- Published in Boys' Cricket Week
Cosmos Warriors etched their names into traditional cricketing folklore with a convincing 31-run win over Pak Land to notch their first Pakistan Premier League title at its fifth edition on October 14.
Even the persistent drizzle did little in dooming the day with the players and officials, equally pumped up to deliver a fitting finale to what had been a memorable season of thrilling tape-bal cricket.
Crowd favourites Pak Land had a smooth campaign enroute to outlasting Khan XI by 18 runs in the semifinal whereas Cosmos Warriors ensured there would be no upset at the last four hurdle with a 36-run triumph over ‘big hitters’ Afridi XI.
But in the do-or-die final, Pak Land had themselves to blame for the no-show. Their star man Zohaib Butt, who picked up the Man of Series gong, was the villain when he dropped Cosmos Warriors’ star man Taimoor Mirza off the first ball of the match.
Mirza rode his luck and tonked the opposition into submission with a 20-ball half century of 62 runs as Cosmos set 108 for 4. Umer Bhai added 22 off 11 and Cricket Cranes vice captain Brian Masaba stroked one six in his five-ball cameo of 12 with none of the bowlers managing any impressive figures.
Then when Pak Land needed quick runs, none of their top six going with Butt (14 off 7), Tahir Nazir (6 off 2), Ali Malik (5 off 12), national captain Roger Mukasa (7 off 4), Jamshed Mughal (0 off 1) and Umair Iftikhar (1 off 3) all falling cheaply.
Tail-ender Cricket Cranes all-rounder Emmanuel Isaneez (24 off 8) stood tall but never matched his understudy in the other dugout Kenneth Waiswa, whose figures of 4 for 10 in 2 overs, ensured Pak Land couldn’t score more than 68 runs when it mattered most to confirm Cosmos Warriors 30-run triumph. Twelve teams to part this season.
FINAL - PPL SEASON FIVE
Cosmos Warriors 108/4 Pak Land 68/10
Cosmos Warriors won by 30 runs
Pak Land 120/5 Khan XI 102/7
Cosmos Warriors 163/2 Afridi XI 127/4
THE TOP PERFORMERS
Man Of Series:
Zohaib Butt (Pak Land)
David Wabwire 12 wickets (Pak Land)
Taimoor Mirza 451 runs (Cosmos Warriors)
Best Play In Final: Kenneth Waiswa
4/10 in 2 overs
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
If there were any doubts in the beginning, then Season Three should have answered the queries about the Generation Next Youth Challenge project.
Within this two-week edition, GNext ticked several boxes when Lakhani Motor Titans’ player Zephaniah Arinaitwe made it to the Cricket Cranes’ side that is currently in Kenya for the Four-Nation T20 Series starting today. And the climax heading into the weekend gave a glimpse of a showpiece that clearly has a bright future for many youngsters starved of playing time in clubs or the Schools’ Cricket Week. After finishing bottom in the past two editions, Keshwala Knights turned tables to beat the PAK Stallions Spartans by 23 runs at Lugogo on Friday. “We are really delighted,” Knights skipper Frank Akankwasa told Daily Monitor upon lifting the trophy.
Prior, he and his teammates had taken a few photos with Sagar Keshwala, son to the businessman Viram Keshwala.
“After failing in the first two editions, we had to change a few things,” Akankwasa said. “We tried to make sure we smile at the end of it all,” chipped in teammate Emmanuel Hasahya. Vindication for Hasahya’s best batsman gong were the 20 runs off 23 balls that he put up when tournament MVP Akankwasa opted to bat first.
Akankwasa, in at four, was quickly trapped by Simon Okecho in the field off Ronald Lutaaya (1/15). But Knights were guided by Cosmas Kyewuto’s 19-run-a-ball and Davis Acire’s three sixes in a 41-ball 43 to coast to 131-8 in 25 overs.
From there, there was no turning back for the men in orange.
Akankwasa sliced through Spartans’ top order with 3/15 and a maiden in five overs. Acire’s bowling spell of 4/8 was deadlier as their opponents were bowled out inside 22.5 overs.
Things change quickly and that is the nature of Twenty20 cricket. One commanding victory against arch-foes Kenya got Uganda’s camp buzzing again on Sunday.
The 53-run win was a true testimony of the huge talent in coach Jonathan Ssebanja’s side.
It got everyone talking and wondering what could have been ‘if’ the earlier games had been played with similar grit and gusto. With everyone thinking Uganda had dropped their shoulders and destined for the wooden spoon at this International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Women World T20 Qualifier, the omens came good. Captain Barbara Mukankusi won her first toss of the tournament, opted to bat and watched in delight as her openers Mary Nalule (33) and former skipper Naome Kayondo (24) raced to 55 without loss in 10 overs.
Uganda went on to tally the tournament’s second ton of 114, the other being Zimbabwe’s crushing 147 against the Kenyans, and then produced a clinical wicket-to-wicket bowling display to bundle out Kenya for 61.
“There is no team that has better players than mine in this tournament,” a relieved Ssebanja said. “We have been our own problem. The girls feared to express themselves because they fear to fail. In the end, they failed. We were also bowling three extras during our trial matches in Kampala, now we giving away in the excess of 15. Look at our losing margins, we are only hurting ourselves. And I don’t want to give the excuse of jetlag or that one of playing 160 overs in two days.”
And with the rest day yesterday helping the team to dust off the rust at the beautiful Harare Sports Club’s nets, Ssebanja still believes the Lady Cricket Cranes can pull off a shocker and pip Zimbabwe and Kenya on Net Run Rate (NRR), if other results go their way, to the lone slot to the ICC Women World T20 Global Qualifier in West Indies 2018. “We have Tanzania in the morning and Zimbabwe in the afternoon. Tanzania got us on the back foot. We now know them better and we will execute.”
Zimbabwe top the log with 12 points, Kenya are second on six, and Uganda third with three.