Trekkers lift inaugural Waterfalls T20 Cup

Sipi Trekkers players celebrate winning the first edition of the Waterfalls T20 women's cricket tournament. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

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When Iloku won the toss, she opted to bowl and Mbabazi was happy to bat first. But, little did the latter know that Kayakers’ coach Habib Mugalula had set up a surprise opening bowler in Lorna Anyait. 


The Sipi Trekkers franchise is on cloud nine after beating the Itanda Kayakers by 21 runs in the final at the Lugogo Oval on Sunday to win the inaugural Waterfalls Twenty20 Women’s Elite League cup. 

Skipper Janet Mbabazi and company reacted to the final wicket fall of Kayakers’ Teddy Oyella who had been stumped by wicket-keeper Kevin Awino off Gloria Obukor’s bowling (1/5) with awe and dance as dusk approached. They had bowled out the Kayakers for 76 runs midway the 19th over. 

The party for the women in red was briefly halted by an impatient rain shower thereafter but it didn’t stop. Sponsor Roke Telecom’s Amanya Atuhaire later handed over medals and the trophy to Mbabazi and co who were joined by the cheering crowd that had travelled from Soroti at the podium. 

The three-franchise tournament wrapped up after seven matches but the Trekkers smiled last having recovered from a first match wobble, an opening seven-wicket loss to the Kayakers on Thursday. 

“Our fielding was really bad, we were giving away twos in the boundary and ones in the infield,” Mbabazi explained her team’s renaissance to glory.

“We stopped most of that in the final. We just needed to restrict them to singles and that helped us defend the score,” she said.

Mbabazi, despite losing the tournament opener and even setting a low total of 97-6 in the final, was confident her team would triumph. 

“It was great,” Mbabazi noted, “I thought we’d win it, we are more of a balanced side. We have people who can bring something good to the table,” she added. 

Her opposite skipper Esther Iloku was rather let down. “We didn’t bat well, we made our bowlers do it again instead of us the batters doing it,” said the wicket-keeper. 

“The way we were ready (to play), I knew it (final) was going to be ours.”

When Iloku won the toss, she opted to bowl and Mbabazi was happy to bat first. But, little did the latter know that Kayakers’ coach Habib Mugalula had set up a surprise opening bowler in Lorna Anyait. 

The young spinner (1/17) trapped Trekkers’ opener Awino for lbw (leg before wicket) on the first ball, that taking away any steam from the ladies in red. Obukor (16 off 25) then shared 41 runs for the second wicket with Mbabazi (26 off 37). 

Kenyan Vanessa Adhiambo (27* off 21) and Sarah Walaza (13* off 10) pushed to a respectable total despite tight bowling from Patricia Malemikia (2/21), Jackline Nakayovu (1/7), Rita Musamali (1/14) and Diane Binyenimana (1/19). 

When Kayakers got to chase, they faced it rough. Mbabazi (3/12), Nampiina (2/15), Irene Alumo (1/18) and Phiona Kulume (1/3 in three overs) tightened the screws leaving Musamali (23 off 43) and Malemikia (11 off 7) with virtually no help from the dugout. 

TOURNAMENT RESULTS

FINAL

Sipi Trekkers 97/6 Itanda Kayakers 76/10 

(Sipi Trekkers won by 21 runs)

ROUND-ROBIN RESULTS

Game 6: Bujagali Rafters 114/4 Itanda Kayakers 101/5

(Bujagali Rafters won by 13 runs) 

Game 5: Bujagali Rafters 88/8 Sipi Trekkers 86/10 

(Bujagali Rafters won by 2 runs)

Game 4: Itanda Kayakers 68/4 Sipi Trekkers 72/3

(Sipi Trekkers won by 7 wickets) 

Game 3: Bujagali Rafters 97/8 Itanda Kayakers 99/0

(Itanda Kayakers won by 10 wickets)

Game 2: Bujjagali Rafters 82/9 Sipi Trekkers 83/3 

(Sipi Trekkers won by 7 wickets)

Game 1: Sipi Trekkers 128/6 Itanda Kayakers 129/3

(Itanda Kayakers won by 7 wickets)

MVP RANKINGS 

Proscovia Alako (Kayakers) - 783 points 
Janet Mbabazi (Trekkers) - 575 points 
Stephanie Nampiina (Rafters) - 428 points 
Patricia Malemekia (Kayakers) - 385 pts
Phionah Kulume (Trekkers) - 316 points 


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