By Sunday, seven teams had already confirmed progress to the quarterfinals of the National Twenty20 League.
Holders Wanderers (16) needed to beat star cast side Tornado B to seal fourth Group A place or pray that Kutchi Tigers faltered in one of their two matches in Jinja.
But once Tigers suffered a morning four-wicket loss to hosts Jinja SS, Wanderers’ eight-wicket defeat to unbeaten Tornado B at Kyambogo Oval mattered less.
And after surviving that narrow exit, the reigning champions will now need to breathe fresh into their title defence when they face Group B winners Tornado in a repeat of last year’s final.
Tough to advance
“Once we lost some key players, we knew it was going to be tough to advance from the pool,” a relieved Wanderers skipper Hamu Kayondo said. “We are happy to be through but there are lots of positives to pick from here.”
After he chose to bat first, Tornado B’s trio of Akbar Baig, Davis Karashani and John Mpande (two wickets apiece) were responsible for Wanderers’ 30-3 low score after nine overs.
And as fellow batsmen returned for small figures, Kayondo top scored with 28 off 20 as Wanderers set 75 for 8. It wasn’t enough though.
Wanderers’ Trevor Kapere took two scalps but Tornado B’s reply lasted only 13 overs as Nicholas Kebba made 28 off 25 while Roger Mukasa sealed the chase with a third six in his 17-ball 30* innings. Tornado B has now won all their eight games.
Fifth straight victory
In the afternoon, Challengers bagged a 72-run win against SKLPS for their fifth consecutive victory. Their openers Arthur Kyobe (29 off 30) and Arnold Otwan (36 off 29) shared a 67-run stand from 39 balls.
It was supplemented with an 89-run third partnership between Xavier Asha (36 off 25) and Ivan Thawithemwira (53 off 24) but they lost six wickets for 10 runs before setting 170 for 8.
Only Ankesh Vekariya (24 off 19) stood out against a ruthless Challengers’ bowling unit as SKLPS managed 98 for 9.
NATIONAL TWENTY20 LEAGUE
Challengers 170/8 SKLPS 98/9
Patidar 145/8 ACC 127/10
Wanderers 75/8 Tornado B 80/2
Warriors 60/10 Nile 62/3
Premier 49/10 Nile 53/1
Kutchi Tigers 129/7 Jinja SS 132/6
JACC 120/5 K. Tigers 123/2