Victoria Series 2023 Preview:
MVP: Henritte Ishimwe (Rwanda)
Participating Teams: Uganda (Hosts), UAE, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda
The second edition of the Victoria Series was won by the hosts Victoria Pearls even if the final against Tanzania was washed out with play not possible. The five nation event had the UAE as the highest ranked side at 15th in the World, Tanzania 16th, the hosts 21st, Kenya 23rd and Rwanda 26th.
The teams played a round robin format with the top two sides qualifying for the final, at the end of the round robin stage Uganda was the only unbeaten side having picked up three wins against UAE, Tanzania and Rwanda including a No Result against Kenya due to bad weather, the race for second was very close with Tanzania only able to get ahead of UAE and Rwanda because of the superior Net Run Rate but all three sides finished on the same number of points after picking up two wins each. Kenya only collected a point that came off the No Result game against Uganda but the former powerhouse was on the wrong end of the result for their other games.
Rwanda the biggest winners after the round robin stage, as the lowest ranked team in the tournament the weather was kind to them allowing them to complete all their fixtures and they picked up valuable T20 ranking points defeating Tanzania and Kenya sides that are ranked above them. A wonderful experience for a team that is on the up. ICC Women Player Of The Month of March Henritte Ishimwe was the stand out player in both wins and those performances earned her the tournament Most Valuable Player award.
The UAE on their 1st visit to Uganda only managed two wins against Rwanda and Kenya but failed the tests of Tanzania and Uganda. A strong UAE side that had three players Kavisha Egodage, Esha Oza and Threetha Satish fresh from the fair break tournament but the slow nature of the wickets in Kampala never allowed them to express themselves. Kavisha Egodage took home the best batter award of the tournament.
Tanzania was the most entertaining team with willow in hand especially the opening partnership of Captain Fatuma Kibasu and Saum Mtae with the latter playing some of the best shots of the tournament. A very young and talented Tanzania side that should develop into a force of nature if they continue as a group.
Uganda got the final comfortably and with home support on their side the Victoria Pearls were unbeaten enroute to the final and a marginal three run win against Tanzania looked like their only tough match through out the tournament. Unfortunately there was no chance of a repeat of that derby against Tanzania in the final as Uganda won their own tournament for the 1st time. Captain Consy Aweko won the best bowler award.
Each of the individual winners were award a cash prize of $100 from former national team player Suleman Sharif. The runners up Tanzania received $300 and winners Uganda $500 from Suleman Sharif as well. Janet Mbabazi was voted the best Ugandan player and she won a return ticket to South Africa courtesy of Uganda Airlines.
The tournament was made possible with support from Sainath Tours and Travel, Roke Telkom, Podgal Group, Digi Prints, Century Cinema, Epic Escapades, Banz Cafe, Ward Wizard Solutions who gave each player of the match a blender and headphones and a 32 inch TV for the tournament MVP.