Ssenyondo, Nampiina, Apio shine as Tornado Bee is crowned

When new Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) chairman Bashir Ansasira cut a relaxed pose at Lugogo Oval on Saturday, it was not that comfortable as it appeared.

Deep down, Richard Mwami’s successor felt the then ongoing annual UCA Awards could have been better.

Well, understandable, the awards ceremony would have graced a hall with the fraternity in suits and dresses like previous editions. But those in the hierarchy noted that there wasn’t much time to organise a glamorous event following the recent transition and happenings in UCA.

That though did not take the shine away as Henry Ssenyondo and Stephanie Nampiina were named the Most Valuable Players (MVP) for the 2016 season.

Challengers’ left-arm orthodox spinner Ssenyondo beat rival 2015 MVP Roger Mukasa of Tornado Bee to scoop the top gong having accumulated 47 wickets at an economy of 3.06 runs in the Jazz Safari National Men’s Division One 50-Over League. 

“I feel happy and glad to have made it this far,” said Ssenyondo. To the contrary, his side lost the title to Tornado Bee but he hopes Challengers can push for the title.

“Hopefully we can go on and win this season. I pray I can maintain the form this year ahead of the World Cricket League Division III,” he said.

Mukasa was best batsman and fielder with 419 runs and 15 dismissals respectively. Arnold Otwani, who had four centuries, was named MVP in the men’s second tier with 735 runs, 14 wickets and six dismissals - backbone for Aziz Damani’s promotion. Jinja SS’ leg spinner Nampiina was best in the National Women’s Division One League after scoring 238 runs and picking 26 wickets last season. In the second division, Joyce Mary Apio only failed to take the best wicket-keeper (went to Premier’s Stella Kyabangi).

Olila’s Apio had six dismissals, 22 wickets and 178 runs to bag the best fielder, bowler, batter awards. The MVP honour inevitably headed her way too.

 

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Five in five for Tornado Bee ladies in league

The script is almost similar to last year’s. Like 2015 where they won the first seven matches, Tornado Bee now have made it five in five after seeing off KICC by 30 runs at Lugogo Oval on Saturday.

The result meant that Tornado Bee completed the first round of six-team topflight tier with 29 points. But it was double delight for their coach Jackson Ogwang who was celebrating his 28th birthday on the day.

“When we met on Thursday, I asked the girls to deliver a win on Saturday,” said Ogwang.
Shortly after the win, his players toasted to his birthday with a surprise cake. “I did not know that there was cake,” he said, “I was astonished!”

But the party was almost not taking place had Tornado Bee not found quick remedy for KICC’s Rihanna Mutesi.

In her nine-over bowling spell, Mutesi took figures of 5/29 and Gloria Adubu had 2/31 but Patricia Munguryek (30* off 48) and Saidat Kemigisha (24* off 25) guided Tornado Bee to 140 in 36 overs. Mary Nanderenga (35 off 105) and Adubu (19 off 66) could hardly take the big chains off their feet. In the end, it was KICC’s fourth loss.

NATIONAL CRICKET LEAGUE
RESULTS - DIVISION ONE
Tornado Bee 140/10 KICC 110/10 
DIVISION TWO
Olila 118/8 Premier 72/10

 

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Chandiru lifts Tornado Bee over Charity Trust Fund

Tornado Bee are enjoying every bit of cricket in the National Women’s 50-Over League.
The 2015 runners-up maintained their flawless season start with a 157-run win over Charity Trust Fund at the lakeside Oval in Entebbe on Saturday. That third victory in as many games was orchestrated by a commanding display from Gertrude Chandiru.
The 22-year-old hit her first season half-ton of 56* before blowing away the opposition with the ball. 
“I was relaxed all day,” said Chandiru, the former KICC skipper. “I did a lot of work on my batting throughout the week and eventually got what I wanted.” There were a few cracks before Chandiru perfectly modeled Tornado Bee’s pot. 
Captain Naome Kayondo (1/4) departed early after 2.3 overs. Her fellow opener Saidat Kemigisha (45 off 53) and Racheal Ntono (25 off 20) combined well for a 50-run second-wicket partnership.

Charity’s pillar Martha Akello (3/47) then bothered the middle order. As scoreboard read 105-3 midway the 18th over, Chandiru struck five boundaries off 100 balls. 
She shared 73 runs with Ritah Nyangendo (25* off 36) for an unbeaten eighth wicket to set 249-6.
On picking the ball, Chandiru took impressive figures of 6/13 while Kayondo picked 3/15 as Charity’s challenge wobbled.
Their captain Joselyn Nakato resisted with a 40-ball 21 but they were bowled out in 25 overs, a second loss in as many.

Weekend results 
DIVISION ONE
Tornado Bee 249/6 Charity TF 92/10
(Tornado Bee won by 157 runs)
DIVISION TWO
Nile vs. Olila 
(Nile earned a walkover).

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Team sheet mistake sends Tornado Bee to summit

That National Men’s Division One 50-Over League holders Tornado Bee had not scored more than 200 runs in any innings this season is a surprise. 
And perhaps, Jeremy Kibuukamusoke and company were unaware that they were staring at a second season defeat when opponents Kutchi Tigers reached 145-3 inside the 34th over at Lugogo Oval on Sunday. 
With seven wickets in hand, there were 13 overs left to play as the game had prior been reduced to 46 overs due to a soggy outfield left by the morning showers.

Moments after new Kutchi batsman Shailesh Halai had faced two pace deliveries from left-arm seamer Charles Waiswa, play was halted by umpires Patrick Makumbi and Phillip Kahuma.
There was a brief consultation with the game’s scorer Gertrude Chandiru and umpires later called off the game and awarded Tornado Bee five winning points. Why?
“Shailesh went onto the field yet his name was not registered on the team sheet,” Kibuukamusoke told Daily Monitor. 
“None of us had noticed it but when Chandiru did not find his name on the submitted team list, she raised the matter to the officials.”
Competition rules indicate that for one to walk onto the field, they must be registered before the two captains toss the coin.

So how did that pass? “We share names in our Kutchi family,” disappointed Tigers’ captain Alphesh Hirani said. “I wrote Hitesh Halai twice and instead of writing Shailesh Halai on the team list. This was a mistake and I apologised for it.” he admitted.
Hirani and teammates pleaded with the umpires but they stuck to the rules. “It was a really harsh decision made. Even my opposing captain understood the situation but umpires insisted on calling off the game.” he helplessly added.
While Tigers remained second from bottom on 11 points from six matches, Tornado Bee moved to 34 points, assuming league leadership.

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Challengers sting Tornado Bee in Entebbe

They may have survived the relegation monster last year but Challengers Cricket Club are now showing all signs of potential National Men’s Division One 50-Over League title contenders.
Having suffered a painful 117-run loss to KICC two weeks back, Challengers showed character by dusting themselves very quickly to beat defending champions Tornado Bee by 45 runs at the lakeside oval in Entebbe on Sunday.


“We had a few in-house problems (against KICC) which we sorted,” Challengers captain Mohammed Aneef told Daily Monitor after their third win in four matches.


“By picking ourselves up with a win over the champions clearly shows we want to dethrone them.” Interestingly, defeat for Tornado Bee was not only the first in three games but also, it was their maiden loss in 12 limited-overs matches since the shock four-wicket loss to KICC on June 7, 2015.
“We did not apply ourselves well with the bat during the chase,” Tornado Bee skipper Jeremy Kibuukamusoke admitted.


Unlike last year’s run fest between the two, this was a low-scoring contest. After Aneef opted to bat, top-order pair Arthur Kyobe and Daniel Ruyange struggled to play on the unpredictable wicket. 
But Hamu Kayondo (22 off 46), Naseer Ahmed (25 off 43) and Ivan Thawithemwira (34 off 64) resisted John Mpande (3/21) and Deus Muhumuza’s (2/23) tricky bowling spells for Challengers to set 160 in 47.2 overs. Aneef (4/20) and left-arm spinner Henry Ssenyondo (4/16) shared eight scalps, enough to stifle their opponents’ mission. Only Roger Mukasa stood out with a run-a-ball knock of 39.

SUNDAY league RESULTS 
DIVISION ONE
K. Tigers 279/10 Wanderers 145/10 
Challengers 160/10 Tornado Bee 115/10

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Tornado Bee start chase for historic fourth title

At every turn, there is something new about the 2016 National Men’s 50-Over League. 
What stands out most is the new five-team Division Three tier whose games will be played on Saturdays.
Fast forward up, the ardent cricket fans will witness new-look teams when the Division One contests get underway at three different Ovals today.


Tornado Bee will present the same hunger as they seek to win their fourth successive title. 
The holders have stuck to all their old guards and a surprise recruit Deus Muhumuza from Tornado should bolster a perfect start against Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) at Kyambogo.
“The club management insists we go for it (the trophy) again and we’ll just do that,” Tornado Bee skipper Jeremy Kibuukamusoke told Sunday Monitor.

 

Big acquisitions 
While they’ve added only one, KICC had several byes and buys during off-season. Of the inclusions, there is a massive capture of Arthur Ziraba and Frank Nsubuga from 2012 winners Tornado.
“Their experience is key if we are move from mediocre ranks to title challengers,” KICC’s captain Hamunant Katkar noted.


Interestingly, spinner Nsubuga leaves after 13 years at Tornado. “I needed to get the feel of change of environment and hopefully, we’ll start well against the champions.” he said.
Katkar’s smile can even go wider as top-order batsman Hamza Saleh is back in the fray having sat out last year.
Elsewhere, Wanderers are back to the topflight but the 2012 runners-up will be devoid of Hamu Kayondo who switched to join Challengers. His first task is comes up against his former side at Lugogo.


Expect veteran Wanderers’ coach Sam Walusimbi to cut that forlorn figure should Kayondo punish his bowlers. 
Depleted Tornado, who also lost Cricket Cranes skipper Brian Masaba to Aziz Damani, will be the underdogs against last year’s surprise package Nile at Entebbe.

Men’s 50-over League
Today’s fixtures: 10:30am
Division One
Wanderers vs. Challengers Lugogo
KICC vs. Tornado Bee Kyambogo
Tornado vs. Nile Entebbe

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Tornado B clinch Sixes Challenge

Newly-formed side, Tornado B, produced a master class to beat Jinja SS by four wickets in the final and clinch the inaugural National Women’s Sixes Challenge title at Lugogo on Saturday.
“I do not captain teams that don’t win,” a smiling skipper Mackenzie Ayato boasted upon lifting the trophy. “It’s never easy to win on the first time of asking but we have done it,” she added. 
Having opted for more youth in the transfer market, Tornado B were expected to play second fiddle to star-studded sides KICC and Glo International this season.

However, Tornado B overcame several odds as they only lost one wicket and sealed the season’s tournament opener with a three-match flawless streak. 
“Other teams may have the star players but our talented girls will match them even in subsequent tournaments,” Tornado B coach, Jackson Ogwang, said
Throughout the long-day event, Tornado B relied on tournament MVP Racheal Ntono and Saidat Kemigisha’s bats. The pair combined well in the round-robin phase to chase down targets against Charity Trust Fund and Jinja SS.

In the semifinal, Kemigisha (12* off 7) and Ntono’s (18* off 15) combo again helped Tornado B beat money bags KICC by five wickets to set-up a final against a Claire Mushakamba-led Jinja. “Had some of our key players like turned up, the script would have been different,” KICC’s Scovia Akello said.

INDIVIDUAL HONOURS
Player of Series: Racheal Ntono (Tornado B) - 59 runs in three innings. Best Batter: Claire Mushakamba (Jinja SS) - 52 runs 
Best Bowler: Veronica Nakadama (KICC) - 4 wickets.

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