By Faith Munezero
The Ceylon Lions who played the tough hosts this weekend left with half their expectations met after their games between Kutchi Tigers CC and Strikers CC.
Ceylon Lions 51/6 in 14.3 overs (Narinder Singh 10 off 9, Lawrence Sempijja 2/11 and Juma Miyagi 2/11 in 4 overs) lost to Kutchi Tigers 75/8 in 20 overs (Dinesh Nakrani 21 off 30 and 2/5, Ankesh Venkaria 14* off 19, Anup Kerai 3/8 in 3 overs) by 2 runs (D/L revised score of 53 in 14.3 overs)
Player of the match: Dinesh Nakrani (Kutchi Tigers)
The Ceylon Lions faced a stern test in the Kutchi Tigers at the university oval, last weekend in a test that had them fall short of the proverbial pass mark by a mere 2 runs. Ceylon Lions who won the toss and opted to field that morning, limiting the Tigers to 75 runs.
Despite their only trouble being Dinesh Nakrani (21) and Ankesh Venkaria finishing 14 not out, the Lions managed to bag 8 wickets by the end of the first innings with Lawrence Ssempijja (2/11) and Juma Miyagi (2/17) leading the way.
The Tigers then had their chance at defending the precariously low score, one that the Ceylon Lions had within their sights but the heavens opened in Kyambogo, interrupting play. At its conclusion, a revised score of 53 runs in 14.3 overs saw the Tigers and Lions race against time, with the quick overs seeing Anup Kerai pick three wickets in three overs for just eight runs, while man of the match Dinesh Nakrani (2/5) delivered yet again in four overs. Batsman Narinder Singh’s contribution was the only solace for the Lions but it wasn't enough to help the minimum requirement in a match that saw Kutchi Tigers escape by the skin of their teeth.
Ceylon Lions Vs Strikers CC (Afternoon)
Ceylon Lions 145/5 19 overs (Jonathan Sebanja 49* off 22 and 2/31, Narinder Singh 35 off 14) beat Strikers 144/10 in 19.5 overs (Zephania Arinaitwe 33 off 15, Ivan Thawithemwira 22 off 12) by 5 wickets.
Player of the match: Jonathan Sebanja (Ceylon Lions)
Coming off a painfull two runs loss, the Lions regrouped for their afternoon fixture against the Strikers, who were still raw from their defeat against Aziz Damani earlier that day, losing by just 13 runs.
Winning the toss yet again, the hosts chose to field hoping for a better result this time around. The Strikers proved to be more of a challenge than their morning counterparts, with opener Zephaniah Arinaitwe putting on a rapid 33 runs off 15 balls together with Ivan Thawithemwira (22) and Rogers Olipa (22) setting them off to a flying start. Varinder Singh (3/22), Lawrence Sempijja (2/27) and Jonathan Sebanja 2/31) used all but one of the 120 balls to bring down all 10 wickets and a score of 144 runs.
If the failure to chase the low score from the morning match had affected their play, it did not show because the Lions slowly and steadily piled on the runs. Despite bowlers' Richard Agamire's 2/15 spell the team was unphazed. Simon Oketcho picked two more of his own however the Lions did not suffer the same fate of quick dismissal as their counterparts.
Man of the match Jonathan Sebanja finished just one run shot of a half-ton, with 49. Narinder Singh made a vital contribution of 35 off 14 balls to lead the chase that saw them reach their target in 19 overs with 5 wickets to spare to win the match, and redemption from their earlier game.