KAMPALA. It needed seven weeks for Ceylon Lions to find delight again in the Jazz Safari National League. Ever since beating KICC by 41 runs on April 8, the Lions barely roared as they surrendered to Strikers, Tornado Bee and Aziz Damani in successive matches.
But the team finally got the monkey off its back thanks to Simon Ssesaazi’s bat that guided them to a seven-wicket victory over Kutchi Tigers at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.
“We badly needed this win,” a relieved Ssesaazi told this paper after his match-winning knock of 90 runs off 95 balls. “I must admit we were hungrier to play and win. And glad we got the result,” he said.
Last weekend, Ssesaazi produced seven sixes in a 77-run-a-ball but they lost pursuit of Damani’s target by 95 runs. The innings was more of proof that Ssesaazi had only suffered an ‘accident’ while on national duty in Malaysia earlier month.
Perhaps sensing his threat and conditions, Tigers’ skipper Alphesh Hirani opted to bat first on Sunday.
But it did not go as expected as Lions’ ‘cubs’ Juma Miyaji (3/27) and Aarya Parikh (2/20) shared three maidens to bowl out Tigers’ for a 166-9. And Tigers must thank Ankesh Vekaria who walked out of the dugout last to top-score with a 25-ball 30*.
“Looking at the target, my role was to stick at the crease until the final ball,” Ssesaazi would later remark after an incredible innings.
Left-hander Ssesaazi first combined with fellow opener Narinder Singh (35 off 52) for an opening 100-run partnership.
Narinder’s younger brother Varinder added a quick-fire 20-ball 29* while Ssesaazi totaled three boundaries and five maximums to conquer the jungle. Tigers have now lost three and lost as many this season.
Elsewhere in Division II, Avengers made up for their previous no-shows with a clinical powerful bowling display to glide home by 42 runs.
In Jinja, Africa Cricket Club, once again, relied on Daniel Batuwa’s big blade to chase down Nile’s paltry score 56 in just 5.4 overs to stay within the promotion places.
In Division III, Jackson Ogwang’s young Aziz Damani Development Team outlasted Nyakasura by three wickets in an exciting game played with passion at Lugogo Oval.
JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE HELAM AT A GLANCE
WEEKEND RESULTS - DIVISION ONE
Kutchi Tigers 166/9 Ceylon Lions 167/3
(Ceylon Lions won by 7 wickets)
Avengers 178/10 Tornado 136/10
(Avengers won by 42 runs)
Nile 56/10 ACC 57/0
(ACC won by 10 wickets)
Wanderers vs. SKLPS
(Walkover against Wanderers as they
could not raise a team by start time)
Nyakasura 198/9  ADDT 174/7
(Aziz Damani Development won by 3 wickets)
Club: Ceylon Lions
Date of Birth:
June 6, 1996
Best Score: 101
Debut: 2017 CBH
Tourney in Rwanda
Jersey No: 24