Charity stun Tornado Bee to blow title race wide open

Something unusual is happening in the Jazz Safari National League for the first time in nearly half-a-decade.


Defending champions Tornado Bee have their fifth successive title ambitions in jeopardy after losing their first match of the season by five wickets to Charity Trust Fund at Entebbe on Sunday.


Cruising to the title has been the order of the day for Tornado Bee, staving off competition from Tornado, KICC, Nile and Challengers with relative ease over the years.
That shocking Entebbe accident in their second round opener left Tornado Bee second with 39 points from eight matches.


It has further blown the title race wide with leaders Aziz Damani, only promoted this year, holding a 10-point advantage after nine outings.
Most importantly, Tornado Bee captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke should still be regretting the decision to bat first on a damp wicket.
“It was a wrong call,” admitted Kibuukamusoke, whose side struggled to set 194-6 after 50 overs.


“The wicket played well in the afternoon.” And that played into Charity’s hands, making it three wins in nine matches. “Tornado Bee batted too slowly at the start yet our openers did the contrary,” skipper Lawrence Ssempijja noted.
Proof? Tornado Bee were 35-1 after 15 overs and it is a 99-run second-wicket partnership between Akbar Baig (44 off 116) and Lawrence Ssematimba (50 off 70) that temporarily got them out of the rut.

Knock of urgency 
Fred Achelam’s 31-ball 38 signified more of his maturity but there was less that came through from the rest of the batsmen because left-arm orthodox bowler Innocent Ndawula (3/43) stemmed the runs flow. The spinner is on form having picked career best figures of 7/54 against Damani over a week ago.


When the wicket let loose in the afternoon, Charity conjured a rare brilliant batting start, with openers Ronald Opio (38 off 55) and Simon Ssesaazi (15 off 25) making 59 runs for the first wicket in 12.5 overs.


Then a 96-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Steven Wabwose (48 off 60) and Man of Match (MOM) Jonathan Ssebanja (56* off 67) steered Charity further ahead.
Lanky Cosmas Kyewuta’s 20* off 18 steered Charity home in 38.5 overs, leaving the stunned opponents led by William Kibuukamusoke in unbearable pain.
Across the Nile River, traditional giants Wanderers secured one of the most comfortable wins of the season when they overcame Jinja SS by 109 runs. In Division Three, Pirates defeated Avengers by 44 runs.

JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE 
RESUTS - DIVISION ONE 
Nile 156/10 Kutchi Tigers 157/4
Tornado Bee 194/6 Charity TF 195/5
DIVISION TWO
SKLPS 137/10 Premier 139/4
Wanderers 212/10 Jinja SS 121/10

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Cricket Cranes deliver knockout blow to win Easter Series 3-0

Deus Muhumuza wrapped up the stiff chase of 186 with an upper cut shot for six over the third-man region as Uganda delivered a knockout out blow to defeat Kenya by six wickets and go 3-0 in the Easter Series at Lugogo Cricket Oval yesterday. 
There is still a game to be played by the friendly foes at Lugogo today but it will be a dead rubber with Kenya only seeking to salvage their dented pride with a consolation win.
Bowling all-rounder Muhumuza (23 off 19 balls) may have hit the winning runs but if it had been a boxing match he could as well have been an undercard fighter on the day.

The two main antagonists that took the fight to the Kenyan bowling and successfully wrestled the match from them were stylish stroke-maker Roger Mukasa and left-hander Shahzad Kamal.
Mukasa opened up early cuts (read chinks) in the Kenyan bowling arsenal with a boundary-filled 30-ball 43 and was unlucky not to reach the half-century landmark after one delivery from Kenya skipper Shem Obado Ngoche (1/46 in 5) kept low and disturbed his furniture.

But by the time Mukasa walked back to the dugout, the scoreboard was reading 74 for 3 in 9.1 overs and he had set a very good platform for his teammates to smoother along without the pressure of a steep run-rate.
Kamal, who ended unbeaten on a matching winning 75 off 55 balls, dug deep with skipper Davis Karashani (19 off 25) running hard between the wickets and picking the odd boundary in sensible fashion to avoid a twist in the tail.
And even when Karashani’s powerful cut short was caught at point by World Cup hero Collins Obuya, it was a little too late for the Kenyans as Uganda needed 58 runs to win from 62 balls – but more importantly with at least a handful of power hitters yet to bat.
“Once again the guys have showed that they can execute what they do in practice,” said Cricket Cranes coach Steve Tikolo, who is coincidentally a Kenyan legend.

“We have been practicing situations like this. But to go 3-up in the series also shows that there is maturity in the side and the team is hungry to deliver and make the combinations work.”
Kenya assistant coach Peter Ongondo was full of praise for Uganda. “Before, Uganda used to play boundary cricket. But now their batsmen are willing to bat for long spells. We have also been awed by their togetherness and teamwork. We came here to teach the Ugandans but we are also learning something,” said the former Kenya opening bowler.
Earlier before the heavens opened, Kenya was coasting along nicely on 165/4 in 36.5 overs with Irfan Karim (65* off 116), Dhiren Gondaria (50 off 42) and Obuya (37 off 48) contributing handsomely.
The rain interruption, though, could not allow them to proceed with their innings and had the match umpires ask Uganda to chase 186 in 27 overs after Duckworth and Lewis Method (D/L Method) calculations – a test they duly passed with flying colours.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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