Champions Damani shifts focus to Unimoni T20 Cup

A script never opened, read and one never thought of. 
That’s not even enough to describe Aziz Damani Cricket Club’s successful yet historic title defence in the Jazz Safari National League.

On Sunday, Damani scored a rare 100 percent after winning all 14 league matches with a last seven-wicket triumph over Tornado Bee in Entebbe to bag their second topflight men’s club cricket title in as many years. Rare!

It is the first time a team has won all matches and it will become ordinary if another team achieves this landmark. To be honest, not any time soon.

And by the way, it is also strange to imagine that the title race six years was sorted by a bye for four runs when Wanderers’ quest faded through then captain Denis Musali’s gloves from Dennis Tabby to the ropes against Tornado.

Now Tabby at Damani, they wrapped up this title with four matches to go and the cigarettes were out of the packets and whiskey was already flowing down the glasses. “It may look simple,” Damani’s CEO Siva Koti said after the win over Tornado Bee in Entebbe. “... but it was not all easy,” he said.

Winning may seem difficult but maintaining it is even more complex. The results of this season may not tell it all for Damani.
“We had to work hard to retain this trophy. There were two matches that were particularly not easy; Kutchi Tigers and Ceylon Lions,” Koti said.

And granted, Damani family deserved the barbecue and chicken roasting evening in Entebbe on Sunday whose pictures circulated on WhatsApp statuses for players like pace man Charles Waiswa.

But other matches came way easier than expected for example Tornado Bee on Sunday. With four straight titles coming off a 2013-2016 reign, now they were far from that as they were bowled out by Damani for 87 runs in 40 overs. 
Tornado Bee lynchpin Roger Mukasa made 22 runs off 19 balls while Nicholas Kebba had 21 off 80 as national coach Steve Tikolo picked figures of 4/15 in 8 overs.

With the bat, Damani didn’t need their top-order batsmen. Instead, they showed strength and limitless boundaries in class as pace bowler Bilal Hassun top-scored with a half-ton of 61 runs off 38 balls to coast home.

It is a dominance that three-year-old Damani want to expand to other competitions. The side is eyeing the Unimoni National Twenty20 Cup title which bowled off on Sunday. “We don’t want this to appear as a fluke or one-off. We desire to beat the challenge again in the T20s,” Koti added.

CAST OF LEAGUE WINNERS

2018: Aziz Damani 
2017: Aziz Damani
2016: Tornado Bee
2015: Tornado Bee
2014: Tornado Bee
2013: Tornado Bee
2012: Tornado 
2011: Patidar Samaj

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Focus now switches to Div III

KAMPALA- Players’ faces were evidently weary following an unexpected non-stop schedule and inevitably, joy was only confined as Team Uganda returned from Malaysia as ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Four champions yesterday.

After a two-hour journey from Entebbe Airport to Kampala, team captain Roger Mukasa and company would later free up after relaxing during a luncheon in company of Uganda Cricket Association by National Council of Sports at Café Javas in Kamwokya.

“The boys played world class cricket,” Mukasa told Daily Monitor. Coach Steve Tikolo’s side had only travelled back hours after defending 90 runs to beat Jersey by seven runs in the final match in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Close shaves punctuated Uganda’s success with the 1-run win over Denmark standing out most. Victory over Jersey was the fourth in a row as the East Africa nation responded to the opening 9-run loss to Malaysia.

“We give it all to our fans and we urge them to keep supporting us. In sport, you win and lose,” Mukasa said.
“The wickets were spinning as we expected and it means the trial games we had in Rwanda, Qatar, India and against Saudi Arabia really helped us a lot.”

Spinner Muhammad Afridi was the best bowler having taken 15 wickets and 15 maidens from 55 overs in the competition.
There is no much time to celebrate as Team Uganda will play at two continental Twenty20 events in Rwanda and Kenya next month before the WCL Division Three falls in.

Division Three which comprises Oman, Kenya, Singapore, USA, Uganda and Denmark is more crucial.
“We’ve beaten all those teams before. We play never-say-die cricket until the final ball. So we shall not lay our hands down, we are going to work on what did not go right in Malaysia.” added Mukasa before the tired batch parted ways at dusk.

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