Aziz Damani captain Ghulam Hunzai took to Cricket Uganda’s Facebook page to either mock, jeer or remind Challengers captain Hamu Kayondo about the two worlds apart they’re living in as the Jazz Safari National Cricket League enters the final bend.
Hunzai and Co. remained unbeaten with a six-wicket demolishing act of Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) at the lakeside oval in Entebbe whereas Challengers continued their recent renewed form with an 86-run win over hapless Ceylon Lions at the University Oval in Kyambogo.
Victory helped Aziz Damani steer clear on top of the log with 54 points, 18 more than second-place Kutchi Tigers, after their ninth consecutive win whereas Challengers, who have played 10 games now, moved to third on the log after their sixth triumph with 35 points. “Challengers waiting for Damani to lose one or two games. Well said Hamu… first look at the points table please,” posted Hunzai in reply to a video in which Kayondo said; “If luck goes our way and Damani lose one or two games, we have a chance. I feel anything can happen.”
The ‘innocent’ exchange of banter between both captains could well set the tone and light up the business-end of the season with Aziz Damani and Challengers left with five and four games to play respectively.
One thing for sure, there will be no love lost as both teams look to continue making their presence felt with bat and ball doing their talking for them.
Cricket Cranes’ dynamic pair of all-rounder Riazat Ali Shah and Bilal Hassun did most of the talking on Sunday as Damani left KICC in a daze.
Hassun brilliantly used the new ball to claim a fiver for just 16 runs as KICC collapsed for 96 runs under 26 overs with on-song paceman Emmanuel Isaneez (3/24) playing perfect foil.
With KICC’s star man Irfan Afridi threatening the chase with three quick scalps, Shah batted the demons out of the tricky Entebbe wicket with 42 runs as Damani crossed the finish line in 17 overs.
“Insha Allah, may be we can now finish unbeaten,” said Damani CEO Siva Koti as he team descended onto White Sands Beach for a lunch and mini-celebrations since the game had ended at 2.30pm on August 5.
“We are going to take it one game at a time. And we want to beat Kutchi Tigers. It is a game we badly need to win and know that our title defence is sorted,” added Kotix as all-rounders Kenneth Waiswa (9* and Brian Masaba (6*) walked off the oval to applause.