Anyigo stars in Thunder’s Elite T20 triumph

The thrills of victory. Soroti Challengers players celebrate their championship victory on Sunday. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO

What you need to know:

  • The Soroti Challengers’ player was dropped from the team that travelled for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Botswana in September

Mildred Anyigo is not a popular name in cricket circles and understandably so because she began playing the sport less than a decade ago.
The Soroti Challengers’ player was dropped from the team that travelled for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Botswana in September.

Few, except her club mates and coach Ivan Kakande, were aware she had changed her bowling style from right-arm fast to medium slow deliveries.
When Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) staged the second Women’s Elite T20 League last week, Anyigo’s shift came to light when she turned out for the Thunder franchise.
She emerged as the tournament MVP with 580 points after topping the wicket charts with nine scalps to accompany five fielding dismissals and 19 runs in six innings. She stuffed into her wallet Shs200,000 prize money for the exploits.

“During the lockdown, I just became lazy for pace bowling,” a relaxed Anyipo said after her franchise led by Janet Mbabazi had won the Elite T20 title at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.
“I used to concede many runs then I started bowling slow. I worked on it with coach Kakande,” she said.
‘Ready for another call-up’
When all four teams were tied at two wins and as many losses each, Thunder won the title worth Shs2m under the guise of Lawrence Ssempijja by twice defeating the Northern Knight Warriors by four and eight wickets, respectively.

It worked best after the Aziz Damani Hurricanes under coach Yusuf Nanga had failed to follow up their morning Super Over victory against Titans with a successful chase of 122 runs in the afternoon at Kyambogo Oval.
All Thunder’s four wins came from chasing a score with bowlers like Anyigo, Lorna Anyait and Eunice Kobusingye (five wickets apiece) came to the party. 
“Looking at my team, I had more bowlers so we utilised that strength,” Ssempijja said. 
“I kept picking the big wickets. Most people thought I would bowl pace but I came running and delivered slow balls,” Anyigo noted. “Before Botswana, I was called because of batting not bowling, and I knew mine would come.

“I hope I can now claim a place in the national team. The pressure is now on the slow bowlers in the national team,” added the youngster who completed Senior Six at Rhema High School in Soroti this year.
Against the Warriors on Sunday, Anyigo took figures of 2/13 to stop the opposition at 74-4 despite Proscovia Alako’s knock of 28 off 31. Then, Mbabazi provided the lightning for Thunder with five boundaries in a winning innings of 43-ball 39.

In the afternoon, Anyigo didn’t claim any scalp as Barbara Mukankusi (29 off 47), Alako (18 off 14), Claire Mushakamba (20 off 37) and Naomi Kayondo (22* off 19) helped the Warriors chest-thump to a more respectable total of 96-4.
But Mbabazi yet again thrust her side with an unbeaten half-ton of 52 runs off 43 balls, also setting a 75-run second wicket combo with Jimia Mohammed (35 off 55), to seal the championship.

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