Uganda finishes sixth in World Cup qualifier

Team Uganda return home from Netherlands with a few smiles having avoided the wooden spoon on their debut at the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier.

The East African nation will count many positives from their first time at the global stage of women’s cricket more importantly with the group stage win over Thailand and play-off triumph over hosts Netherlands last week.

Now the Lady Cricket Cranes may have avoided the tail slot but they will feel disappointed by their failure to beat Thailand for the second time in the fifth-place play-off.

Uganda returned home empty handed losing the tournament Plate Cup by 34 runs to Bangkok at VRA Ground in Amstelveen on Saturday.

Coaches Francis Othieno and Grace Mutyagaba had stuck to familiar faces but the bowling unit failed to bottle the Thai top-order which in turn left a load for the second innings.

It is Thailand that had gifted Uganda their first international T20 win during this tournament but knowing the danger in Immaculate Nakisuyi and Gertrude Candiru, the Asians turned on the mojo early.

After Sornnarin Tippoch had asked Uganda to field first, Consy Aweko had Naruemol Chaiwai (4 off 14) caught by Janet Mbabazi to have the scoreboard reading 12-1 in 3.4 overs.

But Uganda’s pressure valve let loose as Nattakan Chantam (44 off 41) and Nattaya Boochatham (38 off 41) shared 52 runs for the second wicket.

The latter then took the score to 105-3 in 18.2 overs after sharing 42 runs with wicket-keeper Nannapat Koncharoenkai (17 off 15) and Thailand coasted to 113-7.

Two ducks from the first three batters graced Uganda’s chase and the by the time Stephannie Nampiina’s 30-ball 29* came through in the mid-order, the battle was long gone.

Uganda finished sixth ahead of UAE and Netherlands while champions Bangladesh and Ireland qualified for the World Cup slated for November in West Indies.

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Jinja SS claims record sixth schools cricket week title

The start to their Pepsi Girls Twenty20 Schools’ Cricket Week script was so unfamiliar.

A tournament opening 20-run loss to Olila High School sent strong waves down their spines. 
But Jinja Secondary School exuded pure character to recover and bag their record sixth title yesterday.
Following an eight-wicket semifinal victory over holders Kololo - a repeat of last year’s final - Jinja’s momentum saw them beat St James SS by 14 runs in a captivating final at Lugogo Oval.

“Losing to Olila was a wake up call,” winning coach Habibu Mugalula told Daily Monitor. 
The title was Jinja’s fourth title in five years. Yet for Mugalula, he had just beaten his former student Saddam Oyaga to his fifth individual title, making him the tournament’s most successful coach. 
“Look, winning is a bonus to me. I am happy the girls have made it again,” he said after adding to the 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014 gongs.

“Mugalula is a very experienced coach,” Oyaga offered. “Congratulations to him but to my players most. They have earned us pride by making their first ever final here.”
On a day bossed by heavy rains, littering sawdust allover the field was inevitable. Nonetheless, several St James fielders felt the pinch of the soggy outfield.

They slid in phases as Rita Musamali (34* off 32), Dinah Adong (16 off 18), Kevin Awino (12 off 15) and Stephannie Nampiina (17* off 9) guided Jinja SS to a comfortable 92-2 in 12 overs. By then, Mugalula appeared relaxed. Just as the tourney has panned out, it is tournament MVP Rachael Ntono who stood out most for St. James.

Despite the loss, she wrapped the showpiece with a respectable knock of 61* off 45 balls but it could hardly topple her former school. 
The half-ton was the first in a final of this tourney but individually, lifting St. James this far meant Ntono left her name written allover this edition.

Pepsi Girls Schools Cricket final 
Jinja SS 92/2 St James SS 78/4
(Jinja SS won by 14 runs)
St. James 47/1 Olila HS 25/2
Kololo SS 27/4 Jinja SS 28/2

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