Ugandan sides could face off

In the aftermath of the Cricket Cranes debacle when they got relegated from the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III to IV a fortnight ago, the healing process is gradually continuing for the Ugandan cricket fraternity.

And the displays of the two Ugandan women franchises (U-19 Women & U-23 Women) at the ongoing Kwibuka Cricket For Peace T20 Tournament in Kigali, Rwanda could go a long way in ensuring there isn’t any more salt rubbed onto those (sinking feeling) wounds.

The Uganda Schools Combined XI (named U-19s by the event organisers) is the talk of the tournament after they turned on the style to notch the first upset of the meet – a one-wicket win over overwhelming favourites Kenya on Friday.

The student-packed side pulled off a stiff chase off 107 set by the full-strength Kenyan side with four balls remaining. Despite a terrific mid-order collapse, the quartet of Masaka SS’ Immaculate Nakisuyi (32 off 30), Kololo SS’ Hope Wanichan (17* off 15), Jinja SS’ Stephanie Nampiina (15 off 22) and captain Rita Musamali (12 off 14) ensured there was little left for the tail-enders as the Ugandan youngsters notched a famous win. Earlier on Thursday, the U-19s had made light work of the Rwanda National Women side when they chased down a set target of 52 with six wickets in hand and 60 balls remaining.

One win apiece 
Their seniors - the U-23 Women side – despite being short of practice have also made a good account of themselves. They went down to Kenya on Day One by five wickets but recovered in spectacular with a clinical 31-run over Rwanda.

Mary Nalule, who led the batting charts by press time with unbeaten scores of 29 and 21, has been their star thus far. And after spending at least a year in the cold, the 2012 Nile Special/Uspa Female Cricketer of the Year will certainly force the hand of the selectors with the team preparing for the ICC Africa Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Namibia later in September. The two Ugandan sides could face off in the final at Kicukiro Oval, but only if Rwanda claims a big scalp by upsetting regional powerhouse Kenya, who also have just one win, again. The two Ugandan sides were facing off each other in a virtual semifinal by press time.

KWIBUKA CRICKET FOR PEACE T20 TOURNAMENT
THURSDAY RESULTS
Rwanda 52/6 Uganda U-19s 53/4
(Uganda U-19s won by 6 wickets)
Uganda U-23s 78/5 Kenya 79/5
(Kenya won by 5 wickets)
FRIDAY RESULTS
Kenya 107/5 Uganda U-19s 108/9
(Uganda U-19s won by 1 wicket)
Uganda U-23s 106/6 Rwanda 75/4
(Uganda U-23s won by 31 runs)

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNEA

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Ssebanja hits fastest T20 century in local history

Charity Trust Fund skipper Jonathan Ssebanja put up a stellar show as he scored the fastest century ever in Ugandan cricket. 
The batsman mixed ultimate precision with merciless hitting as he reached 100 runs off 35 balls in his team’s 67-run victory over Indian-oriented side Damani in the National Twenty20 League action at Lugogo Oval on Sunday afternoon. 
“What! Really?” a pleased, yet surprised Ssebanja exclaimed when Daily Monitor sought him out after he attained his feat. “This is amazing.” 
Ssebanja’s century, produced amidst a cacophony of noise from the sizeable crowd that witnessed the deed, is now the joint fourth-quickest ever alongside Namibia’s Louis van der Westhuizen, who attained the same feat against Kenya in unofficial T20 international on November 7, 2011.
“Like any other day, I went out and hit the ball. It was coming off the bat nicely but, I didn’t know the century was that quick,” he said. 
If Damani captain Sarfaraz Chunara felt he had taken the right decision to field first, then his teammates knew how wrong it was after Ssebanja walked onto the crease in the fifth over.
The 26-year-old’s unbeaten 38-ball innings were littered with nine boundaries and 11 huge maximums across the oval. He finished with 120 as Charity recovered from 22-2 to set 189 for 4 in 16 overs. 
“I thought my century against Rounders in Jinja last year (161 runs off 70 balls) was my best but today’s ton takes first place,” Ssebanja said. 
In reply, Damani, who had earlier shocked Nile with a six-wicket morning victory, put up 122 for 7. “This was our team’s first competitive day of action in Uganda but we played competitively all day,” Chunara said. 
And for Ssebanja? “Oh! He was just incredible today; lovely innings despite being on the losing end.” the former Nile and KICC player added.
Fastest centuries

30 balls: Chris Gayle, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs. Pune Warriors, IPL, April 23, 2013
31 balls: AB De Villiers, South Africa vs. West Indies, ODI, January 18, 2015.
34 balls: Andrew Symonds, Kent vs. Middlesex, Twenty20 Cup, July 2, 2004
35 balls: Louis van der Westhuizen, Namibia vs. Kenya, unofficial T20 international, November 7, 2011
36 balls: Corey Anderson, New Zealand vs. West Indies, ODI, January 1, 2014.

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