- Published in National League
The two unbeaten sides; Uganda and Zimbabwe, at the on-going International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier clash in crucial encounter at the Wanderers Affies Oval today in Windhoek, Namibia.
Victory for either sides will not guarantee either of the sides a ticket to the global qualifying showpiece where the winner of the Africa Qualifying Event will meet other ICC regions winners including; Europe/Americas (Scotland & Netherlands), East Asia Pacific (Papua New Guinea) and two ICC Full Members (Bangladesh & Ireland).
But it will be one step closer to the coveted global qualifier scheduled for later this year or in early 2018 because the winner of today’s game will earn direct ticket to the Saturday’s all-important final.
The loser today will have a chance to still reach the final but fatigue and injury could halt their progress as they have to play an extra game – against the winner of the Namibia – Kenya encounter which will be the day’s curtain raiser.
“It is going to be a very tough game,” Lady Cricket Cranes coach Grace Mutyagaba, said after his team’s nets session yesterday.
“But we know what to do. We must take it easy and embrace the game’s basics. I believe whoever shows willingness to exhibit them and hunger will carry the day.”
It will be a battle between Uganda’s clinical bowling and Zimbabwe’s power hitters.
The Ugandan sextet of Joyce Mary Apio, Rita Musamali, Stephanie Nampiina, Franklyn Najjumba, Consy Aweko and Gertrude Candiru run into the quartet of Zimbabwe’s polished batters; Ashley Ndiraya, Modester Mupachikwa, Chipo Mugeri and Precious Marange.
Uganda and Zimbabwe have six points apiece and none of them can slip to third whereas Kenya and Namibia are stuck on two and whoever finishes third will play the loser between the top two teams on the log.
The loser will play Tanzania in the fourth-place playoff on Friday morning. Five teams are in the fray at this African showpiece.
By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE
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.
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
Wanderers vs. Challengers Lugogo
KICC vs. Tornado Bee Kyambogo
Tornado vs. Nile Entebbe