The Aziz Damani Scorpions are into the comfort zone after they steered a point clear at the summit of Uganda Elite League following a win and a wash-out at Lugogo Oval yesterday.
Scorpions’ coach Michael Ndiko feels his team now has some room for error following their fourth straight win in five matches when they defeated The Royal Varsani Bucks by 23 runs via Duckworth, Lewis & Stern (DLS) Method yesterday.
“Naturally, I love to win and that is how I was as a player,” said Ndiko. “But as a coach and tactically, we wouldn’t mind losing one of the games as we give our young players a run out in the middle.”
Ndiko is planning to rotate his squad in the remaining matches as they shape up for Saturday’s final. “Everyone will have an opportunity to play. I am hoping to see some changes in personnel without giving away so much and I hope to see everyone be able to express themselves.” “We are focusing on one game at a time because T20 can be brutal,” he added.
Yesterday, the Scorpions collected three points including one from the No Result tie with Mamba Challengers. But by the time the skies opened in the afternoon, the Scorpions were five runs away from meeting their target of 109 runs midway the 16th over.
The Bucks had set 108-4 thanks to a late 40-run combo from Fred Achelam (28* off 14) and Frank Nsubuga (12* off 9) and notwithstanding Simon Ssesazi (19 off 33), Arnold Otwani (14 off 27), Robinson Obuya (11 off 21) and Jonathan Ssebanja’s (20 off 16) efforts. The Scorpions showed their stinging ability, this time through tourney debutant Suleman Sharif, who smashed five maximums and three boundaries, in a match-winning 37-ball 59 blitz.
“Absolutely delighted,” said Scorpions skipper Brian Masaba. “It more or less puts us in the final. Four on the trot, from a first day loss, I’ll take that gladly,” he added.
Bucks’ royalty is in check though. “We didn’t bat well,” captain Arnold Otwani said. Bottom side Challengers could surprise them, too, if they can win their last three matches.