Wanderers cricket club, the defending champions of the National T20 Championship, have lost four group games in this year’s edition.
The latest came against Tornado ‘Bees’ last Sunday at Kyambogo, in which the latter reached their target of 76 in just 13 overs. This weekend, they have an uphill task of knocking out Tornado at the quarterfinal in what will be a repeat of last season’s final. However, it is expected to be a totally different story this time.
Wanderers have since lost the services of top players such as Davis Arinaitwe, the national team skipper, Hamza Saleh and another burgeoning star in Arnold Otwani. But team captain Dennis Musali remains bullish that Wanderers is ready to give it a fight. Yet, even with that rallying call, Musali acknowledges they have so many inexperienced players.
But now the pressure at Wanderers is largely on the top four batsmen: Hamu Kayondo, Arthur Ziraba, Saul Kisikwe and David Batuwa. Apart from Ziraba, whose bad form also saw him get dropped from the national team last year, his colleagues, despite the talent they have, are still short on experience of carrying teams at this level.
The fact that batsman David Batuwa is a doubt due to injury spells doom. While the likes of Johnny Illukor and Dennis Tabby that were crucial in last year’s T20 title winning run are absent through work and injury respectively.
Based on this, the odds appear stuck against Wanderers not just for this game but even the future ahead. But Musali insists the new players have settled.
But Tornado firing on all cylinders, Wanderers are unlikely to defend their title beyond this weekend however much Musali and company keep a stone face.
Wanderers v Tornado (Lugogo): 10am
Nile v Jinja SSS (Lugogo): 3pm
Tornado Bees v KICC (Kyambogo): 10am
Challengers v Charity (Kyambogo): 3pm
Source : The Observer