ICC World Cricket League Div.3 woes continue
On the international scene, the senior national cricket team still fell short after finishing third at the 2009 ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tourney held in Malawi.
Three dropped catches were the difference as Sierra Leone piped Rwanda to second spot in the affiliates’ tourney thereby denting their hopes of moving up a notch to Division 2.
Playing on a poor batting wicket, anything in excess of 120 was a defendable score and Rwanda batted reasonably well as they posted 134 in 49.3 overs.
The in-form Subashish Samaly led Rwanda’s scoring wheels with a well-worked 44runs while Shijith Kumar weighed in with 33.
In the second innings, the team started well as Rwanda’s ex-captain Srinath Vardhineni, who was playing his last international game, ran through Sierra Leone’s opening order to finish off with impressive bowling figures of 4 for 15. But that was about it as the other bowlers were let down by poor fielding.
Malawi won the tournament which also had attracted Lesotho and Gambia.
1. Malawi 10pts
2. Sierra Leone 8pts
3. Rwanda 6pts
4. Gambia 4pts
5. Lesotho 2pts
6. Morocco 0pts
Srinath Vardhineni has described this year’s Sulfo league as ‘one of the most enjoyable series’ of his illustrious career.
The 38-year-old challengers’ captain masterminded his side to a commanding 133-run victory over Indorwa in the final.
After a solid opening partnership of 45 between Challengers’ rising stars Evode Mutuyimana (30) and Joseph Tuyishimire (18), Vardhineni added a brisk 74 to guide the team to a defendable score of 233 from 40 overs.
The highlight of the day came when he smacked Indorwa’s pace bowler Subashish Samaly for six fours in one over.
In response, Indorwa could only post 100 runs thanks to some disciplined bowling from Mutuyimana and Praveen Kumar who picked six wickets between themselves.
After going the entire season unbeaten, it was no surprise when Challengers dominated the prize giving ceremony.
Srinath picked the man of match award, Kumar claimed the best batsman award, Tuyishimire was voted best fielder while Mutuyimana picked the man of series accolade after picking 16 wickets and scoring 127 runs.
In his remarks, Vardhineni lauded Mutuyimana for his spectacular performance and growing maturity.
It was Challengers’ second Sulfo league title after that of 2007.
More records tumble in Sulfo league
During the league, more records went tumbling. For the first time, a local cricket club scored in excess of 300 runs.
Challengers ran amok as they piled 332 runs in 44 overs against four-time champions Kigali Cricket Club (KCC).
Praveen Kumar’s batting was the highlight of the day as the opening batsman hit a transcendent 126, beating Andre Kayitera’s previous best (124).
Kumar’s knock included five sixes and 15 fours.
In reply to this gigantic score, KCC crushed out for a paltry 91 runs to hand Challengers a massive 241run victory.
More honours for Kayitera
Trophies can’t stop coming for Andre Kayitera. The 20-year-old added the 2009 Schools cricket tournament ‘man of series’ award into his already decorated trophy shelf.
Kayitera, who was one of Rwanda’s best players at the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in Malawi, finished with 132 runs and seven wickets to beat off stiff competition from Apred Ndera’s Bob Bashir Songa.
In his acceptance speech, he paid great tribute to his teammates.
“Much as many say that it’s an individual trophy, I still feel that you can’t get the wickets if the fielders are not taking the catches and you also can’t make big scores if you are not getting good support from your team mates so I would like to thank my teammates for playing good cricket.”
ADB defended their crown after beating Lycee de Kigali in the final.
In the girls’ fray, Kagarama swept all the individual awards. Delphine Mukarurangwa won the top scorer award; Evodia Mukaremero picked the best bowler’s award while Vicky Gahonzire took the best player accolade.
After the prize giving ceremony, tournament sponsors Caisse Sociale promised to keeping give back to the public through such events.
“We plan on continuing with the trend because we feel its part of our social responsibility,” Afrique Ramba, one of the company’s senior officials said.
This year’s edition attracted Apade, Lycee de Kigali, ADB, Efotec, Apred Ndera, National University of Rwanda (UNR), Kicukiro College of Technology (KCT) and Kagarama in the boys’ category while Apade, Kagarama and Apred Ndera turned out in the girls’ fray.
KCC crowned Utexrwa Champs
Kigali cricket clubs (KCC) were crowned Utexrwa champions after a seven-wicket victory over Indorwa Cricket club in the Utexrwa final.
Indorwa paid for a disastrous batting display after being dismissed for a paltry 45 runs. KCC’s medium paced bowler Asif Punjani masterminded the win after picking four wickets for twelve runs.
The KCC side then chased down the score in nine overs and for the loss of three wickets.
Despite falling short, Indorwa’s Samaly Subashish still walked away with two accolades-best batsman (222 runs) and man of series awards.
Right guard’s youngster Rene Bagirishya took home the best bowlers prize after claiming 15 wickets.
RCA general elections
In the Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA) elections, Charles Haba was re-elected as president while Srinath Vardhineni (vice president), Emma Byiringiro (Secretary General) and Mukri Hussein Mohammed (Treasurer) wrapped up the other executive slots.
Highlight of 2009 –Lara’s visit
West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara proved that class his permanent when he slogged Eric Dusabemungu for six during a brief three-ball innings at Kicukiro Oval. This was part of his nine-hour visit to Rwanda and time off from his eight-day ambassadorial tour of Uganda.
Despite his retirement from international cricket back in 2007, the six came with great ease for the cricket great-a vivid testament of his sheer class and left many local cricketers gazing in amazement.
One of Rwanda’s national team stars Eric Dusingizimana could not hide his excitement. “This guy makes cricket look very easy,” he said.
During the visit, Lara also paid a visit to the Gisozi Genocide memorial site, had a courtesy call with the minister of foreign affairs Rosemary Museminali before a stretched chat with the sports minister Joseph Habineza.
Habineza was delighted by Lara’s visit and lauded Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA) for attracting such a high profile sporting star.
“It is always good to have such icons because the worst they can do is help improve and develop sports in Rwanda,” he said. RCA chief Charles Haba also thanked Lara for his visit.
In Lara’s remarks, he lauded RCA and also pledged to use his expertise to take Rwandan cricket to a whole new level.
Lara still holds world records in first class cricket (501*) and test cricket (400).