also learnt that the organisers of the series, which will ride along a charity theme, are in advanced talks with another social group within the fraternity to increase the teams participating in the series from two to either three or four in a bid to make the series more involving and exciting.
ABARUSI - KISEMENTI SERIES
Results – Game One of Seven (Feb 9)
Abagurusi 136/7 Kisementi 130/7
Abagurusi won by 6 runs
MATCH DAY SQUADS
Team Abagurusi: Norman Batanda, Robert Kisubi, Peter Sawyer, Latimer Mukasa, Andrew Othieno, Kaushik Kuldeep, William Kibukamusoke, Abu Mayanja, Paul Nsibuka Luswata, Paul Ayo, Michael Nuwagaba, Steven Lumonya, George Ndiko
Team Kisementi: John Trust Mayeku, Paul Kaheru, Daniel Ligyalingi, Elly Kibuka Mukasa, Bashir Ansasiira, Nicholas Kebba, Derrick Buwembo, Robert Mukobe, Cyrus Kibukamusoke, Fred Lutaaya, Dunstan Nsubuga Kamunvi