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.

JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE
WEEKEND RESULTS: DIVISION ONE
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)
DIVISION TWO
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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Kutchi Tigers survive relegation knife, Nile rue missed chance

Support from their affiliate family in Kenya had Kutchi Tigers easily grab fourth place in Jazz Safari Division One 50-Over League. 
Absence of that this year made things tough for the Tigers. And skipper Alphesh Hirani easily acknowledges that.
To confirm their topflight status for 2017, Tigers needed a close 21-run victory over Nile in their final match of the season at Lugogo Oval on Sunday. 
“We are very happy and very excited,” Hirani said of the team’s ecstatic dressing room after the match. “We worked very hard today and deserve it.”

The victory was Tigers’ sixth of the season and took them to 41 points, 11 adrift of safety. But for Nile, the 2015 runners-up remain stuck in some sort of mathematics.
They retained a bonus point, moving to 33 in sixth, just three above Tornado who face Tornado Bee in the title decider this weekend. “Since we were depleted, like it has been all season, we got the point we needed,” Nile’s Martin Ondeko offered. Nile can only survive the knife if title-chasing Tornado Bee beat their sister side.
Tigers will owe their relief much to Shantilal Raghvani. After Kenneth Waiswa (2/31) had Nanji Pindoriya trapped for a duck, the right-hander Raghvani made five boundaries in a half-century of 59 off 54. 
His 68-run combination with Rharat Ghodadra (23 off 19) yielded some quick recovery.

Later, astute caution from Nehal Bibodi (38 off 58), Ramesh Gami (44 off 54) and Kanti Vekariya (18 off 26) against Aarya Parikh (3/22) and Ivan Kakande (2/32) helped them to safe 228 total in 46 overs. The start to Nile’s innings was dismantled by Narendra Halai (2/18) before Zephania Arinaitwe got out of hand with 10 fours in a 101-ball 70.
It was however not enough as Lalji Gondariya (4/45) starved the lower order of runs, leaving the Kutchi family elated.

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Tigers end KICC’s unbeaten league run, move top

They may not be an exceptional side but Kutchi Tigers capitalized on their opponents’ self-destructive mode to beat Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) by 66 runs at Kyambogo on Sunday. 

The Sudhir Ruparelia-sponsored side has themselves to blame for the result that ended their three-match unbeaten streak in the Men’s Division One 50-Over League.

“It’s sad we lost but I attribute that to the lots of internal disorganisation we had,” admitted KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar. 

Justification included on-field arguments and Katkar reportedly lost control of his dressing room in the heated post-match meeting. But that takes nothing away from the season’s surprise package Tigers. 

The Indian-oriented club was not only gifted with a fourth league in five matches. They also became the fifth different side to move top of the eight-team log on-level with Nile (22 points) but with a better Net Run Rate (NRR). “The feeling (to be at the top) is so unfamiliar,” smiling captain Alphesh Hirani said. 

Formed in 2013, Tigers earned promotion last season behind KICC but are now even sure of surviving relegation this year. “For now, I believe we are safe. We don’t have much pressure in the coming games.” Hirani added. 

When Katkar opted to field first, Tigers relied on Kenyan import Hiren Varaiya who struck a decent 82-ball 53*. He also shared a 103-run third stand with Nariv Kishore (51 off 52) for Tigers to set 168-6 in 37 overs.

The lunch time showers forced umpires Grace Mutyagaba and James Bamulese to revise the score via Duckworth & Lewis Method and KICC needed 212 runs to win from 37 overs. 

Left-arm spinner Varaiya (3/29), Kanti Vekariya (2/28) and Shailesh Halai (2/21) consistently broke partnerships and resistance from opener Abdallah Lubega (43 off 52) and Assadu Seiga (44 off 56) only gave momentary optimism. Eventually, KICC’s bubble burst at 145-10 with five overs to spare. 

NATIONAL MEN’S 50-OVER LEAGUE
WEEKEND RESULTS
DIVISION ONE
Charity TF 120/10 Tornado 121/3
(Tornado won by seven wickets)
Kutchi Tigers 168/6 [211] KICC 145/10 D/L
(Tigers won by 66 runs)
DIVISION TWO
Aziz Damani 130/10 Premier 131/8 
(Premier won by two wickets)
Jinja SS 93/10 [87] Mwiri 88/7 D/L
(Mwiri won by three wickets)
SKLPS 351/9 [231] KC Budo 88/10 D/L 
(SKLPS won by 143 runs)

 

DIVISION ONE TABLE STANDINGS
1 Kutchi Tigers - 22 points
2 Nile - 22
3 Tornado - 21
4 KICC - 19
5 Tornado B - 18

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