Aziz Damani, Kutchi Tigers in Jazz League title decider

Aziz Damani Cricket Club! Yes, that one. 
It is the name on everyone’s lips in circles of the Gentleman’s Game. 
They have bossed the Jazz Safari National League season like never before. Their unbeaten run of 10 wins in as many defines their prowess.

They are 18 points clear at the top of the eight-team log with a maximum 60 points. That statistic has a motto: ‘Do not mess with us,’.
Damani has beaten every team and their cruise sees them now a win away from their second league title in two years.
Even if there are four matches to play, Damani only need to beat second-placed Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo Oval today to be affirm the yellow and green ribbons on the trophy.

Allure of 100% record
“We would love to finish unbeaten if possible but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” Damani’s boss Siva Koti stated after last weekend’s 143-run win over Challengers in Entebbe. 
“So we would love to secure the title first,” he added. 
Knowing the mathematics, Tigers will hope to roar at the right time and stop what seems to be untouchable. 
Tigers’ skipper Alphesh Hirani knows there is little they can do to stop Damani’s league success.

Tigers can pounce
Little wonder he could afford a phone chat with Siva after last Sunday’s action.
But Hirani knows the Tigers can put on hold to Damani’s early title celebrations or most importantly, punch a hole into their solid bulging balloon encrypted: ‘the invincible ones’. 
The rest of the league sent Challengers to stop Damani last weekend but their batsmen Hamu Kayondo, Arthur Kyobe and Kamal Shahzad didn’t click in partnerships. 
Now Damani’s bowling unit has to deal with a Tigers’ batting line-up that has Ronak Patel, who hit an unbeaten 82-ball 105 century in their 185-run win over Premier last Sunday. 
Most of Damani’s players form the core of the senior national team - The Cricket Cranes - so they know what to expect and how to plot for another finisher in left-hander Dinesh Nakrani. Ankit Patel’s qualities cannot be overlooked.

Harmless chasing pack
Damani’s captain Ghulam Hunzai knows if they skipped the Tigers’ hurdle, neither a depleted and off-form Tornado Bee, struggling Ceylon Lions and youthful Strikers can hurt their flawless streak.

JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE
TODAY’S FIXTURES - DIV. ONE -10.30am
Kutchi Tigers vs. Aziz Damani, Lugogo
Premier vs. Tornado Bee, Kyambogo 
Ceylon Lions vs. Strikers, Entebbe
DIVISION TWO
Avengers vs. KC Budo, Budo 
Nile vs. Wanderers, Jinja

LEAGUE TABLE STANDINGS 
Team P W L NR Pts NRR
Aziz Damani 10 10 0 0 60 3.16
Kutchi Tigers 10 7 3 0 42 1.09
Challengers 11 6 5 0 35 0.61
Strikers 9 4 4 1 25 0.25
Tornado Bees 9 4 4 1 25 -0.76
KICC 11 4 7 0 22 -1.15
Ceylon Lions 11 3 8 0 18 -0.26
Premier 11 2 9 0 11 -2.80
*NR denotes No Result 
* NRR denotes Net Run Rate

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Jungle fight in Lugogo as Lions, Tigers face-off in Jazz Safari League

Having endured a torrid outing at the ICC World Cricket League Division IV event in Malaysia, Simon Ssesaazi reminded everyone of his batting potential last weekend.

He was ruthless against fellow Cricket Cranes’ players Riazat Ali and brother Henry Ssenyondo enroute to a 77-run-a-ball half-ton but it was not enough as his club Ceylon Lions lost to holders Aziz Damani by 95 runs in Lugogo. That third loss in four Jazz Safari National League matches could be vividly seen in Ssesaazi’s eyes after producing the best batting show on the day.

“We need to act,” the left-hand opener lamented ahead of today’s match against Kutchi Tigers at the same venue. 
“We need to just work on a few improvements, avoid giving away cheap wickets then build partnerships,” he said of his fellow top-order batsmen Eddie Agaba, Arnold Otwan, Varinder Singh, Lawrence Ssempijja and Jonathan Ssebanja.

But Tigers lost their last tie to KICC after an unmatchable display by Davis Karashani (74 off 70 and 3/31 in 8.1 overs) a fortnight ago in Lugogo.

So as Lions bid to roar, Tigers will equally want to be counted in the Lugogo jungle with the backing of Indian trio of Aezaz Kothariya, Devendra Poriya and Sachin Mevada.
Arup Kerai is another weapon for Alphesh Hirani’s team that will looking for a fourth win in six outings.

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Damani dismantle Charity to go top of Jazz Safari National Cricket League

Aziz Damani hurried Charity Trust Fund off the oval for their second successive win to go top of the Jazz Safari National Cricket League by eight wickets at Kyambogo Oval with 13 points after three matches on March 26.

Their closest chasers Challengers, recovering from their last outing setback where they went down by nine wickets to Damani, bridged the gap to one point in an equally ruthless manner with an eight-wicket win over sorry Patidar Samaj at the lakeside Entebbe Oval. But Division II graduates Damani, who lost their opening game to Tornado Bee, own the bragging rights for now after recovering to pick up two wins on the bounce.

On Sunday, they bowled out a student-packed Charity Trust Fund for a basketball score of 47 thanks to classy seam-bowling spells of 6/17 and 3/17 from Man-of-the-Match Kenneth Waiswa and rejuvenated Emmanuel Isaneez. Charity didn’t help their cause with carefree batting as witnessed by their top order batters Simon Ssesaazi (17 off 23) and Varinder Singh (12 off 29) who gifted the opposition their wickets cheaply after getting starts.

Damani top order batters Arnold Otwani (16 off 15), Emmanuel Hasahya (13* off 22) and coach-player Steve Tikolo (8*) survived a few scores on their to victory inside nine overs. 
Across town in Entebbe, national team trainees Irfan Afridi (4/1) and David Wabwire (4/12) partnered to bowl out Patidar for 40 before Mohammed Aneef (18) and Arthur Kyobe (12*) breezed home in just four overs. In Jinja, Amos Kyazze and Emma Odeng helped Africa Cricket Club get off the mark with a 44-run win over JACC.

WEEKEND RESULTS 
Division I
Nile 189/9 K.Tigers 142/10
Charity 47/10 A. Damani 48/2
Patidar 40/10Challengers 41/1
Division II
Africa 173/8 Jinja SS 129/8
K. Pirates 157/10 Mwiri 82/10
Division III
Nyakasura 178/10 JACC 75/10

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Jazz Safari pump Shs500m into Cricket League

Jazz and cricket. A marriage between two complex disciplines from the sports and music world. 
No wonder many scribes were left in awe as Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) unveiled Jazz Safari as the new National Men’s 50-Over Cricket League official sponsors yesterday. 
The two entities put pen to paper in a five-year deal worth Shs500m with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) giving a provision for a review after three years. But how did these two meet. “We have been on the search for a partner for some time now,” UCA CEO Justine Ligyalingi told the full house of journalists that turned up at Guvnor, arguably Kampala’s Premier nightspot and Uganda’s finest nightclub.

“Jazz Safari is a big brand and the package will help us grow because it is long. Every year, we shall get Shs100m, Shs30m cash and the rest will be used for umpires, statistics and to develop the game further.”
Tshaka Mayanja, the Jazz Safari founder, said choosing cricket was a cakewalk as they sought to exercise their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). “Many people will be surprised but this was an easy pick,” said reggae artiste Mayanja. “We have lots of friends from the cricket fraternity and we thought we could start there. In other countries where jazz is big like South Africa, jazz concerts are held at cricket parks and are major partners.”

And Mayanja is committed to make the partnership work. “When we began promoting jazz, we were like outsiders which are the same with cricket now. Cricket has grown over the years here and a man of my reputation will work to ensure more talents are bred from the league into the national team.”
Guvnor proprietor Charlie Lubega and UCA chairman Richard Mwami attended the signing of the landmark deal.

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By Innocent Ndawula & Darren Allan Kyeyune

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