KAMPALA. There is all to tell that the batting standards have dipped for Uganda ever since the Cricket Cranes’ debacle at last month’s ICC World Cricket League Division Three.
The Jazz Safari National League consequently suffered another no show with no team getting to three figures at the business end of the first round on Sunday.
Patidar Samaj did not even offer an explanation for absconding from their duel against Charity Trust Fund in Lugogo, opting to watch the ICC Champions Trophy final between Pakistan and India. Charity grudgingly took the free points.
In Entebbe, Cricket Cranes coach Steve Tikolo produced a veteran’s knock of 28* off 29 and picked figures of 1/3 in four overs as Aziz Damani beat Kutchi Tigers by four wickets to make it five wins in six outings. But they lost six wickets while chasing 91 runs, not classy!
One Day International (ODI) cricket has elevated to a level where a team that bats first is only guaranteed victory if they set more than 315 runs. That’s a bountiful of a task.
So even with the Ugandan standards taken into consideration, Challengers had no excuse for failing to chase a target of 92 runs enroute against KICC at the University Oval in Kyambogo.
Shambolic batting best described by lack of rhythm and hunger by Challengers’ batsmen cost the 2016 runners-up a second season defeat in six Jazz Safari National Division One 50-Over League matches.
Delight, not relief
On the other hand, KICC smiled to their second win of the season after four matches, more a case of relief than delight. “We are extremely happy with this win,” KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar told this paper.
“After setting a low score, team moral was down but I united the guys and told us to go and fight in the second innings. The bowlers were superb.” he added.
Having suffered batting woes in the loss to Kutchi Tigers the previous weekend, Katkar had hoped to correct the mistakes.
He opted to have his batsmen walk in first. But the monster was back as teenager Siraj Nsubuga departed for just a run when he was caught by Naseer Ahmed off pace man Abraham Alema (4/23).
The side then fumbled from 22-1 to 40-4 in a space of 23 balls as Alema, medium pacer David Wabwire (4/30) and Henry Ssenyondo (2/12) took charge.
Opener Zephania Arinaitwe piled a respectable 32 runs off 43 balls and veteran Frank Nsubuga’s 25-ball 17* helped KICC coast to 91 in 23.4 overs.
Considering Challengers’ batting order has the Cricket Cranes’ opening pair of Arthur Kyobe and Hamu Kayondo, there was all hope this combo would do the job without requiring the lower order to pad up.
But Kyobe (1 off 3) was bowled out by Suleman Sharif on the fourth ball of the innings. “It’s cricket,” struggling Kyobe, scorer of 37 runs in four innings at the WCL, would say. “It is a difficult spell that I hope I will get through.”
That was only a perfect start as Sharif snared 5/24 from 42 deliveries whereas Sohaib Eshan got 4/29 in five overs. Captain Ivan Thawithemwira top scored with 16 off 22 but it hardly got him talking thereafter.
JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE
WEEKEND RESULTS DIVISION ONE
Patidar vs. Charity TF
(Charity got a walk over)
KICC 91/10 Challengers 70/10
(KICC won by 21 runs)
Kutchi Tigers 90/10 Aziz Damani 92/6
(Aziz Damani won by 4 wickets)