Charity stun Tornado Bee to blow title race wide open

Something unusual is happening in the Jazz Safari National League for the first time in nearly half-a-decade.


Defending champions Tornado Bee have their fifth successive title ambitions in jeopardy after losing their first match of the season by five wickets to Charity Trust Fund at Entebbe on Sunday.


Cruising to the title has been the order of the day for Tornado Bee, staving off competition from Tornado, KICC, Nile and Challengers with relative ease over the years.
That shocking Entebbe accident in their second round opener left Tornado Bee second with 39 points from eight matches.


It has further blown the title race wide with leaders Aziz Damani, only promoted this year, holding a 10-point advantage after nine outings.
Most importantly, Tornado Bee captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke should still be regretting the decision to bat first on a damp wicket.
“It was a wrong call,” admitted Kibuukamusoke, whose side struggled to set 194-6 after 50 overs.


“The wicket played well in the afternoon.” And that played into Charity’s hands, making it three wins in nine matches. “Tornado Bee batted too slowly at the start yet our openers did the contrary,” skipper Lawrence Ssempijja noted.
Proof? Tornado Bee were 35-1 after 15 overs and it is a 99-run second-wicket partnership between Akbar Baig (44 off 116) and Lawrence Ssematimba (50 off 70) that temporarily got them out of the rut.

Knock of urgency 
Fred Achelam’s 31-ball 38 signified more of his maturity but there was less that came through from the rest of the batsmen because left-arm orthodox bowler Innocent Ndawula (3/43) stemmed the runs flow. The spinner is on form having picked career best figures of 7/54 against Damani over a week ago.


When the wicket let loose in the afternoon, Charity conjured a rare brilliant batting start, with openers Ronald Opio (38 off 55) and Simon Ssesaazi (15 off 25) making 59 runs for the first wicket in 12.5 overs.


Then a 96-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Steven Wabwose (48 off 60) and Man of Match (MOM) Jonathan Ssebanja (56* off 67) steered Charity further ahead.
Lanky Cosmas Kyewuta’s 20* off 18 steered Charity home in 38.5 overs, leaving the stunned opponents led by William Kibuukamusoke in unbearable pain.
Across the Nile River, traditional giants Wanderers secured one of the most comfortable wins of the season when they overcame Jinja SS by 109 runs. In Division Three, Pirates defeated Avengers by 44 runs.

JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE 
RESUTS - DIVISION ONE 
Nile 156/10 Kutchi Tigers 157/4
Tornado Bee 194/6 Charity TF 195/5
DIVISION TWO
SKLPS 137/10 Premier 139/4
Wanderers 212/10 Jinja SS 121/10

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Tornado Bee sting Challengers to stay unbeaten

With the chasing pack stuttering in sequence, Tornado Bee know a fifth successive Jazz Safari National Cricket League title is around the corner.

The side are already counting their chances at halfway stage having finished the first round of the season unbeaten with another clinical five-wicket victory over Challengers at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.

“Game was full of planning and we are happy to have executed the strategies,” impressed Tornado Bee captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke told this paper after his side finished with 39 points from seven matches. “We must work harder in the next round and most importantly, ensure we beat immediate rivals Aziz Damani,” he added.

Challengers, the 2016 runners-up, cannot only muzzle about having lost their third game in six outings but even Irfan Afridi’s missed chance for a century was more painful. Following a slow start that had Challengers at 60-3 in 12.1 overs with only Naseer Ahmed (31 off 56) turning up, big hitter Afridi charged the innings again with six boundaries and seven meaty blows out of the park.

But the Pakistan-born star threw away his helmet in anger after he remained stuck on 94* off 88 at the non-striker’s end when Roger Mukasa bowled out David Wabwire (2 off 7) for last wicket to complete a decisive spell of 5/32 in 8.5 overs.

Challengers had set 209 in 43.5 overs. Tornado Bee fumbled in their early response, reeling at 9-2 after 1.4 overs. But Abdallah Lubega calmed the waters with an 83-ball 70 and, Deus Muhumuza (58*) and Cyrus Kibuukamusoke (36) completed the job with a 50-run stand.

DIV I - JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE
Challengers 209/10 Tornado Bee 213/5
KICC 187/10 Charity TF 66/10
DIVISION TWO
Avengers 164/10 Mwiri 165/8
ACC 96/10 Premier 66/10

Darren Kyeyune

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Senior side to offer Baby Cricket Cranes final test

Uganda cricket has consistently taken the stick since the nation suffered shock relegation to the ICC World Cricket League Division Three last month. 
The interest for the gentleman’s game is not as huge as it was before May 23 on and off the oval. 
And the tiring mental constructs will take a while to fade away, more evidenced by low batting totals in recent Jazz Safari National League ties. 
The current senior men’s team generation has hinged on the class that partook at the 2004 and 2006 ICC U-19 World Cup tourneys. 
The inevitable feeling is to have new blood take up the spots.

The nation has a chance to forget the misery should the current U-19 side beat the odds and qualify for next year’s ICC Youth 50-Over World Cup in New Zealand. 
Unlike before, the Baby Cricket Cranes must finish top ahead of Kenya, Botswana and Ghana at the regional qualifier in Nairobi. 
“This team bats deep and that should do the jugular for us,” team’s coach Francis Otieno told Daily Monitor following a series of training sessions at Lugogo.

Squad cut in size
Otieno and assistant Jackson Ogwang trimmed their squad from 25 to 14 while dropping familiar names like Joseph Byaruhanga, John Gabula, Ronald Kinene, Juma Miyagi and Collins Okwalinga. 
Aziz Damani’s Kenneth Waiswa, who was dropped for the ICC WCL, is skipper and knows what’s at stake. “If we qualify for the World Cup, we can change the face of Ugandan cricket like it happened in 2006,” said the promising medium pacer. 
Waiswa will be deputized by Zephania Arinaitwe and the pair has two trial matches against their seniors tomorrow and on Saturday at Lugogo Oval. “Giving Arinaitwe means he must play with responsibility.” Otieno reasoned.

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By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE & INNOCENT NDAWULA

Kenya itching to renew rivalry with old enemy Cricket Cranes

Thomas Odoyo, Kenya’s coach, says it will be ‘business as usual’ when he leads his star-studded side in a five-match Limited Overs Easter Series against the Cricket ‘Cranes starting tomorrow.

The Kenya Simbas jet into the country aboard RwandAir this evening and Odoyo says his men will be bustling when the sun comes out for their series opener against the hosts at Kyambogo Oval on Good Friday.

“We have answered our brothers’ call,” said Odoyo, in a telephone interview with this paper after his team’s workout at Ruaraka Oval in Nairobi. “Uganda have an important tournament coming up next month and they wanted a strong team that will give them good preparation.

“Everyone is in and they should expect a good contest. For us, it is going to be business as usual.”

Uganda CEO Justine Ligyalingi wrote to Cricket Kenya (CK) requesting them to retain the squad that played against Nepal in the ICC World Cricket League Championship matches last month. And CK have duly obliged with an aim of helping their ‘younger brother’ Uganda get ample preparation ahead of the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament which the latter will host next month (May 23-31).

The last time Kenya played Uganda in September, Uganda carried the day with a two-wicket win at the Nairobi Jaffrey’s Academy Oval in the same format (50 overs) that will be played over the entire series. The Cricket Cranes opposition for the two slots at stake, to earn promotion to the coveted Division II, include United States of America, Oman, Singapore, Canada and Malaysia.

Uganda have been quietly under-going non-residential training under the tutelage of Kenyan tactician Steve Tikolo at Lugogo and Kyambogo Oval, and will be itching to show their ‘old enemy and big brother’ that they are a much improved outfit from their last meeting.

TEAM KENYA
Nelson Odhiambo, Dhiren Gondaria, Pushpak Kerai (Kanbis), Shem Obado, Collins Obuya (Stray Lions), Nehemiah Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Alex Obanda (Swamibapa), Karan Kaul, Lucas Oluoch, RushabhVadrhan Patel (Nairobi Gymkhana), Gurdeep Singh (Nairobi Sikh Union) Eugene Ochieng (Kongonis) and Irfan Karim (unattached).

Coach: Thomas Odoyo Assistant Coach: Peter Ongondo Physio: Moses Ndungu Batting Coach: Maurice Odumbe

EASTER SERIES ITINERARY 
LIMITED OVERS (50) CONTESTS
Today: Kenya arrives
April 14: Match vs Kenya
April 15: Practice/Rest day
April 16: Match vs Kenya
April 17: Match vs Kenya
April 18: Practice/Rest day
April 19: Match vs Kenya
April 20: Match vs Kenya
April 21: Kenya departs

By INNOCENT NDAUWLA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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Damani dismantle Charity to go top of Jazz Safari National Cricket League

Aziz Damani hurried Charity Trust Fund off the oval for their second successive win to go top of the Jazz Safari National Cricket League by eight wickets at Kyambogo Oval with 13 points after three matches on March 26.

Their closest chasers Challengers, recovering from their last outing setback where they went down by nine wickets to Damani, bridged the gap to one point in an equally ruthless manner with an eight-wicket win over sorry Patidar Samaj at the lakeside Entebbe Oval. But Division II graduates Damani, who lost their opening game to Tornado Bee, own the bragging rights for now after recovering to pick up two wins on the bounce.

On Sunday, they bowled out a student-packed Charity Trust Fund for a basketball score of 47 thanks to classy seam-bowling spells of 6/17 and 3/17 from Man-of-the-Match Kenneth Waiswa and rejuvenated Emmanuel Isaneez. Charity didn’t help their cause with carefree batting as witnessed by their top order batters Simon Ssesaazi (17 off 23) and Varinder Singh (12 off 29) who gifted the opposition their wickets cheaply after getting starts.

Damani top order batters Arnold Otwani (16 off 15), Emmanuel Hasahya (13* off 22) and coach-player Steve Tikolo (8*) survived a few scores on their to victory inside nine overs. 
Across town in Entebbe, national team trainees Irfan Afridi (4/1) and David Wabwire (4/12) partnered to bowl out Patidar for 40 before Mohammed Aneef (18) and Arthur Kyobe (12*) breezed home in just four overs. In Jinja, Amos Kyazze and Emma Odeng helped Africa Cricket Club get off the mark with a 44-run win over JACC.

WEEKEND RESULTS 
Division I
Nile 189/9 K.Tigers 142/10
Charity 47/10 A. Damani 48/2
Patidar 40/10Challengers 41/1
Division II
Africa 173/8 Jinja SS 129/8
K. Pirates 157/10 Mwiri 82/10
Division III
Nyakasura 178/10 JACC 75/10

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Close contest as UCA go to polls

Mukesh Shukla’s 11th hour inclusion onto the coveted list of candidates to take-over as chairman of Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) has had tongues wagging in the fraternity.

An earlier deadline of February 10 had ruled out the former vice chairman but after his club Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) ‘nominated’ him, the businessman took advantage of the ‘non-binding deadline’ ahead of the elective assembly due tomorrow at Kati Kati Restaurant, Lugogo.

Shukla’s late entry raised the number of contestants to the top job to three with Nile’s Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasira and Tornado’s Paul Luswata Nsibuuka already in the fray whereas Eric Kamara (Wanderers) and incumbent Jeremy Kibuukamusoke (Tornado Bee) are vying for UCA secretary.

After complying with the National Council of Sports (NCS) sports regulations of 2014, UCA CEO Justine Ligyalingi revealed that other posts have been quashed and the mandate will be with the new chairman to appoint working committee heads including but not restricted to Finance, Disciplinary, Marketing and Games.

Outgoing chairman Richard Mwami, despite being eligible for another term, says he will not be standing pushing each camp to seize the occasion. 
“It is about bringing fundamental change and not just a change of guards,” said Shukla, also the vice chairman of NRM Entrepreneurs League in Kampala Central.

“There is also a basic area of concern which is financial transparency. We also have one ground and yet we should be with five from the strategic planning I did as vice chairman in 2009 under Dr Kato Sebbaale.”

But for Alvin Bagaya, who is from Ansasira’s camp, it is about giving the power of elections back to the people. “Many things have happened the wrong way lately,” said Bagaya.

“But if Badu is elected then it will be all systems go again. His plan is not out this world and if you have read his manifesto, it is very practical. His passion for the game is also unrivalled and the electorate seems to favour our candidate.”

Robert Kisubi, who is the campaigning manager of Nsibuuka, however believes many of the younger guys are rushing to takeover and advises that they should wait for their time.

“Our club always votes for the best candidate who is by a coincidence a Tornado this year,” said Kisubi. 
“He understands the game well, captained Uganda and is from a cricketing family of the Luswatas. From his world as a banker to financial consultant, Nsibuuka’s corporate governance will be key. He is his own man, the ambassador our game needs.”

Candidates for chairman
Ansasira ‘Badu’ Bashir - Nile CC, 
Paul Luswata Nsibuuka – Tornaddo
Mukesh Shukla – KICC

Candidates for secretary
Eric Kamara – Wanderers
Jeremy Kibuukamusoke – Tornado Bee
* Each of the 8 voting clubs will have a board member

By Innocent Ndawula

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Uganda off to a flyer in UAE T20 Cup

There is no better way Team Uganda’s coach Francis Otieno would have wanted his side to start the UAE International Women Twenty20 Cup.

The Lady Cricket Cranes started off at the invitational event with a convincing 87-run win over Oman at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

“It was a good game,” delighted senior player Franklyn Najjumba told this paper via phone. By then, the mood was a jovial one back in camp at Hotel Holiday International.

While Otieno will have to find solutions to a mid-order collapse, the Kenyan tactician will particularly be impressed with the team response.

Skipper Barbara Mukankusi’s three boundaries in an opening knock of 23 off 32 hardly got support from six batters on the order as Omani bowling trio Saya Channa (2/20), Sajina Rajesh (2/38) and Akshadha Gunasekar (2/21) enjoyed fine spells with the ball.

Uganda was reeling at 71-6 not until Najjumba and Carol Namugenyi walked onto the crease. The pair combined well for a 65-run partnership with 35 runs off 32 deliveries coming off Najjumba’s bat.

Namugenyi had 23 runs off 24 balls and 29 bowling extras had Uganda pile 126-7. The Ugandan fielding innings began with verve and put Oman in a tight spot at 5-3 after 5.5 overs courtesy of Namugenyi.

She snared outstanding figures of 4/3 and two maidens. That early blow set the tone as Consy Aweko (2/2) and Mackenzie Ayato (2/7) bowled out the Omanis for 39 runs. Today is rest day for Uganda but Oman takes on Kuwait in Group B.

UAE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S T20 CUP
YESTERDAY’S RESULT
Uganda 126/7 Oman 39/10 
(Uganda won by 87 runs)

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