The Soroti derby between Soroti City Cricket Club and Olila Cricket Club will bowl off the Women’s National T20 League on Saturday at the Soroti Cricket Oval.
Olila finished last season as league runners up to champions Aziz Damani, but they start this campaign a somewhat different side with the entire team consisting of secondary school students.
To have strictly secondary school students as players was a decision made by the leadership of Soroti Cricket Academy headed by Felix Musana, and some of the players that were let go as a result of this include Natasha Amenyo and two Victoria Pearls players in Phiona Kulume and Sarah Akiteng.
The trio crossed over to Soroti City formerly known as Soroti Challengers, and they will now come up against their former side in a season opener. Like stated above, Olila is composed of young players with little experience, but their head coach Emma Twijukye is adamant his side will put up a fight worthy noting .
“Well, it is a big game,” Twijukye emphasized on the magnitude of the match.
“The other side has more senior and experienced players, but I believe as Olila, we are up for the fight, and we will do all it takes to get a positive start. It is just a matter of how our players will choose to execute what we have in plan. We have profiled each player on the Soroti City team and their style of play so if we stick to the plan, we have an advantage.”
Seven national team players including Evelyn Anyipo, Irene Alumo, Kevin Awino, Patricia Timong, Akiteng, Kulume and Janet Mbabazi, the captain of the side turn up for Soroti City.
The pressure will certainly be on them on Saturday and their head coach Wilfred Ogwang is aware of this.
“It is a derby so it definitely won’t be as easy game. We have an experienced and a stronger team on paper so this will put us on pressure to win, but it is a good kind of pressure.”
Olila isn’t completely devoid of experience. Esther Iluko, a wicket keeper batter is a Victoria Pearls player and Jimia Mohammed, Lorna Anyait, Marisa Ariokot and Racheal Acan play for the national U19 girls team.
They will come as a threat to their opponent, and Ogwang is not ruling out an upset. He said;
“They have a very strong bowling attack. They have Anyait, Acan, Amuge and Immaculate Nandera in their bowling department, but also their batting department is equally good. They have Iloku, Ariokot , Asumin Akurut and Jimia in that department. I think they will definitely give us a bit of headache.”
Away from Soroti, Pioneer will take on Jinja SS at the Jinja SS Cricket Oval on the same day. Jinja SS earned promotion to Div 1 after being crowned the champions of Div 2 last term.