As the lights dimmed on Season 6 of the Kampala Boys Sports Club (KBSC) Premier League, Keshwala Boyz etched their names into history books as only the second franchise to win back-to-back titles on Saturday (July 21).
Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) Board Trustee Ranmal Keshwala’s team defeated Haandi XI by 44 runs under the floodlights in a pressure-game that was watched by an animated and packed-to-the-rafters Lugogo Stadium.
Haandi XI, who also came close last season before falling short in the playoffs, must have been believing that this was their year after captain Irfan Afridi won the toss and stuck in Keshwala Boyz. Their plans to stifle star-studded Keshwala Boyz batting line-up seemed to be on course with the scoreboard reading 59 for 2 in 10 overs.
But when Afridi introduced himself into the attack, Ronak Patel (47 off 37), Rakesh Kahar (38 off 24) chanced their arms at anything within their reach enroute to smoking the Cricket Cranes mystery bowler for 56 runs in just four overs at 14 per over.
The set 148 runs – a target that was within Haandi XI’s reach. But Haandi went for glory and paid the price for their gung-ho style. From 30 for no loss after 3 overs, Rakesh Kahar (3/14 in 4) and Dinesh Nakrani (2/26 in 4) pegged back the batsmen to give Keshwala Boyz the advantage at 33 for 6 in 7.3 overs.
Procession to victory
From then on it was a mere procession to victory for Keshwala Boyz despite one defiant knock of 49 off 35 by all-rounder Bilal Hassun, who took a perfect consolation prize in Man of Match for the final.
“We deserve this trophy and we are still hungry to pocket another one next year,” said Ranmal, soon after UCA chairman Bashir Ansasiira handed over the glittering trophy and Shs10m cheque to the winners. Runners-up Haandi pocketed Shs5m plus a trophy and their star man Gurpreet Singh also scooped the Best Bowler’s accolade with 26 wickets.
The climax was every fan’s dream with lots of entertainment as well as UCA, who benefitted with a cash tonic of Shs15m from KBSC to help develop the game further at the grassroots level.
Rakesh Kahar (Keshwala Boyz) 1128 points
Gurpreet Singh (Haandi XI) 23 wickets
Riazat Ali Shah (Damani Hunza) 343 runs
2013: Wines & Spirits
2014: Wines & Spirits
2015: Aziz Damani
2016: Cosmos Warriors
2017: Keshwala Boyz
2018: Keshwala Boyz
KBSC PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON 6
Result – Season 6 Finale
Keshwala Boyz 148/6 Haandi XI 104/10
Keshwala Boyz won by 44 runs
Result – Plate Cup final
Avengers 61/10 Abacus 62/2
Abacus XI won by 2 wickets
By INNOCENT NDAWULA