Arusha School girls’ cricket team cruised to the semi-finals of the Junior Cricket League after defeating Uhuru Primary School by 30 runs in a match played at the former’s venue in Arusha on Thursday.

Arusha Regional Cricket Committee (ARCC) has organized the tournament in support of efforts by the Tanzania Cricket Association (TCA) to promote the sport among youth in the country. The league’s coordinator, Paul Manyanda, who is also the TCA Development Committee member, told the ‘Sunday News’ that Arusha School girls had an upper hand in the match and it was hardly surprising to see them snatch the convincing win.

The winners started to bat and posted 50 runs in their allotted 20 overs and still managed to smoothly coast to victory in the end, despite failing to record impressive total. In response, Uhuru Primary School girls failed to chase the obviously achievable target after managing paltry 20 runs and consequently lose the game.

With Uhuru girls struggling with the bat in the chase, their opponents capitalized on the weakness and tightened their fielding to give the former’s batters little breathing space. Victory in the game ensured Arusha School girls are well in contention for the first silverware at their own backyard, but the side definitely needs to step up performance should it wish to realize the dream.

Manyanda said the other teams, which will progress to the last four stage of the girls’ category, were expected to be known in the same week after a series of final round robin matches.  “The boys’ teams are still playing their last round robin matches and, by early next week, we will get teams that have qualified for the semi-finals,” he said.

Manyanda expressed his admiration of a stunning level of commitment the participating teams have been putting in matches, saying the youngsters have been working extremely hard in search of success in the league. “The youngsters have shown much progress in performance…their work rate is really promising,” he said.

The league, which involves 13 primary schools in the region, started in the 16th of this month with 25 teams battling it out in boys’ and girls’ categories, in which 13 teams compete in the boys’ category while the rest lock horns in the girls’ category. Participating schools are Arusha School, Engira, Hill, Kaloleni, Kijenge, Levolosi, Makumbusho, Njiro, Prime, Sanawari, Sekei, Themi and Uhuru. With the exception of Prime Primary School, which has entered only boys’ outfit, the rest have fielded both boys’ and girls’ teams.

By JAPHETH KAZENGA, Tanzania Daily News

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