Aziz Damani dominate 2017 UCA Awards


2017: Aziz Damani
2016: Tornado Bee
2015: Tornado Bee
2014: Tornado Bee
2013: Tornado Bee
2012: Tornado
2011: Patidar Samaj

KAMPALA. In 2016, Tornado Bee became the first club to win four straight championships in the Jazz Safari National Cricket League.

However, their run was ended by Aziz Damani who won the title last year on the first time of asking. Damani was officially crowned as the 2017 champions during the League Awards’ ceremony at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.

It only felt a dream come true for Damani Club CEO Siva Koti Reddy who started the team in 2015. “We are very happy,” he said after lifting the trophy with captain Ghulam Hunzai on a rather cold evening after their UCA Super Cup match with 2017 Division Two kings Premier.

On the same evening, Kutchi Tigers’ Raghvani Shantilal was crowned as Player of Series thanks to his best batsman figures of 554 runs in 13 innings. Each year, the trophy cabinet grown bigger for Damani. Koti’s interest grew in the game after their franchise won the 2015 Night Cricket Championship.

They won the 2016 Kishore Pabari Memorial T20 Cup, 2016 Division Two and the 2017 Super Cup, meaning their topflight success is no fluke. Also, the ladies’ side Aziz Damani-Masaka SS also lifted the Women’s Division Two championship.

But Damani now wants to erase Tornado Bee’s records. “Definitely, the target is to win the Championship for both men and women,” Siva stated after confirming three new signings.
“Tornado Bee won four in a row but we want to win the next four.”

If anything, the signings of budding wicket-keeper Fred Achelam and left-arm seamer Charles Waiswa as well as in-form spinner Henry Ssenyondo from Challengers imply the huge intent by the yellow brigade.

Achelam replaces Arnold Otwani who left for Charity Trust Fund, was the best wicket-keeper last season with 20 dismissals.

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Damani eye revenge in face of T20 cricket title

T20 winners
2016: Challengers
2015: Patidar Samaj
2014: Challengers
2013: Wanderers
2012: Tornado

Men’s T20 league
Semi-finals - Today at 10:30am
KICC vs. Kutchi Tigers, Lugogo
Aziz Damani vs. Challengers, Kyambogo
Winner 1 vs. Winner 2, Lugogo

KAMPALA. It is now only two matches that separate Challengers Cricket Club from a third National Twenty20 League title in a space of four years.
Should they beat the big stumbling block in Aziz Damani at the semi-final stage, another trophy could be within reach.

But there is a strange superstition in sport that it is difficult to lose twice to the same team in a particular competition.
On December 3, 2017, Challengers beat Damani by 16 runs in the group stages and their run has now gone to 10 straight victories.

One senses that one thing on the minds of Damani’s players when the two face off in what appears to be a ‘final before the final’ at Kyambogo this morning.
“We are going to revenge and possibly win the trophy,” Damani skipper Ghulam Hunzai told Sunday Monitor.

The 2014 and 2016 winners Challengers are only playing to cover up for a bizarre show in the longer format. “At the stage we are, we do not want to lose the momentum,” stated batsman Hamu Kayondo.

Damani is sharper with inclusions of Zimabwean Kai Roy and Indian Manoj Sai who made 60-ball 89* against 2012 finalists Charity in the quarterfinals.
But, Challengers’ opener Arthur Kyobe, recently dropped in the national team, could have a point to prove and as well close the 20-run gap between him and leading batsman Roger Mukasa (263 runs).

Meanwhile, no team in the second semi-final between KICC and Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo should be overlooked as Tigers’ imports Indian imports Jaydev Parmar, Rakesh Kahar, Vyas Nisarg and Saumil Patel pose a big threat.

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By Darren Allan Kyeyune

Damani peel away after Tigers roar

At every turn over the past four years, the Tornado Bee machinery conquered the Jazz Safari National League as much as they wished. 
For some, their four successive titles perhaps, do not even paint that picture of supremacy well. However, the men who don the green and orange jersey seem to be chocking terribly in pursuit of a fifth straight title. 
On Sunday, they were humbled for the second straight time, losing by 133 runs to Kutchi Tigers at the University Oval in Kyambogo.

And guess what? Tornado Bee’s loss left them 16 points off the pace, also dropping from second to fourth as Tigers and KICC, 66-run victors over Nile moved up. 
That’s after leaders Aziz Damani disciplined bottom side Patidar Samaj by 353 runs in Lugogo to move to 55 points from 10 matches thanks to centuries from Arnold Otwani (106 off 105) and Mohammed Wasim (102 off 55).
So is it the end of an era of dominance? “It’s never over until the fat lady sings,” Tornado Bee captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke said after a briefing dressing room chat.

On the other hand, Gentex Enterprises and Keshwala Group-sponsored Tigers’ young and old were over the moon, celebrating a fourth straight win that took them second on 42 points.
“It is a very important win,” Tigers’ captain Alphesh Hirani said after the side got their first win over Tornado Bee in six limited-overs’ contests.

Tigers majorly relied on an Indian quartet Ronak Patel, Dinesh Kumar Nakrani, Aezaz Kothariya and Suresh Padiyadhi, who is here for the Rainbow Night Cricket Cup, to scratch Tornado Bee. 
Kothariya was pivotal in the opening stand of 80 with Nanji Pindoriya (43 off 63) and later took the total to 125-2, finishing on 56 off 58 balls after 25.3 overs.

Shantital Raghvani got 51 off 55 while star man Ronak made 69 off 62, Nakrani had 16 off 18 Dhansukh Jesani (24 off 13) and Bharat Ghodadra (22 off 15) still left Tornado Bee’s best bowler Abdallah Lubega (4/64) wounded. 
Pindoriya (3/24) was superb, destroying Tornado Bee’s middle order but Ronak’s stand-out two catches, one of top-scorer Akbar Baig (30 got 53) told the story even if when Deus Muhumuza (49 off 78) seemed to alter the script.

Aziz Damani 392/6 [416] Patidar 63/10 
(Aziz Damani won by 353 runs via D/L)
Kutchi Tigers 297/9 Tornado Bee 164/10 
(Kutchi Tigers won by 133 runs)
KICC 241/8 [240] Nile 175/10 
(KICC won by 66 runs via D/L)
Strikers 332/9 Jinja SS 141/10
(Strikers won by 191 runs)
SKLPS 115/10 Tornado 50/9 
(Tornado won by 65 runs)
JACC 59/10 Mwiri 61/4 
(JACC won by 6 wickets)

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Tornado Bee, Damani win

Match Day Four of the Jazz Safari National League maintained the status quo across the different camps of the Division One outfits on Sunday.
Holders Tornado Bee continued their decent start in pursuit of a fifth straight title with another routine eight-wicket victory over Patidar Samaj in Kyambogo.
Similarly, Aziz Damani CEO Siva Koti was over the moon and treated his team to merrymaking at Lugogo Oval after beating KICC by seven wickets.
And the soul searching continued in the Charity Trust Fund camp after losing a third consecutive match by 79 runs at the hands of Challengers in Entebbe.
Tornado Bee and Damani’s victories seemed to shape the title race early as each has three successive wins albeit the former beating the latter in the season opener by four-wickets on March 12 in Lugogo.

“Losing to Tornado Bee was an eye opener for us,” Damani’s Kenneth Waiswa stated as the team cooled off with their WAGS. “We are more focused since and our target to win all remaining three first round matches,” he said.
However, Damani kept top with 19 points from four matches thanks to Fahad Sadiq bowling. After medium pacer Waiswa (2/32) shot down front tyres Zephania Arinaitwe (21 off 10) and Kenyan Abdul Rehman (15 off 17) to leave them 44-2 in 7.1 overs, Sadiq crushed KICC’s hind wheels.
Dennis Tabby trapped Gurdeep Singh (32-run-a-ball) then off-spinner Sadiq broke down the middle-order from 84-3 to 94-6 over a span of 12 balls. KICC's worn-out truck packed with 141 in 27.5 overs.
“Our middle order gave in easily,” KICC’s Frank Nsubuga would later say.
Despite Davis Karashani's fight (3/22 and a maiden in eight overs) with the ball, Steve Tikolo (25* off 37), Brian Masaba (27* off 46) and Arnold Otwan (45 off 57) responded well with a combined 10 boundaries and seven sixes to guide Damani home.
Like Sadiq, Tornado Bee spinner John Mpande took figures of 5/40 while Deus Muhumuza got 4/16 and two maidens to bowl out naïve Patidar for 75 runs in 23.5 overs. Akbar Baig made 29 off 30 as Tornado Bee cruised home within 12 overs in about 40 minutes.

By Darren Allan Kyeyune & Innocent Ndawula

Damani dismantle Charity to go top of Jazz Safari National Cricket League

Aziz Damani hurried Charity Trust Fund off the oval for their second successive win to go top of the Jazz Safari National Cricket League by eight wickets at Kyambogo Oval with 13 points after three matches on March 26.

Their closest chasers Challengers, recovering from their last outing setback where they went down by nine wickets to Damani, bridged the gap to one point in an equally ruthless manner with an eight-wicket win over sorry Patidar Samaj at the lakeside Entebbe Oval. But Division II graduates Damani, who lost their opening game to Tornado Bee, own the bragging rights for now after recovering to pick up two wins on the bounce.

On Sunday, they bowled out a student-packed Charity Trust Fund for a basketball score of 47 thanks to classy seam-bowling spells of 6/17 and 3/17 from Man-of-the-Match Kenneth Waiswa and rejuvenated Emmanuel Isaneez. Charity didn’t help their cause with carefree batting as witnessed by their top order batters Simon Ssesaazi (17 off 23) and Varinder Singh (12 off 29) who gifted the opposition their wickets cheaply after getting starts.

Damani top order batters Arnold Otwani (16 off 15), Emmanuel Hasahya (13* off 22) and coach-player Steve Tikolo (8*) survived a few scores on their to victory inside nine overs. 
Across town in Entebbe, national team trainees Irfan Afridi (4/1) and David Wabwire (4/12) partnered to bowl out Patidar for 40 before Mohammed Aneef (18) and Arthur Kyobe (12*) breezed home in just four overs. In Jinja, Amos Kyazze and Emma Odeng helped Africa Cricket Club get off the mark with a 44-run win over JACC.

Division I
Nile 189/9 K.Tigers 142/10
Charity 47/10 A. Damani 48/2
Patidar 40/10Challengers 41/1
Division II
Africa 173/8 Jinja SS 129/8
K. Pirates 157/10 Mwiri 82/10
Division III
Nyakasura 178/10 JACC 75/10


Damani up for genuine Challengers

While both teams have already been tipped by the bookmakers, Challengers and Aziz Damani have had contrasting starts to the 2017 Jazz Safari National Cricket League.

2016 runners-up Challengers were inspired by Arthur Kyobe’s 127-ball 108 century knock as they cleaned out the cobwebs and dust with a season opening 218-run win over Nile a fortnight ago.

To the contrary, Damani were welcomed to the topflight with a four-wicket loss to holders Tornado Bee last Sunday. For all Damani CEO Siva Koti’s investment, losing two in a row is an unacceptable.

Hence, star-filled Damani must break the duck against all odds when they meet Challengers in a highly-billed contest at Kyambogo Oval today. “After we lost to Tornado Bee,” Damani’s all-rounder Brian Masaba recollects, “We realised we can beat Challengers if we correct our mistakes. Our fielding was not up to scratch,” added the Cricket Cranes vice captain.

The 2017 UCA Super Cup champions Damani carelessly gave away runs in field, dropping catches in the process as Lawrence Ssematimba’s captivating half-ton of 50* off 86 helped opponents crawl to victory.

Ssematimba’s experience will be vital again as Tornado Bee face Nile in Entebbe.

Damani have added retired national team batsman Benjamin Musoke and off-spinner Fahad Sadiq. The latter will cherish the battle against his former club Challengers, who want to make it two in two.

“Damani are stronger opponents than Nile but we have the ammunition and must deliver,” Challengers’ left-armer Henry Ssenyondo said.

In Lugogo, Kutchi Tigers will face newly-promoted Charity Trust Fund - the first match for both clubs this season. Tigers, whose target is to make the top two, have signed former Patidar Samaj captain Ankit Patel and Shantilal Raghvani.

On the other hand, the Lawrence Ssempijja-led Charity have struggled to retain the services of Singh brothers Narindrer and Varinder.

They will bank on newly-recruited youngsters Ashraf Ssenkubuge, David Wabwose and Joseph Byaruhanga plus Ronald Opio, Simon Ssesaazi and Cricket Cranes star Jonathan Ssebanja for an opening day victory.

Nile vs. Tornado Bee, Entebbe
Kutchi Tigers vs. Charity TF, Lugogo
Challengers vs. Aziz Damani, Kyambogo
Tornado Bee vs. Nile, Entebbe
Wanderers vs. SKLPS, Budo
Jinja SS vs. Tornado, Jinja

Revamped Aziz Damani spread wings beyond cricket borders

Like many Asian-oriented clubs, Aziz Damani has attained commendable success within the short spell spent in the Ugandan cricket ecosystem thus far.
Only formed two years ago, Aziz Damani Cricket Club boast of four honours.
The latest is the UCA Super Cup title after the 2016 Division Two champions beat topflight kings Tornado Bee by five wickets won at Lugogo Oval on Saturday.
The challenge with most of these clubs is they fade away with time and some go extinct like Destroyers. However, Aziz Damani CEO Siva Koti Reddy opines otherwise.
“We want to stay here for a long haul like Tornado and Wanderers,” Koti said shortly after the win over Tornado Bee.
He went on to further announce Damani will become a sports club under a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) status and stretch its tentacles to other disciplines like tennis, football and badminton.
“Our plan is to adopt a school which is not under good conditions and make it with better facilities like good toilets and proper benches,” Koti explained.
“We intend to get them a good playing ground which in turn can encourage youngsters in villages to play. In 2018, we hope to have laid ground for a football club that can compete in the local league tiers.”

New signings 
Shortly after, Koti unveiled club new signings in Kenneth Waiswa from Nile and Emmanuel Isaneez from Patidar Samaj. “Satisfaction will come if we win the topflight league this season.” Koti added, similar words echoed by club’s senior player and Cricket Cranes vice captain Brian Masaba.
Prior, medium pacer Waiswa had picked 3 for 20 and Kenyan veteran Steve Tikolo snared 3/16 as Damani bowled out Tornado Bee for 106 runs in 40 overs.
The latter returned an unbeaten knock of 32 runs off 33 balls to give Damani victory with five wickets in hand.
Damani is the most sponsored club with partners in Gittoes Pharmaceuticals, Duke Water, ABC, Ketan Shukla, Balaji Group East Africa, SR Group, Dembe Enterprises, KLR Uganda and Subhagruha India PVT.

Tornado Bee 106/10 A. Damani 107/5 
(Aziz Damani won by five wickets)

2017: UCA Super Cup winners
2016: Kishor Pabari Memorial champions
2016: UCA National League Division II winners
2015: Night Cricket Tournament champions

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Aziz Damani Select XI 190/10 in 44 overs (Hasahya Emmy 72(129), Davis Karashani 32(40), Cyrus Kibuukamusoke 4/56 in 10 overs, Deus Muhumuza 3/16 in 6.3 Overs) Lost to Tornado Bees Select XI  194/4 in 40 overs (Abdallah Lubega 95*(116), Akbar Baig 68(92), Davis Karashani 2/21 in 10 overs) by six wickets.

Abdallah Lubega probably sent one last reminder to the selectors about his abilities with bat in hand with a 144 run 2nd wicket stand with Baig Akbar in a pre-season game at Lugogo Oval against Aziz Damani C.C. The former KICC player recently moved to Tornado Bees Cricket Club will have given his new employers plenty of comfort ahead of the new season with his smart innings.

Aziz Damani CC opted to bat first and lost Amar Lakhani early to Deus Muhumuza but Hasahya Emmanuel 72(129) who is fast establishing himself as a top order colossus for Aziz Damani steadied the innings with Davis Karashani 32(40) as they put on a second wicket stand of 80 before Karashani became Cyrus Kibuukamusoke’s first victim.

Hashaya was involved in all the significant partnerships for his side putting on 28 for the third wicket with Kenneth Waiswa 13(21) and 44 for the fourth wicket with Steve Tikolo 28(43) before both set batsmen went out in succession leaving Aziz Damani C.C with a rebuilding job to do.

Brian Masaba 18(25) struggled to find partners to get this job done as Deus and Cyrus continued to run through the middle and late order and he fell to Deus as Cyrus picked last recognized all-rounder Issanez Emmanuel to leave Damani at 190 all out in 40 overs.

The chief destroyer was Cyrus picking four wickets that also had the opportunity to bat with Peter Trego in a huge partnership in a T20 game in Rwanda a week ago and carried a lot of the confidence into this game.

Such was the magnitude of Hasahya’s effort that he batted all but 9.3 overs of his team’s total innings scoring 40% of the runs.

The Tornado Bees run chase was about two men, one retired from the national side after serving the nation and the other still trying to break through, either way, both went home happy.

After losing Kebba Nicholas 03(11) early, former Ugandan Captain Akbar Baig 68(92) and Abdallah Lubega 95(116) put on a mammoth second wicket 144 run stand that ate steadily and significantly away at Aziz Damani’s total with ease allowing them to canter home easily.

Abdallah who had the good fortune of being dropped by Brian Masaba while still on naught cashed in on a golden opportunity to dig in and make his mark with the ICC World Cricket League division 3 qualifiers around the corner.

Dropped from the final 20 in camp, he will surely hope that this changes the selector’s minds; but word from the camp is it is not his batting that got him dropped in the first place.

Captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke will have been very satisfied with his transfer window business from the evidence of Abdallah’s innings and Tornado Bees will be rearing to go at the 2017 Jazz Safari National Men’s cricket League having defeated one of their probable title rivals quite convincingly.

Prepared by:

Alvin Bagaya



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