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.

Uganda 126/7 Oman 39/10 
(Uganda won by 87 runs)

Quadrangular Series: Karashani, Masaba eager to get momentum

There was a feeling of satisfaction and dissatisfaction in both camps after Uganda XI overwhelmed Uganda Select by 120 runs at Kyambogo Oval on Day Two of the Quadrangular Series.

The day offered a reprieve for Davis Karashani’s Uganda XI men who got off the mark in the tournament after going down to Takashinga by three wickets in a low-scoring thriller at Lugogo on Sunday.

And it came at the expense of Brian Masaba’s Uganda Select side, who had a chance to go 2-0 up in the tournament, after a resounding 130-run victory over Kenya XI on Sunday.

Both Ugandan skippers Karashani and Masaba concurred that whereas one of the teams found its groove, the other (Uganda Select) played to a wrong script that left coaches Michael Ndiko and Steve Tikolo with a bitter taste in their mouths.

“The win came a little easy for us,” said Karashani, who scored 9 off 17 as his team set 228/9 and proceeded to bowl out their ‘understudies’ Uganda Select for a fluctuating 108 all out in 31 overs.

“We expected it to be a little tighter because these are guys we train with and know that can play good cricket.

They started well and restricted us but when we got to bowl to them they buckled under pressure.

“But we are delighted with the win. It means we are back in the tournament and must beat Kenya tomorrow (today) as we look forward to the Takashinga game on Thursday.”

Roger Mukasa (60 off 91) and Shahzad Kamal (47 off 69) rode their luck in a game-changing fourth-wicket partnership of 110 runs.

Irfan Afridi (3/31 in 10), Emmanuel Isaneez (2/34) and Trevor Bukenya (2/49) shined with the ball only for their batsmen to play second fiddle in the chase of what seemed as a ‘very gettable score’.

“We didn’t give a good account of ourselves,” concurred Uganda Select skipper Masaba, who was unbeaten on 40 runs as his team suffered defeat.

“The guys were a bit timid and our coach (Ndiko) has had a word with them. If we had played as we did yesterday (Sunday), we would have won.

“But the loss gives us a chance to wake up and came back strong against Takashinga.” Today’s contests will be tournament defining with Kenya, who ran the Zimbabweans close before losing by three wickets yesterday, taking on Uganda XI at Kyambogo.

But the bigger crowd is expected to be in Lugogo, where many faithful will be hoping Masaba and his ‘rookies’ can inflict pain on a unscathed Takashinga.


Kyobe, Nsubuga lead Sikh Union to T20 glory in Kenya

Cricket Cranes mainstays Arthur Kyobe and Frank Nsubuga made hay on their semi-professional stints as they led their Kenyan side Sikh Union to a four-wicket win over Swamibapa in the Harilal Shah Memorial Twenty20 final at the Nairobi Gymkhana Oval on November 12.

Swamibapa captain Lameck Onyango won the toss and his openers Alex Obanda (55 off 47) and Naman Patel (21 off 21) went about their job of building a solid base clinically as they batted first.

But Ugandans, whose Kenyan franchise had endured a lukewarm season, raised the bar to ensure their team had something to cheer about in the season-ender.

First Kyobe, made a difficult running catch from long-on look easy fodder off the bowling of Tarandeep Singh to get rid of Patel with scoreboard reading 43 for 1 after 7.4 overs.

Then Nsubuga helped Abdul Rehman snare his first of the evening with a sharp catch from deep mid-wicket to dismiss the dangerous Nehemiah Ngoche Odhiambo for just four runs at 74 for2 in 10.2 overs.

The Ugandan off-spinner opened the bowling and his figures of 1 for 17 in 4 were a perfect foil for Rehman who destroyed the favourites batting line-up with superb figures of 5 for 21 as Swamibapa fell from 105 for 5 to 121 all out in 19.1 overs.

“Our bowlers didn’t give away too much,” said Kyobe, who shone with a match-winning knock of 31 off 35 balls at No.3 as Sikh Union sailed over the line with nine balls to spare.

“They made sure we would chase a target that was within our reach. We were under no pressure because we needed just six per over. I played at three because they had some left-arm spinners that were troubling our right hand batsmen. It is always good to go across the border and return victorious. It augurs well for our reputation and keeping in mind that we have big tournaments coming up.”

Nadeem Ahmed played anchor role for Kyobe with a 30 as Jadavji Bhimji 2/20 and Saumil Patel 1/21 tried to put the brakes on the chase in vain.

Harilal Shah Memorial T20 Tournament
Results – Final
Swamibapa 121/10 
Sikh Union 122/6 
Sikh Union won by four wickets
Upcoming Tournaments
Nov. 18-25: Takashinga-Kenya Tour Series
Feb – June 2017: ICC WCL Division Three

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Nairobi tourney chance for Tikolo to bond with Cricket Cranes

Since he took over as coach, Steve Tikolo, hasn’t had an opportunity to test his players in a highly competitive environment. The Four-Nation Quadrangular Series bowling off tomorrow in Nairobi gives a perfect chance. Nairobi tourney chance for Tikolo to bond with Cricket Cranes

Davis Karashani, Lawrence Ssematimba, Frank Nsubuga, Jonathan Ssebanja, Roger Mukasa, Arthur Kyobe, Charles Waiswa and Steve Tikolo are not new names on the international cricket scene.

Karashani is such a darling of many that even when he went into retirement prompted by a knee injury, many in the cricket circles continuously referred to him as skipper. 
The sextet of Ssematimba, Nsubuga, Waiswa, Ssebanja, Mukasa and Kyobe has been in and out of the national set-up, enjoying success and failure in equal measure.

From the days of Tom Tikolo in 2005 to the first stint of his younger sibling Steve as batting coach for the Cricket Cranes in 2011, the Tikolos hold a special place in the hearts of Ugandans; each of them is addressed as coach, irrespective of the dugout they are commanding.

Coach Tikolo and his players have been starved of international action and they feel only victory at the Four-Nation Quadrangular Series bowling off tomorrow in Nairobi will strengthen their bond.

“It is not about me,” Karashani repetitively told journalists at the team’s flag ceremony for the event involving unknown quantities Qatar, Saudi Arabia and host-nation Kenya, when he was bombarded with questions about his return from retirement at Lugogo yesterday.

“These guys (team) want to make up for the past near-misses and this tournament presents them a chance to show what they can do after two years of no action. They are starved and it is understandable that they are pumped up for this tournament.”

Coach Tikolo was speaking about team cohesion, too, ahead of the return to his motherland. “It is a chance for us to work on team camaraderie and composition,” said the 45-year-old Kenyan legend.
“Such build-up tournaments will help us gel.

We are looking to play a couple of more games against Zimbabwe’s Takashinga as we gear up for the Dicvision III ICC World Cricket League early next year.” Uganda opens its campaign against Saudi Arabia in the One-Day International (ODI) Series at Nairobi Gymkhana Oval tomorrow.

Four-Nation ODI Series
Sept.20: vs. Saudi Arabia
Sept. 21: vs. Qatar
Sept. 23: vs. Kenya
Sept. 24: Final
Four-Nation T20 Series
Sept. 26: vs. Saudi Arabia
Sept. 27: vs. Qatar
Sept. 28: vs. Kenya

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Mukono Parents nick Jinja SS to cricket title

At about 4:30pm, there were still a few drizzles after a downpour at Lugogo Oval yesterday. 
The Pepsi Boys’ Schools Cricket Week final had just been washed out for the second time in three years.
The anticipated clash between Jinja Secondary School and Mukono Parents School had not taken place.

At the time, neither Yemi Alade and Sauti Sol’s Africa nor Winnie Nwagi’s Musawo could lighten up the somber mood. “Some of us had come to watch a fitting finale but the rain has spoiled the day,” senior national women’s team captain Naome Kayondo said. But Mukono had not missed out to add to their 2013 title.

They were later declared champions on grounds that they earned the highest points tally in the group stages of the competition.
“It feels good,” Mukono Parents’ assistant captain Zephaniah Arinaitwe said shortly after receiving the trophy with skipper Rogers Olipa. “We did well and surely deserved to take home this gong,” added Arinaitwe, who was voted player of series with 455 runs and 15 in seven matches

The team had won all five Group B matches to total 70 points while Jinja had accumulated 49 points for second in Group A. 
Mukono coach Frank Nsubuga largely credited Olipa and Arinaitwe’s leadership for the feat. “Without Zepha, it would have really been tight,” Nsubuga said. “But I still congratulate the boys for their effort since we began the work in June.” Earlier in the day, Nile Club batsman Arinaitwe, who struck a tournament record of 206 runs off 54 balls against Ntare, had missed out on a second tournament ton.

The 15-year-old combined 12 fours and two sixes for a half-century of 92 runs off 53 balls as they dispatched an impressive Nyakasura School by 118 runs in the morning semifinal at Kyambogo.
But Jinja, too, had just stunned record winners Busoga College Mwiri by six wickets courtesy of Calvin Watuwa’s 34*-run-a-ball for their first final.

After that, coach Habibu Mugalula was massively let down by the no-show. “I am very disappointed. Very disappointed,” he said. 
“Their best player is Zepha who has never scored against Jinja in the Week and I had a plan for Nsubuga’s team,” Mugalula added.


FINAL: Mukono Parents vs. Jinja SSS
(Match washed out)
BS Mwiri 88/9 Jinja SSS 89/4 
(Jinja SSS won by 6 Wickets)
Mukono PS 190/2 Nyakasura 72/8
(Mukono PS won by 118 runs)

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KICC survive nervy finish to remain top

It was difficult to realise that both KICC and Charity Trust Fund were yet to lose in five National Men’s Twenty20 Cup ties as they faced off at Lugogo Oval on Sunday morning. All seemed ordinary until after midday when KICC went on to win by three runs in a very tense finish. The best had been saved for last.

“We put up the best display and deserved to win,” said KICC bowler Emmanuel Taban after he staved off the opposition when they needed nine runs to win off the last over.

Enroute to their sixth straight win in Group A, KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar had opted to bat first upon winning the toss. When opener Irfan Afridi was caught by Ronald Opio off Collin Abong (3/19) for a duck after two overs, Katkar backed his decision with a neat 37-ball 32*.

Teenager Siraj Nsubuga latter made five boundaries to top-score with 44 off 25 balls as the 2014 finalists KICC survived Varinder Singh (2/18) and Innocent Ndawula (2/9) to set 113-8. Charity bowlers’ donkey work seemed to go to waste when openers Opio and Edmond Musasizi departed for a combined eight runs after 2.1 overs. 
Varinder (30 off 27), captain Lawrence Ssempijja (18 off 22) and Roger Makwasi (14 off 23) all guided the team out of Egypt but the Promised Land seemed far.

With fans cheering, the Charity locker room on their feet and KICC players unfazed, the final batting combo of Abong (6* off 8) and Emma Kamya (8* off 8) failed to get the required 11 runs off the last 12 balls. “We were under pressure,” Abong said later after an exchange with some of his teammates. “The top order should have done better.”

Charity dusted themselves by beating Kutchi Tigers for a 25-run victory courtesy of superb bowling from the experienced Ndawula.

The chinaman took man-of-match honours after picking 3/13 off 22 deliveries that left Tigers staggering while chasing a target of 107. Across other venues, there were more nervy endings such as Mwiri chasing Avengers’ 163/8 to win by a wicket with a ball to spare in Budo. Similarly, Pirates’ Robinson Turinawe (3/22) helped Pirates defend their 145/9 against hosts JACC.

Weekend t20 results 
Wanderers 126/2 Strikers 129/5 
(Strikers won by five wickets)
KICC 113/8 Charity TF 110/7
(KICC won by 3 runs)
Charity TF 107/8 Kutchi Tigers 82/10
(Charity TF won by 25 runs)
Tornado 165/4 SKLPS 105/8
(Tornado won by 60 runs)
Premier 117/9 Tornado 115/10 
(Premier won by 2 runs)
Tornado Bee 165/5 KC Budo 113/8
(Tornado Bee won by 52 runs)
Patidar 87/8 Tornado Bee 90/1
(Tornado Bee won by nine wickets)

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Charity hope to carry rhythm to T20 League

Week One of the National Men’s Twenty20 Cup sent out a glimpse of what to expect; ‘boom boom cricket’ like former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi would say.

Yet again, more runs are expected as batsmen attempt to suffocate bowlers again in 10 contests at five different grounds today.
To begin with, 2012 T20 finalists Charity Trust Fund will carry their momentum after earning promotion back to the top tier when they face hosts Jinja SSS and JACC across the Nile River.

Quick runs
“This is a whole different ball game,” Charity’s all-rounder Varinder Singh said of the T20s.

“In this format, it is all about making quick runs on board,” said the man who finished the limited-overs Division Two season with an explosive 62-ball 111* century against ACC on July 17.

Charity, runners-up to Aziz Damani in the lower tier, is without Simon Ssesaazi who recently earned a UK VISA to join teammate Jonathan Ssebanja for a semi-professional stint. Meanwhile, ACC faces holders Patidar Samaj at Kyambogo, the same venue where Tornado Bee will meet KICC later in the afternoon.

Giving chance
The latter trio won all their matches last Sunday and will gear for more of the same. “We are using the T20s’ to give chance to players who didn’t get chance in 50-Over League,” KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar said.

Perhaps, that’s how batsman Hamza Saleh resurfaced after a huge lull with 84* off 48 while beating JACC.
Elsewhere, Nile will do without inspirational budding star Kenneth Waiswa as he Uganda’s U-19s against Zimbabwe youth sides at an Invitational tournament in Harare Sports Club.

Strikers vs. Premier, 10.30am
Mwiri vs. Premier, 2pm

Patidar vs. ACC, 10.30am
Tornado Bee vs. KICC, 2pm

Nile vs. Challengers, 10.30am
Wanderers vs. SKLPS, 2pm

Kutchi Tigers vs. Tornado Bee, 10.30am
Avengers vs. Tornado, 2pm

Jinja SSS vs. Charity TF, 10.30am
Charity TF vs. JACC, 2pm

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Varinder century guides Charity back to topflight

Heartbeat rates for Charity Trust Fund’s players are now back to normal after they completed the gruesome Jazz Safari Men’s 50-Over Division Two League in second position.

And not just that, the club also sealed promotion back to the topflight with a seven-wicket victory over Africa Cricket Club (ACC) at Budo on Sunday. This sense of renewed hope comes within seven months since Charity were relegated to the lower tier in 2015. 
Many will put that demotion to the absence of experienced Jonathan Ssebanja, who was in UK for a semi-professional stint at the time. 
Even this year, Ssebanja returned to Europe but Charity management led by Patrick Luyinda were wise enough to fill his void with Singh brothers Narinder and Varinder.

“We are now a Division One outfit,” Varinder said after scoring a decisive century of 111* runs as they ably chased a target of 239 to beat 2007 topflight champions ACC. “I was unlucky for a couple of games but this time round, I took my time and avoided a run-out.” The 22-year-old’s ton, eighth overall of the season, ensured he finished the season with 396 runs from 10 innings and 20 wickets.
He hopes to snatch the MVP Award. And now back to the big stage, Varinder expects more. “We are not a bad side. A couple of new signings will make us even better,” he added.

Only a week after losing to Division Two champions Aziz Damani, Varinder (3/46) and Narinder (4/59) enjoyed their spells with the balls. But ACC’s Amos Kyazze (30 off 57), skipper Richard Lwamafa (43 off 37) and Brian Kiiza (27 off 23) stuck on the crease like gum to sneak to a respectable total.

Charity lost their openers in 5.1 overs but Varinder had other ideas. He made six boundaries and five maximums off 62 balls and shared an uninterrupted fifth-wicket combo of 176 runs with Lawrence Ssempijja (69* off 75).

Men’s div 2 results 
SKLPS 115/10 Premier 117/8 
(Premier won by two wickets)
ACC 238/10 Charity TF 240/3 
(Charity TF won by seven wickets)
Jinja SS 155/10 Aziz Damani 156/5 
(Damani won by five wickets)

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