- Published in National League
KAMPALA. Budo Cricket Club, powered by tech giants - SYBYL, defied the odds by ensuring that they can mix with seasoned campaigners when they ensured survival in the Division 2 Jazz Safari Men’s National Cricket league.
Budo were promoted belatedly to Division 2 at the start of this season but they showed that they were not there to make up numbers but to compete.
In a bid to achieve its core objective which was to ensure that they maintain their status in the division, Budo sent early shock waves in the second league tier when they beat seasoned campaigners Africa Cricket Club (ACC) to send a signal to the rest.
However this win didn’t catapult them to more wins as they always fell agonisingly short as they let many winning positions slip through their hands.
Those included painful losses against SKLPS, Avengers and Nile but all this set up a do-or-die fixture against Nile on the penultimate day of the season where it was a case of the winner ensuring survival. Budo set up the win by posting a mammoth 280 runs and then after were ruthless with the ball as they bowled out their opponents for a paltry 89 runs.
Notable contributions on the pitch have come from mainly youngsters including Taha Ahmed, Joel Siminyu, Patrick Oburu and Phillip Thawithemwira.
Off the pitch, the management of Arnold Byarugaba, Abu Mayanja and Paul Ikanza has continued to provide all the support needed to sustain the club through a long and gruelling season.
Budo has also been ably assisted by Aziz Damani Sports Club and SWISA Enterprises in terms of logistical support and player welfare. The club looks forward to next season as it continues to grow.
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
One game was done before lunch in Kyambogo. Then ACC got 165 thanks to a swashbuckling 19-ball 52 from Robert Okot but it was Aziz Damani, who without having to bat, that were awarded victory at the King’s College Budo Oval.
ACC’s crime? They took to the field for the second innings with less than nine players in matching jerseys.
In Lugogo, relegation-threatened Tornado almost pulled off a heist chasing 260 for victory against Patidar Samaj but bad-light put paid to any of their hopes.
Such was the intensity with which all games were played on Sunday, cricket lovers were left wishing they could catch all of the National Men’s Cricket League action.
Henry Ssenyondo single-handedly ensured that Challengers (48) remain atop the table with at least a 10-point cushion. The left-arm orthodox spinner prized out eight wickets as Wanderers collapsed for 73 runs.
Arthur Kyobe (35 off 24) and Mohammed Aneef (29 off 20) were unbeaten and brutal in the chase as Challengers sealed their eighth win of the season at Kyambogo.
At Lugogo, John Gabula (87 off 113) and Richard Okia (41 off 59) almost made Patidar pay for their clumsy fielding in the chase of 260 and the latter will have the umpires (Grace Mutyagaba and Michael Okoth) to thank for having extended time of play and forthwith helping them over the victory tape.
But the mother-of-all clashes was at the lakeside oval in Entebbe where a tense but low-scoring spectacle was played out between title hopefuls Nile and defending champions Tornado Bee. “We were lucky not to lose,” said Tornado Bee skipper Jeremy Kibuukamusoke. “We still have a game in hand but more work to do.”
Due to the closure of Kampala-Entebbe highway, Nile and, umpires Paul Okecho and James Bamulese arrived late. The morning showers further reduced the game to 33 overs. Simon Ayella (2/11) and Ivan Kakande (3/18) restricted Tornado Bee to 91 runs in 29.5 overs. Nile batsmen, too, caved in to Deus Muhumuza (2/5), Roger Mukasa (2/19) and Davis Karashani (3/18) but their captain David Musoke (40 off 88) stayed firm.
He stuck in with last man Alvin Bagaya, needing five runs to win off Charles Waiswa’s (2/21) final over. Musoke flicked Waiswa to tie but Waiswa got Musoke caught behind, two balls later, for a fascinating tie.
RESULTS - DIV. I
Patidar 259/9  Tornado 238/9
Wanderers 73/10 Challengers 77/0
Tornado Bee 91/10 Nile 91/10
ACC 165/10 Damani DNB
* Match awarded to Damani
SKLPS 350/10 Mwiri CC 119/10
Avengers 123/10 K’la Pirates 125/5
Strikers 228/10 JACC 60/10
By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE