Just three years ago, any contest between sister sides Tornado Bee and Tornado was a top-of-table fixture or a semifinal of a knock-out competition.
These two formed the fabric of the Cricket Cranes then. How times change! Both teams meet today at Lugogo Oval in the Jazz Safari Men’s Division One 50-Over League with contrasting goals. It will be a do-or-die final tie of the limited-overs season as Tornado Bee chase a fourth league title. On the other hand, a depleted Tornado must win to avoid getting relegated for the first time in three decades. “It’s the hardest (game) because both teams badly need the win for success and survival,” Tornado Bee skipper Jeremy Kibuukamusoke said. With 66 points, Tornado Bee lie second and must win to topple leaders Challengers (71).
Victory means they will become the first side in history to win four successive league crowns. “It has been a difficult season but the team has come good at the right time. We want to make history,” chipped in Tornado Bee’s batsman Roger Mukasa.
Mukasa leads the batting charts with 419 runs and is likely to have backing from Obuya brothers Collins and David from Kenya.
Back-to-back-to-back champions between 2003-05 and 2008-10, record winners Tornado are not resting. “A game of cricket can never be a matter of life and death,” opined Tornado coach Henry Okecho while trying to cool off the pressure.
Sunday Monitor understands Tornado, seventh on 30 points, have as well called in six Kenyans; Ibrahim Akello, Rakep Patel, Dominic Wesonga, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Lameck Onyango and Alex Obanda to save their season. That covers the void left by Mitch Horrocks, who is in Sri Lanka to watch their series with his home country Australia and veteran Benjamin Musoke, out because of family obligations. “We shall throw everything on the line to stay up,” Richard Okia noted. A win for Tornado means Nile (33) joins Wanderers for relegation while Challengers become league champions.
Playing today , 10:30am
DIV 1: Tornado Bee vs. Tornado, Lugogo
DIV 2: ACC vs. Mwiri, Kyambogo
DIV 3: JACC vs. Kampala Pirates, Jinja