Arinaitwe century thrusts Challengers

That’s my magic bat. Arinaitwe acknowledges cheers from fans and players after his century against  Wanderers at Lugogo on Sunday. PHOTO / EDDIE CHICCO

What you need to know:

  • The 20-year-old duly did that with a stellar innings of a century of 129 runs to guide Challengers to a 128-run victory over Wanderers at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.

For those who have followed local cricket over the last decade, Zephaniah Arinaitwe Karungi needs no introduction. Yet still, for the ardent fan and new lover of the gentleman’s game, one needs a reminder of this batting gem.

The 20-year-old duly did that with a stellar innings of a century of 129 runs to guide Challengers to a 128-run victory over Wanderers at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.

The youngster, nicknamed “Young AB de Villiers” – after the South African great – has not lived up to his full potential.

Arinaitwe produced a masterclass innings to guide his team to a third league win in four outings.

“I am very happy. This century has come at the right time,” he said.

Nearly all his Challengers’ peers like Arnold Otwani, Emmanuel Hasahya, Frank Akankwasa and Cosmas Kyewuta are away on the Cricket Cranes’ tour of Namibia.

Sensing their absence and the need to remind Mahatlane and selection committee of his prowess, Arinaitwe punished Wanderers’ bowlers and the fruits of his eight-month stay in Nairobi, Kenya, last month are beginning to manifest.

“Being the only one available, I had to play at least 45 overs. The eight months I spent in Kenya helped me a lot. I’m mentally strong and more patient,”  he said.

Walking in at number three after Perry Wazombe fell for nine runs, Arinaitwe smashed 12 boundaries and four sixes for a 100 per cent strike rate even if he was dropped on 89 runs at long-on and on 99 at short fine leg.

Challengers set 293-10 in 46.3 overs despite Davis Karashani’s figures of 4/41. In the chase, Karashani again powered to five boundaries but his half-ton of 52 runs off 61 balls wasn’t enough to take the shine away from Arinaitwe.

National 50-Over League

WEEKEND RESULTS – DIVISION ONE

Challengers 293/10 Wanderers 165/10

(Challengers won by 128 runs)

ACC 177/10 SKLPS 144/10

(ACC won by 33 runs)

DIVISION TWO

Aziz Damani II 202/10 N. Knights 89/10

(Damian Devt II won by 113 runs)

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