The build-up to all four anticipated National Twenty20 League quarterfinal encounters has yielded a war of words among the different captains.
It is just clear that none of the eight teams can afford to stutter when they clash at the respective Ovals today.
In the morning, many neutral fans will be torn between watching Tornado B against KICC at Kyambogo as well as the repeat of last year’s final featuring Tornado and Wanderers at Lugogo Oval. And owing to the playing staff and pedigree in these ties, both clashes are worth watching.
“We want to pay back for last year’s Super Over defeat in the final to Wanderers and that’s our motivation,” Tornado captain Frank Nsubuga, who leads the bowling and fielding charts with 18 wickets and nine dismissals, said. Tornado’s route to a third straight T20 semifinal will only come easier if they get the prize wicket of Wanderers’ skipper Hamu Kayondo early.
But Kayondo, second on the batting chart with 293 runs from eight innings, is aware of the task at hand. “We won’t back down,” Kayondo said. “We need to give 110 per cent of our efforts if we are to win.” Wanderers will miss the temperament of injured batsman Daniel Batuwa.
Star-studded Tornado B, who are fancied by the bookmakers, poise the biggest odds to advance against KICC but they will have to neutralise the hired trio of Kenyan national players Morris Ouma, Alex Obanda and Elijah Otieno.
“We faced two South Africans against Charity last year but we won,” Tornado B skipper Jeremy Kibuukamusoke said. “So I see no difference on Sunday (today). We’ll come playing for nothing short of victory.”
Elsewhere, youthful side Charity Trust Fund may have gotten a perfect foundation (six successive wins) to their title credentials but they will need to put up stringent fielding against Challengers’ top-order quartet of Arthur Kyobe, Arnold Otwan, Xavier Asha and Ivan Thawithemwira.
Playing at Lugogo Cricket Oval
Wanderers vs. Tornado - 10:30am
Nile vs. Jinja SS - 3pm
Playing at Kyambogo Cricket Oval
Tornado B vs. KICC - 10:30am
Challengers vs. Charity TF - 3pm