For the past five months, Challengers’ opening batsman Arthur Kyobe has been struggling to get runs on board in the National Men’s Division One 50-Over League.
At worst, the bragging left-hander became a laughing stock among some of his peers and fraternity. But somehow, he’s steadily recovered and show marks of what to expect from an opening Cricket Cranes batsman.
On Sunday, Kyobe struck a decisive unbeaten half-ton of 75 runs as his side wrapped up the season with a five-wicket win over Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo Oval.
“Well, glory be to God,” a relieved Kyobe told Daily Monitor after his second half-century of the season.
The 29-year-old’s first - a 91-ball 86, had come against the same opposition during Match Day 2 of the season on January 31. “It is only God and coach Steve Tikolo who have helped me recover,”
“Simply, I kept the ball down, took on advice he has offered me in the national team training sessions and results are impressive.” added the man who finished the season with 293 runs from 13 innings.
The win kept Challengers atop the eight-team log on 70 points after 14 matches, but can only win the league title if second-placed Tornado (61 points) fail to win their remaining two matches.
After Kutchi Tigers’ captain Alphesh Hirani opted to bat first, Nanji Pindoriya (34 off 38) and Bharat Ghorasia (22 off 36) combined well for an opening 72-run partnership.
This crumbled at the hands of Derrick Bakunzi (3/12), Fahad Sadiq (2/41) and Henry Senyondo (2/13). Nandi Kishor (32 off 59) and Kanti Vekariya (30 off 59) then pushed Tigers to set 178 after 44.4 overs.
Requiring to score about four runs per over, Kyobe smashed nine boundaries off 66 balls and, had a decisive 124-run second-wicket partnership with blazing Hamu Kayondo (63 off 52).
The 2014 National Twenty20 Champions were home in 25.1 overs.