Olila’s rather bewildering journey to the top, comes at the backdrop of successes elsewhere
Mehta Premier League
Olila High School 110/4 Jinja SS 51/9
(Olila win by 59 runs)
Jinja SS 99/5 Wanderers 76/8
( Jinja SS win by 23 runs)
Pioneer 60/6 Olila High School 63/3
(Olila win by 7 wickets)
There is only one Olila High School! The Soroti outfit have answered their critics in style, winning their maiden Mehta Premier League after defeating giants Jinja SS handily by 59 runs in the T20 final Saturday at Kyambogo oval.
They saw a smooth surge to the final courtesy of a 7 wickets condemnation of Pioneer in one of the semifinals and no doubt they have now redefined the ranks in women’s cricket.
Olila’s rather bewildering journey to the top, comes at the backdrop of successes elsewhere in the UCA National Women’s League Division Two where they won the league and got promoted to the topflight and here they are, enjoying their moment in the T20 showpiece!
Margaret Banja opened with a game’s best 37 from 53 balls in a game where Jinja SS decided to field having won the toss. Batting at number four, Gertrude Chandiru scored 27 from 26 balls before she was run out. Sarah Bakitah and Mary Apio efforts produced 21 and 10 runs respectively in a somewhat one sided affair as Olila posted 110.
Jinja SS stuck to task but desperately failing in their chase in an innings where the usual suspects Rita Musamali and 2016 USPA female cricketer of the year Stephanie Nampiina representing themselves in uncharacteristic terms. The former managed a team’s best of 16 from 31 balls and for Nampiina, scoring at number 4, she had a mere 5 off 16 balls in the wake of crisp bowling from the eventual champions as Gloria Obukor and Sarah Bakitah took 3 wickets apiece.
“The road to the final has been hard and I want to report that the girls have surpassed my expectations. They showed a lot of confidence and it worked. we now have to work harder the more” said Ivan Kakande, coach Olila High School
Olila have risen through the ranks testing their abilities against top sides in the UCA Girls Schools Cricket Week, the National Women’s League Division Two and then then the topflight and what a way to start their life here with the Mehta Premier League Trophy at the first attempt!
The success however all goes back to Felix Musana’s Soroti Cricket Academy which is the caretaker of Olila High School Cricket Club. They won a trophy and Sh1m
For Jinja SS who won a runners up trophy and Sh500,000, coach Habibu Mugalula acknowledges that finishing in the final is a sheer fact that his side is as strong as before despite coming second best.
Meanwhile Wanderers’ skipper Janat Mbabazi and Pioneer’s Kenyan national Abel Queentor were major standouts in the individual categories. The former emerged best fielder and best bowler as Queentor happily claimed the player of series and best bat with a total of 239 runs.