KAMPALA- The fraternity may still be healing from hosts Uganda’s failure to make the coveted top two places at the ICC Africa Men’s Twenty20 Regional Finals.
And notwithstanding the on-going ICC ODI World Cup on television, there is already cricket again on the local menu with the UCA Divisional Twenty20 Tournament set to climax today.
The Divisional T20 showpiece was primarily put in place to get players ready for the now concluded Africa T20 Cup.
Nonetheless, three teams are left in the fray, eager to take this Division One title with Aziz Damani waiting for either KICC or Challengers in this afternoon’s final at the University Oval in Kyambogo.
KICC and Challengers meet first in the tournament’s third eliminator this morning to determine who plays the final against star-studded Damani.
For KICC, they are eyeing to lift their first silverware since winning the Sixes Challenge in 2015.
“We have a chance to do so,” said KICC captain Hanumant Kaktar who has amassed 20 wickets thus far.
KICC has had quite a number of close shaves to trophies with the latest being the 31-run loss to Damani in the Unimoni T20 Cup final on December 9, 2018.
Katkar has since reinforced with the inclusion of Cricket Cranes’ all-rounder Deus Muhumuza and Lawrence Ssempijja who has 18 wickets. Wassim Butt leads their batting with 312 runs from 13 innings.
But Challengers are faring badly. Their last trophy success came in this format, winning the 2017 T20 Cup final against Damani early last year.
And now, chinaman Henry Ssenyondo leads their bowling attack with 19 scalps while Gerald Mubiru has 15. With the bat, Kamal Shahzad has 310 runs in 10 innings.
But the victor here faces a tall order to stop Damani who are eyeing their first trophy of 2019.
Since being formed four years ago, Damani has won the 2015 Night Cricket, Kishor Pabari T20 Memorial and Division Two League honours in 2016, Super Cup and Division One League in 2017 plus the League and T20 double last year.
The hunger remains abound. “We are ready to face any team,” skipper Ghulam Hunzai offered, “The team has good balance and we just need our main players to show up,” he said.
The team’s star player is Saud Islam who leads the batting and bowling charts with 346 runs and 21 wickets from 12 matches. Roger Mukasa also has 340 runs in 8 innings while Fred Achelam has scored 317 runs in 11 innings.