Sweet T20 success for Olila

Olila High School Cricket Club spent the entire weekend on cloud nine after lifting the Mehta Women’s Twenty20 Premier League on the first time of asking on Saturday. The side beat two-time champions Jinja SS by 59 runs in a much boring one-sided final at Kyambogo Oval. “Great,” Olila team manager Felix Musana explained the feeling moments after deliver first fruits from the four-year-old Soroti Cricket Academy orchard. “It has been an effort,” Olila coach Ivan Kakande stated. “The girls know what they want and our Soroti project is taking the right path.” “All the hard work we put in finally paying off is priceless,” enchanted Musana, moments before taking his girls out for a drink at Legends. Saturday was a day perfectly crafted for Olila in literally every sense. Right after senior two student Gloria Obukor (2/6 in 3 overs) stopped Pioneer at 60-6, Margaret Banja (22-run-a-ball) and Racheal Ntono (17 off 34) easily got the target in 11.1 overs to win the morning semifinal. Yet while Olila rested, Jinja SS saw off Wanderers in the second semifinal by 23 runs after defending their 99-5 score through Stephanie Nampiina (2/5 in 4 overs) and Rita Musamali (1/15 in 4 overs). In the past, semifinals are played at Lugogo and Kyambogo, with the latter victor moving 5km to Lugogo for the final. Owing to the intensity in the field during matches of the shorter code, Jinja ought to have batted first after winning the toss in the final. But instead, they unanimously opted to field first, burning out and that playing into Olila’s favour. “The team chose to field first,” Nampiina would later say. “For me, it was about letting Olila bat first, prolong the final and give ourselves a chance,” Jinja coach Habibu Mugalula said. The impact of fielding 38 successive overs across two matches had Olila set 110-4 in 20 overs. Between the 14th and 17th overs, Jinja gave away 44 runs, Kenyan Sarah Bhakitah getting 21* off 15. But it was her country-mate Banja (37 off 53) who had taken the game away prior with a 43-run third-wicket partnership with Gertrude Candiru (27 off 26). MEHTA TWENTY20 PREMIER LEAGUE FINAL RESULT Olila HS 110/4 Jinja SS 51/9 (Olila HS won by 59 runs) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Olila dominate awards, Jinja defiant

Habibu Mugalula, the Cricket Master of Jinja Senior Secondary School, taunted the rivaling schools that ‘we are here to stay’ in the aftermath of his school’s tense five-wicket win over Masaka Secondary School in the final of the UCA Girls Cricket Week at Lugogo Oval on Wednesday.

Jinja SSS hit new highs by winning a record sixth title at the tournament’s 16th edition but none of his players stepped onto the podium to collect an individual prize.

Mugalula, though, refused to buckle when journalists asked whether his school was becoming a waning powerhouse.

“If you look at all those other schools, they have players that I personally nurtured,” said Mugalula, a bowling all-rounder in his heyday. “They have no culture. They pick players from everywhere and then boast that they’re improving.”

But as Mugalula took a dig at the chasing pack, Johnny-come-latelys Olila High School could afford to sit back, relax and smile after they dominated the annual showpiece using their home-bred talent.

The Olila trio of towering Mildred Anyigo with 66 runs was the best batter, captain Joyce Mary Apio (with 13 wickets) was the best bowler whereas Esther Iloku stood our as the best wicketkeeper with four dismissals.

“It is a bad thing for us not to have made it to the final. But we have showed that we have quality littered across all departments in our side. People have seen what we can do and I am certain we will be back stronger next year,” said coach Ivan Kakande, who was flanked by Soroti Cricket Academy patron Felix Musana, a man who takes the credit for giving birth to the gentleman’s game in that region.

For Masaka SS, who lost in their first appearance in the final after four editions in the national competition, their consolation was having Most Valuable Player (MVP) Immaculate Nakisuyi in their ranks.

The Lady Cricket Cranes star was in her own class with 138 runs and six wickets.

UCA Girls Cricket Week
Individual Award Winners
Player of Series: 
Immaculate Nakisuyi (138 runs & 6 wickets, Masaka SS)
Best Batter: 
Mildred Anyigo (66 runs, Olila HS)
Best Bowler: 
Joyce Mary Apio (13 wickets, Olila HS)
Best Fielder: 
Ssanyu Nabagala (5 dismissals, Gayaza HS)
Best Wicketkeeper: 
Esther Iloku (4 dismissals, Olila HS)

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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