A text-book ton from Ronak Patel and five-wicket hauls from spinners Innocent Ndawula and Hamza Amir highlighted the Jazz Safari National Cricket League on Sunday.
But there was a small matter of 2016 runners-up Challengers who, yet again connived to lose a fourth successive match by 18 runs to KICC at Kyambogo Oval.
With the latter having set 262-7 thanks to Siraje Nsubuga’s stand-out 104-ball 54, Challengers were 227-4 after midway the 42nd over before being bowled out in a space of 37 balls. Challengers’ pair Mohammed Aneef (59 off 92) and Naseer Ahmed’s (63 off 100) featured in a solid 90-run second-wicket combobut it was all in vain.
On the brighter side of things, Ronak struck 128 runs off 84 balls - the fourth ton of the season - as his side beat bottom side Patidar Samaj by 340 runs for the fifth win in nine matches in Entebbe. Barely a week into the country from India for the Rainbow Night Cricket Cup, Ronak made 14 boundaries and a six on his league debut. If Ronak carried the day for batsmen, it is spinners Ndawula and Amir who shared the limelight in Lugogo.
Despite making it eight wins in nine outings after beating Charity by 208 runs, Aziz Damani had no answers for left-arm orthodox bowler Ndawula who snared a career best bowling figures of 7/54.
“I will frame this match ball,” burly Ndawula said moments after picking his innings’ ball from umpires Grace Mutyagaba and Patrick Makumbi.
However, Damani batsmen had been unstoppable especially Arnold Otwani (75) and Wasim Butt (63) as they set 280-9. Ndawula hoped his teammates would match his performance with the bat. But Charity were bowled out for 72 runs in 22 overs with Cosmas Kyewuta getting 18 runs as leg spinner Amis took 8/11 in a six-over spell to beat Ndawula to the Man of Match award.