UCA ‘empower’ 40 girls’ schools with kit

With over 30 schools currently taking part in the Girls’ Schools Cricket Week Qualifiers, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) have boosted further their preparations ahead of the tourney.

UCA Development Manager Henry Okecho and Operations Manager Martin Ondeko literally empowered 40 girls’ schools by giving them brand new cricket equipment sets to each.

“We encourage you not to misuse the equipment. We want you to use it well to enhance the skills of your students so that they can be able to compete better,” said Okecho, who also thanked Bankstown Cricket Club in Australia for continuing to give UCA good equipment for 13 years to-date, during the hand over at Lugogo.

Each of the schools that was represented by their games and cricket masters received four pairs of batting pads, four pairs of batting gloves, six helmets, four thigh guards, one pair of wicket-keeping gloves and one pair of wicket-keeping pads. The best 12 schools from the qualifiers will take part in the Girls Cricket Week from April 29 to May 4.

THE BENEFICIARIES 
Kololo, Gayaza High, K. C Budo, Ndejje, Seeta High, Mukono Parents, Kyambogo College,City High, Nalinya Lwantale, Green Hill Academy, St Lawrence Sonde, Masaka, Bwala, Kako, Blessed Sacrament, Exodus, St Gerald, Lords Meade, Jinja SSS, Busoga High, St James, Good Heart, Busedde, Pmm Girls, Honest Hill, Olila High, Halcony High, Soroti Mun, Light SSS, Kyebambe, Nyakasura School, Kasese SSS, Kilembe SSS, Mt Rwenzori, St Theresa, Mt Rwenzori, Bwera SSS, Mutwanyana High, Rock High, Tororo Town College.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA

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Pioneer look to maintain momentum

Cricket. Defending champions Wanderers are winless and destined to find the going tough against the Davis Turinawe-tutored Pioneer Cricket Club.

Aside from experience, the levels of expectation are pretty much similar when Pioneer Cricket Club clashes off with holders Wanderers in the National Women’s 40-Over League at Lugogo Oval today.
“No team in the title race wants to falter at this stage,” Pioneer’s Franklyn Najjumba said. “We want to keep pace with main contenders KICC and Tornado B,”
All-rounder Najjumba struck the season’s highest batting score thus far of 45 off 50 balls as they defeated favorites KICC by 27 runs a fortnight ago.

“That win over KICC propels our title quest,” skipper Justine Musubika said. With Musubika’s undoubted bowling strength and significant contribution from Barbara Mukankusi and Pricco Nakitende, Wanderers are in for a tough test.
“We lost our opener to Tornado B (last weekend) but our fight is not done,” Wanderers captain Janet Mbabazi said.

She, alongside Esther Ngabirye, Mary Nalule, Evelyn Anyipo and Julia Karungi are the survivors from the team that popped champagne last year. “Pioneer may be a more experienced side and albeit that, we also want to show the mark of champions on Saturday (today).” Mbabazi added. Across the Nile River, Jinja SS and Ndejje-Premier will look forward to their first season contest after JACC failed to turn up in both outfits’ opening fixtures.
“We hope to start off well despite losing some key players,” said Jinja SS coach Habibu Mugalula whose hopes lie in skipper Claire Mushakamba and Damalie Busingye.

Mini-Cricket
A vast number of talents at the helm of Ugandan cricket today such as Ham Kayondo, Charles Waiswa and Arthur Kyobe were realised through Mini Cricket Development Program (MCDP). That talent search norm has not stopped. This year, the MCDP is set to attract over 6000 participants in U-11 and U-13 categories at district levels. These will partake in softball activation festivals at primary school level around the country.

“Once youngsters get introduced to the bat and ball early, there is a chance to grow their interest in the game of cricket,” Uganda Cricket Association Development Officer Henry Okecho told Saturday Monitor.

TODAY - WOMEN’s LEAGUE 
At Lugogo Oval
Pioneer vs. Wanderers, 10am
At Jinja Oval
Jinja SS vs. Ndejje-Premier, 10am

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Wanderers hit Tornado to keep title

Wanderers defeated Tornado by three wickets to clinch their second straight National Women’s 40-Over League title with 48 points at Lugogo Oval on Saturday.

“It’s amazing,” excited Wanderers’ skipper Kevin Apio told Daily Monitor upon sealing the crown. “We worked hard, had tough phases and this victory is worth celebrating,” she added.

There were worries that Wanderers, who had led throughout the season, were going to crumble at the eleventh hour after their lead at the summit was cut to two points following their two-wicket loss to hosts Jinja SS nine days ago.

And the title was too, in sight for second-placed Tornado (41) who had recruited Cricket Cranes’ Charles Waiswa’s sibling Betty Kalende for the decider. But all Wanderers’ worries were quickly settled once they claimed two early catches off bowlers Rebecca Akwenyu (4/8) and Julia Karungi (2/13) to dismiss Tornado’s openers Christine Aryemo and Justine Musubika.

Franklyn Najjumba rebuilt their momentum again with a 38-ball 26 knock and Kalende’s 8* off 15 helped Tornado to set 77 in 33.2 overs.

Once Wanderers’ opening pair of Apio and Rebecca Akwenyu put 25 runs on board for the first wicket, that onset was good enough to guarantee them a perfect reply.

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