Back to back KBSC Night Cricket titles for ‘classy’ Keshwala Boyz

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.

TOP PERFORMERS
MVP:
Rakesh Kahar (Keshwala Boyz) 1128 points
Best Bowler:
Gurpreet Singh (Haandi XI) 23 wickets
Best Batsman
Riazat Ali Shah (Damani Hunza) 343 runs

FORMER WINNERS
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

Season Five Night Cricket has more prize money, new twists

Brace yourselves, members of the cricket fraternity! The pick of the tournaments and only Night Cricket event – The Kampala Boys Sports Cricket Club (KBSC) Premier League – Season 5 is here. 
The annual reloaded showpiece was officially launched on Thursday night at the Cooper Chimney Restaurant in Lugogo infront of a full house of the 16 teams participating teams, officials, organisers and members of the media. The previous seasons have showed that there is no lightweight in this tape-ball cricket format that will be played over 16 overs (preliminary phase) and 20 overs (knockouts) from next Friday (July 28) to September 4 at the home of cricket in Uganda – Lugogo Oval.

Despite the envisaged stiff competition, the franchises will not need any additional motivation to outlast defending champions Pak Stallions after the organisers announced that the stakes were higher this year with the winning team taking home Shs15m and runners up pocketing Shs8m – an increment from Shs10m and 7.5m respectively last season.

“We set the standard pretty high from the previous editions. We want to take it a notch higher this season. We want to keep everyone excited and involved,” said KBSC chairman Tejas, who also disclosed that there would be a tournament within the competition with the teams that don’t make it to the semifinals competing in a Super Over contest.
UCA’s Martin Ondeko lauded KBSC for being consistent in their endeavour to promote cricket and promised that the association would continue to support such projects.

GROUPS FOR SEASON 5
Group A 
1. Pak Stallions, 2. Cosmas Warriors, 3. Jain Samaj , 4.Haandi XI, 5. Jiya XI, 6.Yuva XI, 7. Abacus, 8. Lahore Lions. 
Group B
1. Afridi XI, 2. Hunza Warriors, 3. Metro Tyres, 4. Keshwala XI, 5. Keshwala Boys, 6. Azam XI, 7. Aziz Damani, 8. Lohana XI.

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Kampala Boys Sports Club hope Night Cricket will elevate standards

When they started out in 2013, it was all about fun. Winning was secondary as everyone in the fraternity was left in daze with how much excitement the floodlights had brought to the oval.

But before they came to Lugogo Cricket Ground, the lights had been an everyday occurrence for the Asian community at Patidar Samaj ground behind UMA Showground in Lugogo.

While there, they played on concrete as Team Wines & Spirits reigned supreme. But the notion by the organisers, Kampala Boys Sports Club, to move the annual competition to the home of cricket in Uganda (Lugogo) in 2014 has proved to be a masterstroke.

Although the passion of players and organisers has remained boundless, the competition has gradually hit new levels with each passing edition of the KBSC Premier League.

“We have put rules that add excitement and make everyone involved,” KBSC chairman Tejas Patel told Daily Monitor. “Before, some teams used to play with only Asians but now each of the franchises must field at least two Ugandan players in each game they play. We have set out to develop Ugandan talent as well.”

In 2013, the winners pocketed Shs5m and the runner’s consolation prize was Shs3m but that rose to Shs7.5m and Shs6m respectively last year. “It will even be bigger this year. At stake for the winner is Shs10m and Shs7.5m for the runner-up. We keep improving the prize money to increase competition. Now we need help from other corporate companies.”

Organising secretary Nirav Patel believes hard ball cricket will be played on these floodlights next season. “Last season, we had eight poles and the lights were 30-feet off the ground. Now they’re 70-feet in the air and we’ve replaced the poles with four permanent towers. Next year we want to bring six towers and put the lights at 100-feet. We want the very best.”

The tournament is played on a 16-over basis per innings but improved to 20 overs from the quarterfinals for this season that ends on August 21.

 

KBSC NIGHT CRICKET QUARTERS 
Yuva 91/10 G, Lions 94/4
Abacus 127/10 Damani 128/6

 

FORMER WINNERS 
2013: Wines & Spirits
2014: Wines & Spirits
2015: Aziz Damani

KBSC full committee:
Tejas Patel (chairman), Chirag Dave, Ketan Shukla, Daxesh Patel (assistant treasurer), Divyang Patel (secretary), Ghanshyam Patel (secretary), Hitesh Patel (treasurer), Bharat Patel, Nirav Patel (organizing sec), Ravi Patel, Kalpesh Patel, Sameer Thakkur
Sponsors:
Main sponsor - Aziz Damani, co-sponsors - AMI Africa, TransAfrica Assurance, Britannia Allied Ind Ltd, Krishna Construction Co. Ltd, Alliance Insurance, Jubilee Assurance, Jyoti Motors, Grand Thornton, Shumuk Group, Haandi Restaurant, Tej Uganda Ltd & Uganda Cricket Association.

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