Unimoni T20 Cup quarters Contenders out to lay claim

Aziz Damani’s 100 percent record enroute to the Jazz Safari National League crown earlier this year certainly did not go down well with the rest of the clubs.

Sport hates dominance. With Damani up the throats of many having won the men and women’s limited-overs’ titles plus the Mehta Twenty20 Premier League, a rare sweep beckons.

That’s if they win the Unimoni National Twenty20 Cup which is at the quarterfinal stage now.

However, with the overwhelming yet unusual deployment of foreign stars by other teams, Damani will have their work cut out.
The league champions Damani face a bitter rival in Tornado Bee at the University Oval in Kyambogo this afternoon in a familiar T20 quarterfinal. Specks of bother about Damani come with their record that has seen them play a final and two semi-finals in the last three editions.
“Our goal is to first get into the final then we take it from there,” Damani’s vice captain Brian Masaba stated. “Tornado Bee is hurting and they can be a dangerous side so we are not taking anything for granted.”

Damani has Jamaican Javian McFarlane available but Tornado Bee has recalled Kenyan old guards Obuya brothers Collins and David to back up Roger Mukasa, Deus Muhumuza and Australian Mitch Horrocks among others. “T20 has not been our hunting ground over the years. But there is a chance to fight for silverware this season,” said Tornado Bee captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke. “We have lost a bit of our thunder but the team with the most perfect strategy on the day will win,” he added.

Over the years, no side has executed better T20 strategies than holders Challengers who are on course to make a three-peat and four title in five years. Having finished second in Group A behind KICC, they now face stubborn Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo this afternoon.

Short code exponents
And they are not taking any chances. Club proprietor Mohammed Vaheed has brought in experienced Zimbabwean ODI players in captain Hamilton Masakadza and Timycen Maruma.

Also, Indian Abdulahad Malik of India Premier League (IPL) franchise Rasthajan Royals is here. “We are going for a treble implying a bigger task on our hands and we have great inclusions,” opening batsman Arthur Kyobe disclosed.

Kyobe is set to open with Hamu Kayondo. Malik, who boasts of the highest ever fourth wicket partnership (202*) with Manpreet Juneja will bat at three and Masakadza is expected to walk in at four. Tigers’ captain Alphesh Hirani remained tight-lipped but they have quietly brought in India-born Kenyans and retain a livewire in Dinesh Nakrani and 2015 winning captain Ankit Patel in their ranks.

The foreign legion doesn’t stop because after topping Group B, Ceylon Lions are now interested in the silverware and have brought in a Sri Lankan and Kenyan Alex Obanda to face Jinja SSS at Kyambogo this morning. In Lugogo, two-time finalists KICC are banking on high-flying batsmen Wassim Butt and Suleman Sharif when they meet explosive and brave youngsters of Strikers.

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE & INNOCENT NDAWULA

Cricket Cranes to make light weather of Oman

Team Uganda have calmly settled into the Arabian Peninsula of Oman ahead of their International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III campaign.

With Uganda set to play its opening match on Friday (November 9), Uganda Cricket Association chairman Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasiira worked his magic to send the Cricket Cranes for at least four days of acclimatization here in Muscat.

All seems to be going according to plan for the team based at the five-star City Seasons Hotel as the team continues with preparation and adapting programme.

“We are grateful to Mr Khimji Kanak the director of KR Group here in Oman who has hosted and ensured our desire to acclimatize becomes a reality,” said Jackson Kavuma, the Cricket Cranes Team Manager.

“He has taken care of a large chunk of our logistics to ensure that we have a decent place to put our heads and also access training facilities. This preparation is priceless as the team embarks on a tough but possible mission.”

The Cricket Cranes arrived in Muscat in the wee-hours of Monday morning, had a cardio session including gym, swimming and stretching at the hotel’s rooftop pool and did shake off the jet-lag proper yesterday with fully-fledged training session at OC Turf for two hours.

The season is winter here but doesn’t differ too much from that of Uganda with the conditions hot and air staying dry. The team will continue to adapt before taking on Denmark and USA on two back-to-back days (Friday and Saturday).

Acclimatizing. ItThe Cricket Cranes arrived in Muscat in the wee-hours of Monday morning, had a cardio session including gym, swimming and stretching at the hotel’s rooftop pool and did shake off the jet-lag proper yesterday with fully-fledged training session at OC Turf for two hours.

By Innocent Ndawula

Olila beat Pioneer to edge closer to title

Olila High School bolstered their chances for a maiden crown in the Jazz Safari National Women’s League after they beat direct rivals Pioneer by five wickets in Entebbe on Saturday.
 Oila, T20 champions a year ago, are courting league success after they wrapped up their five matches of the season with a sounding win to keep top of the six-team log.

 “It was good,” Olila’s team manager Felix Musana said after Olila inflicted first season defeat on Pioneer. “We executed as per our game plan and we are close enough to the title,” he said.  
 Pioneer, champions in 2015, had won all their opening three matches but fell in Entebbe and could mathematically be out of the title race after a rather below-par batting show.
 With Olila opting to field after winning the toss, Pioneer struggled to match the task at hand with skipper Barbara Mukankusi making 26 runs off 78 balls.

 As wickets fell under Joyce Mary Apio’s (5/23) command, Kenyan Quentoor Abel held Pioneer’s innings with an unbeaten knock of 33 runs off 46 before they were bowled out for 125 runs in 41.4 overs.
 Now Olila smartly chased the target with Esther Ilukor (29 off 27) and Sarah Akiteng (23 off 48) batting into their own favour. Abel had put up some resistance (2/30) with the ball but Olila was home at 126-5 in 28.1 overs. 
 Olila finished their season top with 23 points from five outings and Pioneer (16) in second can’t reach that target even if they win their last game.

Notwithstanding Jinja’s Claire Mukashamba’s 52* off 68, Damani relied on a half-ton from Margaret Banja (52 off 71) and an all-round show from Immaculate Nakisuyi (20 off 12 and 3/15) to take their tally to 12 points after three games.
 It means Damani must win their remaining two matches with bonus points to be champions or elsewhere, Olila’s tally is enough.

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Cricket Cranes give hope to kids in Mulago ahead of Mission Oman

The Cricket Cranes – Uganda’s national men cricket team – were this morning involved in action but off the oval as they indulged in some Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
They made time for the disadvantaged with a visit to Mulago Hospital where they were welcomed with faces of gloom and doom as parents and guardians attended to their patients.
But it was at Jeliffe Children’s Ward 16 that the Cricket Cranes got a reality check when they saw hundreds of children of varying ages, some struggling for their lives and others only waiting for divine intervention to heal.

Mulago Hospital’s Customer Relations Officer Shaban Ssebuliba asked Cricket Cranes opening bowler Bilal Hassun to lead the prayers. 
As the players and team management comforted the sick, many couldn’t help but break down. The sad tales from the parents and guardians left others thoughtful but made them stronger and work with resolve as they thoroughly cleaned and polished not one but five wards in the Children Zone.
They also mopped the verandah of the 1945 establishment, swept the compound and wrapped it up by putting smiles on their hosts’ faces as they handed over an assortment of play toys, clothes, scholastic materials and home-care items.

Shaban Ssebuliba Customer Relations Officer of Mulago said; “What you have done is unbelievable. You have comforted us and left us with smiles. The lives of these sick children are going to be even better. Thanks for the love and time given to us. You guys are real Cricket Cranes and I know u will fly. We will follow you and support you from now on.”
There was also a moment of selfies at the facility for the Endiro Coffee-sponsored team that flies out to Muscat, Oman tomorrow (November 4) for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III campaign.

The Cricket Cranes Team Manager Jackson Kavuma said; “We are privileged to be the first national team to do this here. We are very emotional right now. We hope the time we have shared with them will give them hope and belief. We will continue to pray for them.”
More than anything that the Cricket Cranes did, they gave hope to the patients and left a fresh aura of awe-inspiring belief.

By Innocent Ndawula

Champions Damani shifts focus to Unimoni T20 Cup

A script never opened, read and one never thought of. 
That’s not even enough to describe Aziz Damani Cricket Club’s successful yet historic title defence in the Jazz Safari National League.

On Sunday, Damani scored a rare 100 percent after winning all 14 league matches with a last seven-wicket triumph over Tornado Bee in Entebbe to bag their second topflight men’s club cricket title in as many years. Rare!

It is the first time a team has won all matches and it will become ordinary if another team achieves this landmark. To be honest, not any time soon.

And by the way, it is also strange to imagine that the title race six years was sorted by a bye for four runs when Wanderers’ quest faded through then captain Denis Musali’s gloves from Dennis Tabby to the ropes against Tornado.

Now Tabby at Damani, they wrapped up this title with four matches to go and the cigarettes were out of the packets and whiskey was already flowing down the glasses. “It may look simple,” Damani’s CEO Siva Koti said after the win over Tornado Bee in Entebbe. “... but it was not all easy,” he said.

Winning may seem difficult but maintaining it is even more complex. The results of this season may not tell it all for Damani.
“We had to work hard to retain this trophy. There were two matches that were particularly not easy; Kutchi Tigers and Ceylon Lions,” Koti said.

And granted, Damani family deserved the barbecue and chicken roasting evening in Entebbe on Sunday whose pictures circulated on WhatsApp statuses for players like pace man Charles Waiswa.

But other matches came way easier than expected for example Tornado Bee on Sunday. With four straight titles coming off a 2013-2016 reign, now they were far from that as they were bowled out by Damani for 87 runs in 40 overs. 
Tornado Bee lynchpin Roger Mukasa made 22 runs off 19 balls while Nicholas Kebba had 21 off 80 as national coach Steve Tikolo picked figures of 4/15 in 8 overs.

With the bat, Damani didn’t need their top-order batsmen. Instead, they showed strength and limitless boundaries in class as pace bowler Bilal Hassun top-scored with a half-ton of 61 runs off 38 balls to coast home.

It is a dominance that three-year-old Damani want to expand to other competitions. The side is eyeing the Unimoni National Twenty20 Cup title which bowled off on Sunday. “We don’t want this to appear as a fluke or one-off. We desire to beat the challenge again in the T20s,” Koti added.

CAST OF LEAGUE WINNERS

2018: Aziz Damani 
2017: Aziz Damani
2016: Tornado Bee
2015: Tornado Bee
2014: Tornado Bee
2013: Tornado Bee
2012: Tornado 
2011: Patidar Samaj

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Tornado Seal Promotion To Division 1 In Mickle Win Over Struggling KC Budo

Match Summary 

TORNADO CC 292/10 John Gabula 57 not out off 54 balls, Trevor Bukenya 54 off 31 balls in 47.1 overs beat KC BUDO CC 128/10 Taha Ahmed 54 not out off 92 balls. in 36.1 overs by 164 runs.

Player of Match: Trevor Bukenya (From Tornado CC)

With KC Budo winning the toss and choosing to field first, Cyrus Kakuru and Jimmy Atuhairwe opened the batting for Tornado with the former falling for two to Patrick Oburu.

With early departure of Cyrus, Captain Adriko Brian took the task upon himself to create some stability with an extremely patient 25(47) but was trapped LBW by Ahmed Taha.

The mid-order didn't have the best of time at the crease as they hardly scored off the bowling of Patrick Oburu and Ahmed Taha though they managed to deny KC Budo wickets.

Trevor Bukenya and John Gabula combined to give Tornado the much needed spark to propel their run-rate with each of them scoring a classy half-tons leaving the bowlers much frustrated. Sharma Mukwaya and Moses Kitara made significant efforts at the tail-end and propelled the score to a commanding 292 in 47 overs.

With 292 needed for victory, KC Budo were a little frustrated and this perfectly reflected in the catastrophic collapse of their top order. With so much pace and bounce generated from either ends by Trevor Bukenya and Cosmas Kyewuta, all that was left for most of the batsmen was to edge the ball to the ever alert Ashraf Senkubuge(wicket keeper) and to the anxious slips.

Ahmed Taha was left to carry on the fight solely with a patient and calm 54 off 97 deliveries with a little assistance from Deepesh Hirani 15(22) and Phillip Thawithemwira 10(24) hence managing to drag the score to 128 in 36 overs. Ramathan Ochimi 1/29 and Allan Sembatya 2/16 never let the tail wag wrapping up the victory for Tornado. 

The emergence of Tornado as victors in this encounter puts them on top of the Div 2 table and also sending them to Div 1 together with Patidar even w. However, this loss leaves KC BUDO in the 7th position on the Div 2 table and therefore sending them in for a do or die encounter with Nile CC. 

By Steven Tusiime

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