KAMPALA- It’s a public secret that Team Uganda’s main goal at their on-going outing in South Africa was to prepare for next month’s ICC World Cricket League Division Three (WCLDT) showpiece here.
And by Sunday, new coach Peter Kirsten had witnessed a vibrant spirit of competitiveness from the Cricket Cranes after they (-0.17) finished joint-second with Kenya (+1.19) and Zimbabwe (+0.39) on six points after round-robin action but differed on Net Run Rate (NRR) in the Global Softech Africa Sixes Challenges at the SuperSport Park in Johannesburg.
“Progress has been good and we narrowly missed playing the Sixes final,” Henry Okecho, part of the Cricket Cranes’ coaching set-up, told Daily Monitor from the team base in South Africa by phone. “The boys showed character and I only wish they would carry on playing with freedom, without fear of failure until the WCLDT.”
He later disclosed that newly appointed coach Kirsten fully took over yesterday morning before Uganda played their Africa Cricket Association (ACA) 50-Over Cup opener against hosts South Africa.
“Kirsten will use the 50-Over Cup to draw his main plan for WCLDT as well as fully gelling with the players,” Okecho added.
Another bunch of eight players arrived in South Africa on Sunday morning. “We want to leave Johannesburg with good form and enough mental strength for WCLDT,” wicket-keeper Suleman Sharif, awaiting his national debut, said before departure.
Back on the local scene in men’s Division One National 50-Over League, big clubs were left cursing owing to their missing players on national duty and it paved way for the underdogs to bask in the limelight.
Without top-order pair of Arthur Kyobe and Arnold Otwan, Challengers lost their four-game winning streak and lost by 13 runs for hosts Jinja SS to earn their first smile.
2012 winners Tornado too, were without national skipper Frank Nsubuga and Deus Muhumuza and seem to have their title hopes vanished after they suffered a shock 83-run defeat to Charity Trust Fund in a match reduced to 20 overs at Lugogo Oval.
Charity now maintains second spot with 42 points. “We can win the league if we do not concede defeat until we face Tornado B,” Charity’s captain of the day Derrick Bakunzi said.
ACA AFRICA 50-OVER CUP – SOUTH AFRICA
DAY TWO – TODAY’S FIXTURES
South Africa vs. Kenya
Namibia vs. Zimbabwe
Uganda vs. Tanzania
SOURCE: Daily Monitor