Damani's Steve Tikolo bowling Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO
  • Division One Fixture
  • Sunday 24th March 2018
  • Lugogo Oval – Tornado Bee Vs Premier ,10:30am
  • Kyambogo Oval – Strikers Vs Damani, 10:30am
  • Entebbe Oval – Challengers Vs KICC, 10:30am
Aziz Damani will start their league defense against Strikers at Kyambogo Oval

Among the top 3 on paper, Damani seem like the strongest given their transfer business but that is far from reality in comparison to how Challengers performed last season after they recruited heavily.

Damani has succeeded in making their opponents weak by picking some of their finest players, Charles Waiswa and Fred Achellam joined from Tornado Bee, while Challengers lost their Captain Henry Ssenyondo.

The trio joined a very strong Damani side that has National Coach Steve Tikolo, Cricket Cranes vice captain Brian Masaba, Kenneth Waiswa, Riaz Khan and Emmanuel Isaneez who all feature for the national team.

The defending champions have underlined their intentions of holding onto the title and it will be interesting to see how they can keep all the players happy on match day.

Damani will face a youthful Strikers who gained promotion from Division 2 last season. Strikers are no pushovers as they have added exciting youngster Zephaniah Arinaitwe to their team from KICC and their are very capable of springing a surprise. Damani should be too strong for them but they will have to bring their A game on match day.

Tornado Bee have been the biggest losers in the off season but they still have the “King of Kampala” Roger Mukasa on their payroll. Mukasa had an average 2017 season but without Waiswa and Achellam, he will have to step up this season. Their opening fixture against Division 2 champions Premier is an easier fixture compared to the others.

Premier have lost half of their title winning side and a shadow of the side that won the Division 2 title. This is a game for Tornado Bee to lose, even without Fred Achellam, either Lawrence Ssematimba or Nicholas Kebba will take up the gloves.

At the Lakeside Oval in Entebbe, Challengers will be battling KICC in a game of the even teams. KICC finished ahead of Challengers last season and beat them twice in their duels last season the most memorable being the second round game where Challengers failed to chase 90 runs.

KICC have lost Zephaniah Arinaitwe but they have gained Irfan Afridi who returns to the side he started playing Cricket with in Uganda. Afridi will be facing his former team mates and there will be no love lost as his takes the field for KICC.

Challengers have lost most of their main stay players for the last 3 seasons Abraham Alema has moved to Charity, Henry Ssenyondo has gone to Damani, Ivan Thawithemwira has gone to Nyakasura and Irfan Afridi has returned to KICC.

Though they have retained Arthur Kyobe, Hamu Kayondo and Shahzad Kamal, it remains to be seen how they will line up on Sunday.

This uncertainty in the Challengers camp gives KICC the chance to get one up on their rivals early in the season.

Denis has represented Uganda in international cricket events including the World Cup. He is currently the captain of Wanderers Cricket Club.

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