The Aziz Damani Scorpions beat late permutations and nature to edge two other franchises for the inaugural Uganda Elite League title on Saturday.
The Scorpions had amassed four wins in five matches by Wednesday and despite defeat on Thursday and wash-outs on the ensuing days, the Siva Koti Reddy-financed side lifted the T20-code trophy at Lugogo Oval.
The men in yellow finished with 10 points to pip The Royal Varsani Bucks by two points at the maiden event sponsored by Uganda Cricket Association (UCA), Hisense, Karveli, MeatOne and Uganda Lodges.
“It went well, to start,” winning captain Brian Masaba said after hoisting the trophy with Koti.
The much-anticipated final with the Bucks could not be played because of a soggy field on an agonisingly sunny afternoon.
“We are thrilled to have won the title although it was a bit of a downer with the weather at the backend. But great advert for Ugandan cricket, and hopefully we can see more cricket activity in the near future,” added Masaba.
Teams sponsored by Koti automatically take up the name Aziz Damani and have triumphed since the 2016 Night Cricket League tournament.
And here, at a showpiece put up to awaken cricket from an eight-month lull due to the coronavirus, the winning culture was maintained for Damani, thanks to the predatory Scorpions.
“Cricket is not the most critical but the players you are motivating are most important under the leadership of the good captain Masaba,” Koti said.
“Hopefully, we can have a vaccine (for Covid-19) by December such that we get things normal again and be able to play more,” added the CEO of Gittoes Pharmaceuticals.
The Scorpions, who had scooped Shs3m in prize money from UCA and each team member a mobile phone worth Shs500,000 from Hisense, dominated the individual awards.
Their top-order batsman Wasim Butt won the MVP crown worth Shs500,000 and he was also named as best batsman with 212 runs from six innings.
Butt’s team mate Stephen Wabwose took the best wicket-keeper honour and each individual award winner won two nights for two at the Simba Eco Lodge as well as a ride on the new MV
Kazinga in Queen Elizabeth National Park, courtesy of Uganda Lodges.
The tournament organisers, led by Denis Musali and Davis Turinawe promised, another edition in January – if Covid-19 is kept at bay.
Man of Series: Wasim Butt (Aziz Damani Scorpions)
Best Batsman: Wasim Butt (Scorpions) 212 runs in 6 innings
Best Bowler: Siraje Nsubuga (Royal Varsani Bucks) 9 wickets
Best Fielder: Jonathan Kiiza (Bucks) 5 dismissals
Best Wicketkeeper: Stephen Wabwose (Aziz Damani Scorpions) 7 dismissals