Can warriors stop Kongonis in supersport tie?

Saturday September 17 2011

Batsmen Arthur Ziraba (L) and Musoke must work

Batsmen Arthur Ziraba (L) and Musoke must work to revive Nile Knights fortunes this weekend. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO. 

By INNOCENT NDAWULA

For Rwenzori Warriors to be first and second on the respective East Africa Premier League (T20) and East African Cup (50 overs) is a miracle. Coach Henry Okecho and Lawrence Ssematimba’s Warriors were looked at as the weaker Ugandan franchise when the teams were released on the eve of the revived lucrative East Africa Elite Leagues’ opening weekend of action.

Nile Knights, tutored by national head coach Martin Suji and captained by Davis Karashani were expected to brush aside all sundry and coast to the final without breaking sweat. But that is four weeks ago. Today, Warriors are the most feared team and haven’t had to stretch many muscles to reach the top. They entertain Nairobi-based franchise Kongonis in a table-toppers clash at the university oval in Kyambogo targeting to finish the first round on a high.

Coincidentally that game will be telecast live on South African-based Pay TV SuperSport and whoever clinches the weekend will literally have one foot in the finals scheduled for the end of October at the picturesque Nairobi Gymkhana oval. “Everyone thought we were weak at the start of this competition. But we toppled our fellow Ugandans (Nile Knights) in the EAPL and never looked back. We discussed and set our main goal on winning each T20 game,” Ssematimba disclosed on his team’s plan.

“People started to notice us when we made it three from three but we have got our tactics right and are looking to carry on. I think we have achieved so far and everyone must continue to chip in. We know we can deliver.” Kongonis are second in the T20 event with eight points from four outings, eight less than unbeaten Warriors but lead the East African Cup with 14 points, four more than their rivals this weekend. Such is how delicately poised are the two competitions, the two encounters are destined to force out the best from the two teams. But stopping the Kongonis side whose top order already looks like a dream work in progress will be no oat meal for Warriors. Gordon Brown (153) and international Rakep Patel (149) are among the top three run getters.

Elsewhere at the lakeside turf in Entebe, the Knights will be praying that not only luck but the weather is good when they seek maximum points against the visiting whipping boys Coast Pekee of Mombasa. Pekee haven’t won a single match in both competitions. “We learned from our mistakes and there is no way we can repeat them. A few of our tactics were poor. We are looking forward to picking our first maximum points this weekend,” senior batsman Benjamin ‘Benzo’ Musoke said.

Today – East Africa Premier League (T20) 1.30pm
Nile Knights vs. Coast Pekee (Entebbe)
Rwenzori Warriors vs. Kongonis (Kyambogo)
Rift Valley Rhinos vs. Nairobi Buffaloes (Nakuru)

Sunday – East Africa Cup (50 overs) 9.30am
Nile Knights vs. Coast Pekee (Entebbe)
Rwenzori Warriors vs. Kongonis (Kyambogo)
Rift Valley Rhinos vs. Nairobi Buffaloes (Nakuru)

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