Tigers end KICC’s unbeaten league run, move top

They may not be an exceptional side but Kutchi Tigers capitalized on their opponents’ self-destructive mode to beat Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) by 66 runs at Kyambogo on Sunday. 

The Sudhir Ruparelia-sponsored side has themselves to blame for the result that ended their three-match unbeaten streak in the Men’s Division One 50-Over League.

“It’s sad we lost but I attribute that to the lots of internal disorganisation we had,” admitted KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar. 

Justification included on-field arguments and Katkar reportedly lost control of his dressing room in the heated post-match meeting. But that takes nothing away from the season’s surprise package Tigers. 

The Indian-oriented club was not only gifted with a fourth league in five matches. They also became the fifth different side to move top of the eight-team log on-level with Nile (22 points) but with a better Net Run Rate (NRR). “The feeling (to be at the top) is so unfamiliar,” smiling captain Alphesh Hirani said. 

Formed in 2013, Tigers earned promotion last season behind KICC but are now even sure of surviving relegation this year. “For now, I believe we are safe. We don’t have much pressure in the coming games.” Hirani added. 

When Katkar opted to field first, Tigers relied on Kenyan import Hiren Varaiya who struck a decent 82-ball 53*. He also shared a 103-run third stand with Nariv Kishore (51 off 52) for Tigers to set 168-6 in 37 overs.

The lunch time showers forced umpires Grace Mutyagaba and James Bamulese to revise the score via Duckworth & Lewis Method and KICC needed 212 runs to win from 37 overs. 

Left-arm spinner Varaiya (3/29), Kanti Vekariya (2/28) and Shailesh Halai (2/21) consistently broke partnerships and resistance from opener Abdallah Lubega (43 off 52) and Assadu Seiga (44 off 56) only gave momentary optimism. Eventually, KICC’s bubble burst at 145-10 with five overs to spare. 

NATIONAL MEN’S 50-OVER LEAGUE
WEEKEND RESULTS
DIVISION ONE
Charity TF 120/10 Tornado 121/3
(Tornado won by seven wickets)
Kutchi Tigers 168/6 [211] KICC 145/10 D/L
(Tigers won by 66 runs)
DIVISION TWO
Aziz Damani 130/10 Premier 131/8 
(Premier won by two wickets)
Jinja SS 93/10 [87] Mwiri 88/7 D/L
(Mwiri won by three wickets)
SKLPS 351/9 [231] KC Budo 88/10 D/L 
(SKLPS won by 143 runs)

 

DIVISION ONE TABLE STANDINGS
1 Kutchi Tigers - 22 points
2 Nile - 22
3 Tornado - 21
4 KICC - 19
5 Tornado B - 18

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