National U-19 Girls cricket coach Ivan Kakande says his team is far from perfection despite enjoying a perfect ride in the U-19 Bilateral Series with Tanzania.
Uganda’s U-19s have been flawless with three wins from all contests against Uganda Select U-19s and Tanzania U19s at University Oval in Kyambogo over the last two days.
But Kakande insists that his team is yet to tick all the boxes. “We still have a lot to do with the batters and mental strength,” noted Kakande after his side had defeated the Uganda Select side by 72 runs yesterday evening.
Uganda and Tanzania are both using the tournament to prepare their teams ahead of the inaugural ICC U-19 Women’s T20 Cup Qualifiers. Uganda was supposed to host the African Qualifier in December but the tournament was called off.
While Kakande’s side has smiled all through, they have not scored more than 120 runs in any contest.
To nearly reach that tally, it came after they were triggered by a meagre 15-run win over Tanzania yesterday morning after setting only 88-5 hinging on Proscovia Alako (23 off 35) and Sarah Walaza’s (26 off 22) knocks.
“It was a tight one against Tanzania but we won,” said Kakande.
“That is not the score we wanted. We wanted 120 runs. Since we have a good fielding and bowling unit, we managed to hang in there,” he added.
Sarah Akiteng’s figures of 3/7 stopped Tanzania at 73 for 8. In the afternoon, there was a bigger response to Kakande’s concerns.
Alako smashed nine boundaries for a half-ton of 58 runs off 60 balls while skipper Esther Ilukor made six fours in a 33-run-a-ball to set 119-2
With the ball, Akiteng got 2 for 5 whereas Mary Akello (2 for 7), Susan Kakai (2/11) and Teddy Oyella (1/6) each picked a maiden from their three overs.
Such is the vibe that Kakande hopes the team will keep the momentum when they return to complete the double round-robin phase against Uganda’s Select U19s tomorrow with the final on Friday in sight.