KICC survive nervy finish to remain top

KICC’s Afridi gestures during a previous league engagement. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO KICC’s Afridi gestures during a previous league engagement. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO

It was difficult to realise that both KICC and Charity Trust Fund were yet to lose in five National Men’s Twenty20 Cup ties as they faced off at Lugogo Oval on Sunday morning. All seemed ordinary until after midday when KICC went on to win by three runs in a very tense finish. The best had been saved for last.

“We put up the best display and deserved to win,” said KICC bowler Emmanuel Taban after he staved off the opposition when they needed nine runs to win off the last over.

Enroute to their sixth straight win in Group A, KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar had opted to bat first upon winning the toss. When opener Irfan Afridi was caught by Ronald Opio off Collin Abong (3/19) for a duck after two overs, Katkar backed his decision with a neat 37-ball 32*.

Teenager Siraj Nsubuga latter made five boundaries to top-score with 44 off 25 balls as the 2014 finalists KICC survived Varinder Singh (2/18) and Innocent Ndawula (2/9) to set 113-8. Charity bowlers’ donkey work seemed to go to waste when openers Opio and Edmond Musasizi departed for a combined eight runs after 2.1 overs. 
Varinder (30 off 27), captain Lawrence Ssempijja (18 off 22) and Roger Makwasi (14 off 23) all guided the team out of Egypt but the Promised Land seemed far.

With fans cheering, the Charity locker room on their feet and KICC players unfazed, the final batting combo of Abong (6* off 8) and Emma Kamya (8* off 8) failed to get the required 11 runs off the last 12 balls. “We were under pressure,” Abong said later after an exchange with some of his teammates. “The top order should have done better.”

Charity dusted themselves by beating Kutchi Tigers for a 25-run victory courtesy of superb bowling from the experienced Ndawula.

The chinaman took man-of-match honours after picking 3/13 off 22 deliveries that left Tigers staggering while chasing a target of 107. Across other venues, there were more nervy endings such as Mwiri chasing Avengers’ 163/8 to win by a wicket with a ball to spare in Budo. Similarly, Pirates’ Robinson Turinawe (3/22) helped Pirates defend their 145/9 against hosts JACC.

Weekend t20 results 
Wanderers 126/2 Strikers 129/5 
(Strikers won by five wickets)
KICC 113/8 Charity TF 110/7
(KICC won by 3 runs)
Charity TF 107/8 Kutchi Tigers 82/10
(Charity TF won by 25 runs)
Tornado 165/4 SKLPS 105/8
(Tornado won by 60 runs)
Premier 117/9 Tornado 115/10 
(Premier won by 2 runs)
Tornado Bee 165/5 KC Budo 113/8
(Tornado Bee won by 52 runs)
Patidar 87/8 Tornado Bee 90/1
(Tornado Bee won by nine wickets)

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