By Innocent Ndawula
& Faith Munezero
Fixtures - Sunday, March 18
Patidar Samaj vs. Aziz Damani - 10am
SKLPS vs. KICC - 10am
Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) must still be hurting from last weekend’s defeat to fellow powerhouses Aziz Damani. They lost two games that were within their grasp and will now be looking not only to return to winning ways against Shree Kutch Leva Patel Samaj (SKLPS) but also maintain their leadership atop the Division One National Men’s Twenty20 League.
Their captain Hanumant Katkar, who is surprisingly atop the bowling charts with 15 scalps in 10 matches thus far, will once again be itching to increase his wickets tally against fragile batting line-up that will want to target his spell as a weak link.
If he endures a bad day in office, new-imports Lawrence Ssempijja (14 wickets) and Deus Muhumuza will offer reprieve as KICC push to add to their 28 points tally. And in Waseem Butt, the top runs scorer with 242 runs, plus Simon Ssesaazi, KICC boast of an explosive opening pair that will be raring to punish any loose bowling.
There is no denying that SKLPS have been on the receiving end of things with just two wins in eight outings to show for their efforts. But in Dinesh Vekariya and Yogesh Rabadiya, they have two players who don’t need any motivation to do well - if their previous shifts are anything to go by.
Patidar look to challenge Damani
Aziz Damani are the envy of many. Siva Koti’s men boast of the creme de la creme of Ugandan cricket. They remain the only unbeaten side in short code of the gentleman’s game at 24 points after six games with a dreamy Net Run Rate (NRR) of 3.16.
Their rota, this season, included new prize signings like national captain Roger Mukasa and his elder sibling Frank Nsubuga to mention but a few.
Patidar Samaj, who have a side bustling with enthusiasm, will fancy their chances of pegging back Damani’s 100 per cent record. Led by Ankit Patel, Patidar have been relatively doing well since promotion to the topflight this season.
Lugogo will be on fire with the talented trio of Hardik Patel, Cosmas Kyewuta and Derrick Bakunzi coming out guns blazing to stop the Damani machine.
“This is a very big game for us. We want to do well and reach the semifinals. It will be good preparation for us as we head into the 50-over league,” said Ankit, who already has 177 runs this campaign and whose side is fourth with 16 points after eight matches.
For Damani’s Ghulam Hunzai, he expects another haul of maximum points.
“We have the best team in Ugandan cricket and we are hopeful of getting the best results. Fred Achelam is on fire, Mukasa is our star man and is already playing like he is at home. And Saud Islam always shows up. We are also blessed with good combinations. Everything will go our way, Insha Allah,” said the ever-jolly Hunzai.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Henry Ssenyondo already has 13 wickets and big-hitting Fred Achelam, whose silently gone about his business as he looks to interest the national selectors ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa T20 World Cup Qualifiers in May, boasts of 216 runs for Aziz Damani already.
Such is the firepower in Koti’s side, the opposition will need every ounce of luck to topple them.