Kampala- Aziz Damani finally landed the Jazz Safari National League title at the weekend but the club wants to achieve more in the season that wraps up in a month.
The men in yellow and green stripe overcame second-placed Kutchi Tigers by a mere eight runs after a low-scoring thriller at Lugogo Oval on Sunday to complete a successful title defence. “It was tense,” Damani’s Brian Masaba told Daily Monitor after the top-of-the-table clash.
“The game was very close on a tough wicket,” said the all-rounder. But that did not stop Damani’s party.
After freshening up, the team headed to Old Kampala where they toasted to another milestone for the club that won its first top-flight league last year and 2016 Division Two crown.
And no more enchanted individual than Damani boss Siva Koti who has already celebrated the Mehta Women’s Twenty20 Premier League success with the ladies earlier this year.
“It is a very nice feeling,” Koti said after the late evening party. Damani is top of the eight-team standings with 66 points and they are unbeaten and as well, yet to drop a point in 11 outings. That is 24 points clear of Tigers.
“We have three matches to go and we want to finish on 14-0. That will be the real championship! It is possible as chances are high now,” Koti added.
The odd bit about the Lugogo match was that it was expected to produce some fine batting shows considering the form of both top-order units.
Damani bowed to Tigers’ Dhansuk Jesani (5/9 in 3.2 overs) and Dinesh Nakrani (2/13 in 7 overs) and they only managed to set 102 all-out in 31.2 overs thanks to significant contributions from top crease brain Saud Islam (35 runs off 73 balls) and Sai Manoj (20 off 42).
Defending 103 is no easy job against a Tigers’ firing line-up but somehow, Emmanuel Isaneez yet again stood with a man-of-match performance for Damani. The medium pacer produced figures of 3/17 in 4 overs while Bilal Hassun got 3/28 in 4.5 overs to keep the opponents at bay. Not even Hitendra Jadeja (30 off 39) and Nakrani (24* off 29) could help Tigers roar loud.
JAZZ SAFARI LEAGUE
Tornado Bee 285/4 Premier 103/10
(Tornado Bee won by 182 runs)
Aziz Damani 102/10 Kutchi Tigers 94/10
(Aziz Damani won by 8 runs)
Ceylon Lions 251/10  Strikers 159/5
(Ceylon Lions won by 5 wickets via D/L)a
Avengers 338/6 KC Budo 95/10
(Avengers won by 243 runs)