It was a hard game to predict when Charity Trust Fund and Challengers met in the National 50-Over League at Lugogo on Sunday.
But youthful Charity stepped up their game a notch with a two-wicket win to ensure their title hopes remain intact. “We have showed that we are worthy league contenders as we remain literally unbeaten,” said Charity captain Jonathan Ssebanja said after the game. “We bowled very well but we must improve our batting. The batsmen must start doing the job. Today we were let out of the jail by a 12-year-old Zephania Arinaitwe.”
First, Ssebanja (2/28) dismissed two Challengers‘ top-order batsmen before Derrick Bakunzi (2/29) frustrated Arthur Kyobe (25 off 97) and later broke the 59-run fourth-wicket stand with Arnold Otwan (26 off 53).
Mohammed Faisal made a late unbeaten 20 off 10 balls but spinner Henry Ssenyondo (3/22) took care of the lower order as Challengers were bundled out for 160 in 41.4 overs.
Charity were 31-3 after 6.2 overs but Arinaitwe’s eight fours in a 32-ball 39 knock made certain of a confident rally back into the game. Ssebanja added a-run-a-bal 21 before the unbeaten combo of Bakunzi (18* off 55) and Lawrence Ssempijja (18* off 37) rode their luck over the line in 36.2 overs.
In Jinja, Duncan Mugabe, arguably East Africa’s tennis top seed, played his first match in 10 years and the former U-15 international scored a golden duck as Wanderers set 161 in 41.5 overs
But it were his two scalps for a miserly 11 runs in 5.3 overs that helped Wanderers to break their duck in the league as they defeated Habibu Mugalula’s student-packed Jinja SS by 76 runs.
“The monkey is off our back at last,” said Wanderers‘ skipper Hamu Kayondo, a very closr pal to Mugabe. “Duncan was a good omen for us. He was really bowling quick and he picked up the prize wicket of Kenneth Waiswa to wrap up things for us.”
Mugabe, too, to continue playing for Wanderers whenever available. “It’s unfortunate that I am traveling to Nairobi for the Kenya Open this week,” said the medium pacer. “I would have loved to stay back and play. But it was a nice feeling being out there and playing a team sport again.”
SUNDAY RESULTS -DIVISION ONE
Challengers 160/10 Charity TF 161/8
Wanderers 161/10 Jinja SS 85/10
KICC 304/10 Mwiri 169/10
Warriors 144/10 SKLPS 119/10
Patidar 136/10 Makerere 49/10