KAMPALA. Every wall built in Aziz Damani’s way to their second straight Jazz Safari National League title has been shattered. Challengers are the latest to be trashed by the now consistent Damani’s wield of authority.
They were beaten by 143 runs at the lakeside Oval in Entebbe as Damani coasted to their 10th win in as many matches this season. Damani is 10 not out and could complete the season unbeaten if they avoid defeat in their remaining four matches, something no club has done in years.
“It was a difficult match,” Damani’s manager Siva Koti told Daily Monitor after the encounter. “We would love to finish unbeaten if possible but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. So we would love to secure the title first.” Damani could have been champions on Sunday but they will have to wait again after Ronak Patel struck another colourful century of 105* runs to guide second-placed Kutchi Tigers to a 185-run over Premier at Lugogo.
Ronak’s 82-ball innings guided Tigers to 42 points on the summit, meaning they are 18 points behind leaders Damani. So Damani can only be champions if they beat Tigers this Sunday. For their firing top-order, Challengers had been expected to give the champions in waiting a run for their money.
But in pursuit of Damani’s 257-target built by the 52-run third-wicket partnership between Saud Islam (68 off 81) and Sai Manoj (51 off 69), Challengers only crossed the 100-run mark after 26 overs.
Such was the frustration presented by the Damani field thanks to bowling from paceman Bilal Hassun (4/31) and orthodox spinner Henry Ssenyondo (3/20). Challengers’ left-hander Arthur Kyobe survived a genuine run-out, a misfield on an aerial ball and it is right to say he lucky to reach best figures of 52 off 56.
They were bowled out for 113 after 33 overs before reminiscing on another failed mission. “Had I stuck in longer and batted quicker,” Kyobe said, “We could have had a better result,” he stated after being caught by Brian Masaba off Kenneth Waiswa.
JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE
WEEKEND RESULTS - DIVISION ONE
Aziz Damani 256/7 Challengers 113/10
Kutchi Tigers 343/5 Premier 158/10
Ceylon Lions 209/10 KICC 144/10
Jinja SS 292/8 JACC 116/10
Karago (w/o) Soroti Blazers