- Published in National League
Aziz Damani Cricket Club! Yes, that one.
It is the name on everyone’s lips in circles of the Gentleman’s Game.
They have bossed the Jazz Safari National League season like never before. Their unbeaten run of 10 wins in as many defines their prowess.
They are 18 points clear at the top of the eight-team log with a maximum 60 points. That statistic has a motto: ‘Do not mess with us,’.
Damani has beaten every team and their cruise sees them now a win away from their second league title in two years.
Even if there are four matches to play, Damani only need to beat second-placed Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo Oval today to be affirm the yellow and green ribbons on the trophy.
Allure of 100% record
“We would love to finish unbeaten if possible but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” Damani’s boss Siva Koti stated after last weekend’s 143-run win over Challengers in Entebbe.
“So we would love to secure the title first,” he added.
Knowing the mathematics, Tigers will hope to roar at the right time and stop what seems to be untouchable.
Tigers’ skipper Alphesh Hirani knows there is little they can do to stop Damani’s league success.
Tigers can pounce
Little wonder he could afford a phone chat with Siva after last Sunday’s action.
But Hirani knows the Tigers can put on hold to Damani’s early title celebrations or most importantly, punch a hole into their solid bulging balloon encrypted: ‘the invincible ones’.
The rest of the league sent Challengers to stop Damani last weekend but their batsmen Hamu Kayondo, Arthur Kyobe and Kamal Shahzad didn’t click in partnerships.
Now Damani’s bowling unit has to deal with a Tigers’ batting line-up that has Ronak Patel, who hit an unbeaten 82-ball 105 century in their 185-run win over Premier last Sunday.
Most of Damani’s players form the core of the senior national team - The Cricket Cranes - so they know what to expect and how to plot for another finisher in left-hander Dinesh Nakrani. Ankit Patel’s qualities cannot be overlooked.
Harmless chasing pack
Damani’s captain Ghulam Hunzai knows if they skipped the Tigers’ hurdle, neither a depleted and off-form Tornado Bee, struggling Ceylon Lions and youthful Strikers can hurt their flawless streak.
JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE
TODAY’S FIXTURES - DIV. ONE -10.30am
Kutchi Tigers vs. Aziz Damani, Lugogo
Premier vs. Tornado Bee, Kyambogo
Ceylon Lions vs. Strikers, Entebbe
Avengers vs. KC Budo, Budo
Nile vs. Wanderers, Jinja
LEAGUE TABLE STANDINGS
Team P W L NR Pts NRR
Aziz Damani 10 10 0 0 60 3.16
Kutchi Tigers 10 7 3 0 42 1.09
Challengers 11 6 5 0 35 0.61
Strikers 9 4 4 1 25 0.25
Tornado Bees 9 4 4 1 25 -0.76
KICC 11 4 7 0 22 -1.15
Ceylon Lions 11 3 8 0 18 -0.26
Premier 11 2 9 0 11 -2.80
*NR denotes No Result
* NRR denotes Net Run Rate
It will take youthful club Strikers a little while to recover from their own mistakes that saw them lose for the second time in the Jazz Safari National League on Sunday.
They were right on the money in pursuit of Kutchi Tigers’ set target of 248 but lost seven wickets in a space of 25 runs to loss by 88 runs at the University Oval in Kyambogo.
“We just can’t believe it,” disappointed Strikers’ opener Zephaniah Arinaitwe told Daily Monitor.
Arinaitwe was the best batsman on the day with half-ton of 86 runs off 63 balls. “We should have won. We did our best but at some point, we heavily paid for lack of game awareness,” he added. Tigers had set 247-8 after the allotted 50 overs thanks to Dinesh Nakrani’s 77 off 95 and Anup Kerai’s 42 off 51 in front of Richard Agamire (2/45) and Frank Akankwasa’s (2/33) bowling resistance. Even if Arinaitwe gave Strikers a fine start, Alphesh Hirani and company remained firm.
Only Perry Wazombe (25 off 30) and Simon Okecho (11 off 17) could afford double figures, Strikers crumbling fast under Nakrani’s controlled medium pacers as justified by his parsimonious figures of 7/26.
It implies Tigers took their tally to 18 points from six outings while Lions have 21 from the same number of matches. Elsewhere, Aziz Damani got it easy following their opponents’ Challengers’ frail batting in Lugogo, winning for the fifth time in as many outings by five wickets after meeting a target of 126 runs inside 24.2 overs with Saud Islam’s 59-ball 50.
Kutchi Tigers stretched their unbeaten run to 15 games when they easily saw off both Nile and Charity at Lugogo Cricket Oval.
Alepsh Hirani and his charges have been on a roll since the second round of the league which helped them finish a season high 3rd in the league and they hope this good form can take them all the way.
Nile is having a terrible season, dropping down from Division I to Division II and have failed to win a single game in the Group B of the T20 league. It’s no surprise they were all out for 39 with Kutchi chasing down this total in 3.2 overs.
Charity was put to the sword in the afternoon after they failed to chase 160 set by Kutchi Tigers falling short by 67 runs.
The wins keep Kutchi tigers at summit of Group B and are likely to finish as the top team which might give them an easier quarterfinal opponent from a tough Group A.
Kutchi is The loss for Charity did not dent their quarterfinal chances. They should be able to at least finish among the top 4 teams in Group A. If they finish 4th, they will meet the top team from a dangerous Group B who is likely to be defending champions Challengers or league champions Damani.
Team mentor Innocent Ndawula says there no shortcuts to success so they are ready for a tough quarterfinal.
We know we shall finish 4th and then meet either Damani or Challengers. We fancy Challengers so that we get the opportunity to knock out the defending the champions early enough. There are no short cuts for us going forward.
Nile CC 39/10 in 11 overs lost to Kutchi Tigers CC 41/0 in 3.2 overs by 10 wickets
Toss won by Nile who opted to bat
Batting Nile: Ivan Kakande 19(21)
Bowling Kutchi Tigers: Shailesh Halai 5/8 in 4 overs, Dhansukh Jensani 4/0 in 1 over
Batting Kutchi Tigers: Nanji Pindoriya 22(11) N.O, Ankit Patel 16(8)N.o
Bowling Nile: Juma Miyaji 0/24 in 2 overs
Man of Match: Shailesh Halai 5/8 in 4 overs
Kutchi Tigers CC 160/7 in 20 overs beat Charity CC 93/10 in 18.4 overs by 67 runs
Toss won by Charity who opted to field
Batting Kutchi: Nanji Pindoriya 82(42)
Bowling Charity: Jonathan Ssebanja 2/15 in 4 overs
Batting Charity: Lawrence Ssempijja 27(20)
Bowling Kutchi Tigers: Dhansukh Jesani 4/12 in 4 overs, Kalpesh Kerai 3/14 in 4 overs
Man of match: Nanji Pindoriya 82(42), 2/11 in 4 oversone of the 4 unbeaten teams in the T20 league thus far they are in an exclusive league with Damani, Challengers and KICC.
Prepared by: Dennis Musali
Rajesh Bhudia took season best bowling figures of 7-13 to help Kutchi Tigers defeat Challengers by five wickets in a National Men’s Division One 50-Over League clash at Kyambogo Oval on Sunday.
“I feel so happy,” the Indian-born Kenyan said. “It was a very good bowling spell.” After Challengers opted to bat first, Bhudia, signed alongside Vinod Rabadiya and Ramesh Mepani from Kenyan champions Kanbis Sports Club, ensured none of their opponents’ batsmen troubled the scorers.
Kanti Vekaria (1/7) dismissed danger man Arthur Kyobe (5 off 12) in the fifth over and when Nandi Kishore (1/13) bowled Arnold Otwan (32 off 86), Bhudia’s moment came.
In his 10-over spell, the right-arm medium pace bowler claimed four wicket-maidens and another maiden before Challengers’ innings folded at 74 in 34.1 overs. Spinner Henry Ssenyondo (2/18) put up some resistance for the 2014 Twenty20 champions but it mattered less as Rabadiya’s composed 13-ball 26* saw Tigers earn their third win in four outings in 19.2 overs.
NATIONAL MEN’S 50-OVER LEAGUE
DIVISION ONE RESULTS
Challengers 74/10 Kutchi Tigers 77/5
(Tigers won by five wickets)
Tornado vs. Rounders (washed out)
ACC 214/5 KC Budo 117/3 [D/L]
(ACC won by 97 runs)
Mwiri 127/10 Wanderers 121/1 [D/L]
(Wanderers won by nine wickets)
SKLPS 109/10 Jinja SS 110/9
(Jinja SS won by one wicket)