- Published in National League
With the chasing pack stuttering in sequence, Tornado Bee know a fifth successive Jazz Safari National Cricket League title is around the corner.
The side are already counting their chances at halfway stage having finished the first round of the season unbeaten with another clinical five-wicket victory over Challengers at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.
“Game was full of planning and we are happy to have executed the strategies,” impressed Tornado Bee captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke told this paper after his side finished with 39 points from seven matches. “We must work harder in the next round and most importantly, ensure we beat immediate rivals Aziz Damani,” he added.
Challengers, the 2016 runners-up, cannot only muzzle about having lost their third game in six outings but even Irfan Afridi’s missed chance for a century was more painful. Following a slow start that had Challengers at 60-3 in 12.1 overs with only Naseer Ahmed (31 off 56) turning up, big hitter Afridi charged the innings again with six boundaries and seven meaty blows out of the park.
But the Pakistan-born star threw away his helmet in anger after he remained stuck on 94* off 88 at the non-striker’s end when Roger Mukasa bowled out David Wabwire (2 off 7) for last wicket to complete a decisive spell of 5/32 in 8.5 overs.
Challengers had set 209 in 43.5 overs. Tornado Bee fumbled in their early response, reeling at 9-2 after 1.4 overs. But Abdallah Lubega calmed the waters with an 83-ball 70 and, Deus Muhumuza (58*) and Cyrus Kibuukamusoke (36) completed the job with a 50-run stand.
DIV I - JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE
Challengers 209/10 Tornado Bee 213/5
KICC 187/10 Charity TF 66/10
Avengers 164/10 Mwiri 165/8
ACC 96/10 Premier 66/10
They may have survived the relegation monster last year but Challengers Cricket Club are now showing all signs of potential National Men’s Division One 50-Over League title contenders.
Having suffered a painful 117-run loss to KICC two weeks back, Challengers showed character by dusting themselves very quickly to beat defending champions Tornado Bee by 45 runs at the lakeside oval in Entebbe on Sunday.
“We had a few in-house problems (against KICC) which we sorted,” Challengers captain Mohammed Aneef told Daily Monitor after their third win in four matches.
“By picking ourselves up with a win over the champions clearly shows we want to dethrone them.” Interestingly, defeat for Tornado Bee was not only the first in three games but also, it was their maiden loss in 12 limited-overs matches since the shock four-wicket loss to KICC on June 7, 2015.
“We did not apply ourselves well with the bat during the chase,” Tornado Bee skipper Jeremy Kibuukamusoke admitted.
Unlike last year’s run fest between the two, this was a low-scoring contest. After Aneef opted to bat, top-order pair Arthur Kyobe and Daniel Ruyange struggled to play on the unpredictable wicket.
But Hamu Kayondo (22 off 46), Naseer Ahmed (25 off 43) and Ivan Thawithemwira (34 off 64) resisted John Mpande (3/21) and Deus Muhumuza’s (2/23) tricky bowling spells for Challengers to set 160 in 47.2 overs. Aneef (4/20) and left-arm spinner Henry Ssenyondo (4/16) shared eight scalps, enough to stifle their opponents’ mission. Only Roger Mukasa stood out with a run-a-ball knock of 39.
SUNDAY league RESULTS
K. Tigers 279/10 Wanderers 145/10
Challengers 160/10 Tornado Bee 115/10