Ceylon Lions open up Kamengo Oval

Battle lines Drawn. Ceylon Lions captain Ruwan Jayaratne (L) shakes hands with his Wanderers counterpart Abu Sseguya (R) after the  latter won the toss ahead of today's National Cricket League duel at the Serenity Oval in Kamengo. PHOTO/INNOCENT NDAWULA

What you need to know:

New Dawn. Uganda Cricket Association welcome the fraternity to a new facility - the first to be owned by club - when Ceylon Lions host Wanderers CC today. 

The National Division One 50-Over League will be played at the new Kamengo grounds for the first time when hosts Ceylon Lions clash with Wanderers today.In the past, local league cricket has been played at Lugogo, Kyambogo, Entebbe and Jinja ovals.  But the four-acre Serenity Oval in Kamengo presents a fresh breath of life and gives the game desire for new horizons after damage by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“It’s gonna be massive,” Serenity Oval proprietor and Lions captain Ruwan Jayaratne told this publiocation.

“We already have up to 50 kids in our junior program training with coach Habibu Mugalula. We will introduce the game to surrounding schools. It will be another Jinja, Soroti or Nyakasura. We have major plans for Mpigi District,” the Serenity Group director said. 
Kamengo is located 50km along the Kampala - Masaka Highway and the oval’s square has six grass wickets. The ground also meets International Cricket Council (ICC) standards with straight boundaries of 65-67m and square boundaries of 63-64m. There are stands built to accommodate at least 500 spectators.

Roaring start
The Lions, who have won all their opening two matches away from home, are looking to make it three in three.  “Of course we want to start with a win. We have had a reasonable start to our campaign with our experienced players performing well. We expect the youngsters to step in this weekend,” the opening batsman stated.
 
For runs up the order,  Jayaratne has stylish left-hander Kamal Shahzad for company while with the ball, leading bowler Deus Muhumuza (6 wickets) and Falak Sher can offer the magic.
However, league leaders Wanderers, too, have won their opening two matches and even boast of a better Net Run Rate (3.6303) than Lions’ (1.1968). Besides the batting form of skipper Abu Seguya, they have even added veteran spinner Frank Nsubuga to their ranks, not forgetting national captain Brian Masaba. 

Hungry Wanderers
“Biggest test since our return to the top flight,” said Wanderers’ long-serving wicket-keeper Denis Musali.  “On paper, Lions have a better all-round team but the boys are hungry to continue the winning streak. Masaba added some steel and Nsubuga gives us 10 good overs and some energy in the field,” he added.

In Kyambogo, former champions Tornado Bees start their story of the post-pandemic ear against Africa Cricket Club (ACC) while in Division Two, Nile take on the youthful brigade of Aziz Damani Development at the lakeside oval in Entebbe.
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