Seven-wicket star Afridi, Obanda ton headline T20

In terms of results, none drifted off the script as bookmakers’ favourites KICC, Ceylon Lions, Aziz Damani and Challengers progressed to the semi-finals of the Unimoni National Twenty20 Cup on Sunday.

With that being ordinary, the expectation was that the foreign legion hired would orchestrate class act performances.
It is only Kenyan Alex Obanda who lived up to the billing for Ceylon Lions as they went past sorry Jinja SSS while Irfan Afridi too carried the headlines for KICC in their 29-run victory over Strikers.
Let’s begin with the visitor. Two years ago, Obanda came in and played for KICC who fell short to Challengers in the 2014 T20 final.

On Sunday, Obanda was here but Lions’ business and duly delivered, stroking a quick-fire century of 102 runs off 38 balls after his captain Jonathan Ssebanja chose to bat first.
Often quiet and smiling a little, Obanda enjoyed the crease with an innings littered with 12 boundaries and six maximums. “He made the job quite easy for us all and we now look forward to a team performance in the next stages,” Ssebanja noted.

When the openers fell to leave the scoreboard at 38-2 after 3.1 overs, the Kenyan international had a recovery 91-run partnership with Malindu Maduranga (42 off 24) before Varinder Singh made 61 off 24).
Lions set 267-8 despite Jinja’s Derrick Bwire picking 4-38. But rain interruption had Jinja’s target at 89 runs required in 6.3 overs.

Robinson Obuya got 32 off 19 but Varinder (2/1) had done enough to stop Jinja at 49-2. 
Meanwhile, no bowler had a better outing than Afridi who took parsimonious figures of 7/15 in four overs against Strikers at Lugogo.

The Pakistan-born player was reported by the match officials at the World Cricket League Division III match between Uganda and Denmark on November 9 in Muscat, Oman. 
And he missed the rest of the tournament. Afridi seemed to play with hunger when Strikers’ youthful batsmen attempted to chase a revised target of 152 runs.

KICC had earlier set 158-7 with Afridi making an unbeaten 31 off 34 while Frank Nsubuga made 42 off 22. 
As Afridi bowled, Derrick Bakunzi (35 off 20) and Perry Wazombe (30 off 21) had tried to withstand his wrath. In the afternoon, Kutchi Tigers flattered to deceive with the bat, hence losing by nine wickets to three-peat chasing Challengers while Aziz Damani made light work of Tornado Bee in Kyambogo.

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Afridi remains unstoppable as bowlers run riot in league

Bowlers outclassed batsmen in all three National Men’s Division One 50-Over League contests played at the weekend. 
That rare moment yielded relatively low scores but Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC), Challengers and holders Tornado Bee certainly got home on Sunday.

KICC beat Nile by eight wickets, condemning the 2015 runners-up to their first defeat of the season at the University Oval in Kyambogo.

“Winning keeps us firm in the title race,” KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar said after his side moved to third place with 18 points after three victories from four outings.

After Katkar’s opposite David Musoke opted to bat first, Irfan Afridi’s purple patch with the ball flawlessly continued. The Pakistan-born right-arm spinner kept top of the charts after picking 4/48 to take his wicket tally to 18. His eight-over spell and Kenyan import Abdul Rehman (4/34) blew away Nile’s top-order for 27-3 in the first 52 balls. And though Simon Ayella resisted with 22 off 11, KICC’s Frank Nsubuga (2/19) ensured Nile only set 103 in 25.1 overs. “We did not bat to our standards,” Musoke admitted.

“Our bowling has been clinical and we only want to change that for the better,” Katkar added.

Rehman was trapped early in the chase but Nsubuga’s five boundaries and four maximums in an 18-ball 49* got KICC over the rope after 17.2 overs. At Entebbe, Tornado pair Sadam Oyaga (20 off 46) and Arsalan Pirzada (17 off 44) built well in a 50-run second wicket combo only for Challengers’ Nasir Ahmad (5/24) and Fahad Sadiq (4/23) to do the unthinkable.

Chasing only a paltry 122 runs, Challengers’ openers Hamu Kayondo (45* off 36) and Mohammed Aneef (60* off 54) found no trouble to their fourth win in five games. Tornado Bee also recorded their fourth victory in five outings with a 23-run win over Wanderers amid some pain. They were hard-pressed at 26-4 only for Roger Mukasa’s stand-out knock of 42 off 45 to guide Tornado Bee to 155 after 37 overs.

Defending the score against win-less Wanderers proved tedious when Walaza Zulu (60* off 130) and Dennis Musali (20 off 66) held firm for the sixth wicket. It was not until Mukasa (5/30) bowled and caught the latter midway the 41st over that Wanderers crumbled like a pack of cards in the next 37 balls.

“We still have a bit of homework to do but the team is still showing determination,” Tornado Bee skipper Jeremy Kibuukamusoke said.

Selected results 
Tornado Bee 155/10 Wanderers 132/10
(Tornado Bee won by 23 runs)
Nile 103/10 KICC 107/2 
(KICC won by 8 wickets)
Tornado 121/10 Challengers 125/0
(Challengers won by 10 wickets)
Aziz Damani 373/10 SKLPS 189/10
(Aziz Damani won by 189 runs)
Premier 265/9 Jinja SS 145/10 
(Premier won by 120 runs)

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Astonishing Afridi century sets KICC’s ball rolling

A classic century of 103 runs off 49 deliveries from Irfan Afridi gave Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) a 143-run victory over Charity Trust Fund at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.
“I am really happy,” the smiling right-hand batsman told Daily Monitor after his feat capped a perfect return for KICC back to the National Men’s Division One 50-Over League tier since 2003. 
He first played cricket when he came to Kampala for business from home town Karachi, Pakistan two years ago. No wonder Sunday felt so distinct.

“After thorough training in the nets, I just went out there and just hit the ball without fear,” the 29-year-old said while clearing beads of sweat from his face.“And this being my first century, this is a special day.”
Reeling at 78-4 after 19.2 overs, little did youthful Charity fielders know the trouble ahead of them when Afridi walked in at six. He briefly shared the crease with Emmanuel Isaneez (46 off 62) in a 31-run fifth-wicket partnership.

Then, Afridi combined glorious delicacy with sheer power as he bludgeoned two boundaries and 12 maximums in a 98-run combo with Asadu Seiga (59 off 41) and by the time Viraj Patel savoured 4-56, KICC had set a mammoth 323 in 45.1 overs.
For large swathes of the second innings, the absence of Jonathan Ssebanja’s batting maturity was vivid and meant chasing the league’s highest score was going to be tedious for Charity.

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