KAMPALA. Season Five of the Kampala Boys Sports Club (KBSC) Night Cricket Tournament codenamed The Rainbow Paints Cup will definitely live long in the memories of many.
And rightly so! Twelve teams competing under the Lugogo Cricket Oval floodlights for over seven weeks of thrilling action ended with Keshwala Boyz exorcising the demons to bag their first silverware.
And they had teamwork and two men to thank for the clinical seven-wicket win over pre-tournament favourites Cosmos Warriors.
Everything went like a fairytale for Keshwala Boyz. Their captain Lila Keshwala won the important toss and stuck in the Cosmos Warriors. They breezed to 150 for 9 in the allotted 20 overs .
But with the crowd on the edge of their seats, Keshwala Boyz, who had earlier defeated the Cosmos Warriors by six wickets in the first qualifier for the final on September 4, unleashed the grit of a champion.
The early collapse was halted by the combo of Arunsingh Raulji aka Shambu and Shantitlal Raghavani.
Ranmal Keshwala’s boys combined for an unbeaten partnership worth more than half a century with Raghavani stroking 50 off 27 balls and Shambu, who was celebrating his 34th birthday, finishing unbeaten with a 40-ball 62 that comprised of three boundaries and three meaty sixes to take the Man of Match award.
“We showed our desire to win from the beginning,” said Keshwala Boyz captain Lila, after his team attained victory with seven wickets in hand and at least 30 balls remaining.
“It always feels good to reap from your sweat and we have all the right to celebrate. Being our first win, it is always going to be special for us.”
There was a beautiful spectacle at the prize giving ceremony, with the organisers KBSC giving Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) a token of Shs15m to continue developing the game and the Indian Association of Uganda chairman Chirag Dave also offering UCA two fully-paid scholarships to young cricketers that have shown promise.
One of the biggest winners was Ronak Patel of Keshwala Boyz, who scooped the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, after scoring 236 runs with a highest score of 108 and finishing with 18 fielding dismissals. Co-sponsors Ferro Mobile rewarded him with a state-of-the-art tablet.
Aziz Damani Sports Club CEO Siva Koti Reddy Challa also gave the two finalists Shs1m whereas Tulsi Varsani, the boss of Rainbow Paints promised that ‘the Night Cricket Party will be bigger and better next year’, after he offered to be the title sponsor, once again.
THE TOP PERFORMERS
Final - Man of Match
Arunsingh Raulji of Keshwala Boyz
62* off 40 balls
Gurpreet Singh of Haandi
26 wickets for 111 in 30 overs
Usman Muhammad of Cosmos Warriors
373 runs at an average of 52.86 from 10 matches
Most Valuable Player
Ronak Patel of Keshwala Boyz
236 runs at 78.67 & 18 dismissals