By Faith Munezero
The year 2018 has been filled with exciting cricket almost all year long, from national to international matches (in Malaysia, South Africa, Rwanda, and Oman) So the fans have been satisfactorily occupied for the last nine months with seven of them consisting of one day games in the local league.
This year saw a total of twenty two teams compete, with eight teams in both the first and second division while six competed in the the third division. Aziz Damani CC, Tornado CC and Aziz Damani Development team were the victors in their respective categories, that saw them each garner awards and rewards with Damani finishing the season unbeaten, while Tornado CC, Patidar CC and ADDT were promoted.
It wasn't all joy and happiness though with Ceylon Lions, Premier CC, and King's College Budo CC taking the boot that saw them unceremoniously relegated, with the latter having struggled the most all season.
With the first and second divisions being most competitive, Divison two took the cake with a very volatile table standing that saw the top two spots change guard every week. So unpredictable was the standing that up until the last two games, league heads Tornado CC could possibly have been left out if they had lost their final game.
On the other hand, the top flight teams in Kutchi Tigers, Challengers CC and KICC dominated throughout the season, with an occasional leap to third or second place - while the coveted top spot was secured in the tight gripping hands of Aziz Damani.
Aziz Damani Development Team (ADDT), a subsidiary of Aziz Damani CC earned their place in the big leagues, winning seven of ten games to edge out Jinja SSS. Their performance in the recent national T20 Cup gave some of the more experienced clubs a run for their money, and they should be a force to reckon with come next season as they take on Division two.
And what would a wrap up be without recounting some red letter moments of the season? Check out the lists below for some of the highlights of the Jazz Safari National League, 2018.
Top ten highest totals in the league 2018
Tornado CC 411/10 (in 49.1 ov) vs Nile CC 168/10 (in 31 ov)
Challengers CC 362/9 (in 48.0 ov) vs Tornado Bee 101/10 (in 29.2 ov)
Kutchi Tigers 348/5 (in 50.0 ov) vs Premier CC 158/10 (in 30.5 ov)
Aziz Damani 338/6 (in 49.2 ov) vs Premier CC 76/10 (in 18.1 ov)
Avengers CC 338/6 (in 50.0 ov) vs K.C Budo CC 95/10 (in 22.0 ov)
Partidar CC 329/9 (in 43.5 ov) vs Wanderers CC 167/10 (in 32.4 ov)
Avengers CC 327/10 (in 49.0 ov) vs Africa CC 250/9 (in 45.5 ov)
Partidar CC 323/10 (in 48.0 ov) vs Nile CC 37/10 (in 9.1 ov)
Premier CC 321/6 (in 48 1 ov) vs Strikers CC 317/9 (in 49.3 ov)
KICC 318/8 (in 49.5 ov) vs Tornado Bee 211/9 (in 50.0 ov)
Top ten highest scoring batsmen in 50 overs league 2018 (Div 1, 2 and 3)
- Saud Islam (Aziz Damani CC) - The Damani skipper tops this elite list, with a mammoth total of 590 runs in 14 innings, with his highest score at 102, with five half tons that included 15 incredible 15 6's and 32 4's
- Arthur Kyobe (Challengers CC) - The batting powerhouse's total of 473 runs in 14 innings was difficult to beat, with his highest score at 86, Kyobe went on to make five half tons, with nine 6's and a whopping 37 4's.
- Riazat Ali Shah (Aziz Damani CC) - The Cricket Crane's rising star had a personal best of 108 runs in a single game, joining the elite league of centurions, racking up a total of 433 runs in 11 innings to place him in the top three, with two half tons, including two 6's and 27 4's
- Hamu Kayondo Bagenda (Challengers CC) - This Challengers' opener incredible score of 181 runs was the highest this year. He went to post a total of 431 runs in 11 innings, with one half ton, including eight sixes and a massive 35 boundaries.
- Ssesazi Simon (Ceylon Lions) - Unperturbed by his team's declining performance, Ssesazi's total of 426 runs in 13 innings puts him in the top five tier this year, with his highest score at 90. He boasts of three half tons, which included three 6's and 10 4's
- Otwani Arnold (Ceylon Lions) - Relegation woes did not dull Otwani's shine either, with his highest score being 89 runs, he had a resounding 412 runs in 13 innings with three half tons, including four 6's and 24 4's
- Nanji Pindoria (Kutchi Tigers) - The Tigers have been resilient all season, and Nanji more so with a total of 394 runs in 14 innings brings puts him next on this list. His highest score in an innings was 67 runs, with three half tons including 7 6's and 22 4's
- Rajesh Nair (Premier CC) - With a high score of 140 runs, Rajesh came next in the elite league of centurions, putting on a total of 381 runs in 14 innings, with one century, two half tons including three 6's and seven 4's
- Roger Mukasa (Tornado Bee CC) - With a high score of 91 runs, the Cricket Cranes skipper put on 373 runs in just nine innings, with three half tons including two 6's and 25 4's puts him deservedly in our top 10 list.
- Meghji Kara (SKLPS) - The leading batsman in division two, Meghji put on a personal best of 83 runs in a single match this season, with a total of 367 runs in 11 innings, consisting of four half tons and 14 4's
Top 10 wicket takers in 50 overs league 2018 (Div 1, 2 and 3)
- Henry Ssenyondo (Aziz Damani) - 35/280 in 14 innings, at an economy rate of 2.71
- Davis Karashani (KICC) - 34/390 in 14 innings, at an economy rate of 4.33
- Mwebaze Innocent (Partidar CC) - 30/319 in 11 innings, with an economy rate of 4.33
- Dhansuk Jesani (Kutchi Tigers) 28/337 in 14 innings, at an economy rate of 3.33
- Trevor Bukenya (Tornado CC) - 27/350 runs in 11 innings, at an economy of 3.81
- Cosmas Kyewuta (Tornado CC) - 27/356 in 12 innings, at an econ rate of 4.09
- Bilal Hassan (Aziz Damani) - 27 /252 in 14 innings, at an economy rate of 4.49
- Arun Panchal (Avengers CC) - 27/340 in 12 innings, at an economy rate of 5.00
- Irfan Afridi (KICC) - 26/433 in 12 innings, at an economy of 4.28
- David Wabwire (Challengers CC) - 26/494 in 12 innings, at an economy rate of 5.15
Other notable records/achievements include:
Aziz Damani's unbeaten record in all 14 games. They practically sailed through the tournament to defend their title in a flawless fashion with the only thorn in their shoe being Kutchi Tigers who nearly marred their perfect record.
Highest successful chase in the league. This goes to Premier CC. Their record chase of Striker CC's 317/9 on the slow Lugogo pitch, was a thriller for all in attendance as they steadily put on 321 runs to win the game by four wickets, with 11 balls to spare!
Best fielder. This award goes to Challengers' Steven Wabwose, who boasts of 24 catches in total, consisting of one catch, 22 WK catches and one stumping.
Highest number of wickets taken in a single game - 9 wickets. This was courtesy of Kutchi Tigers' Anup Kerai whose phenomenal 9/37 against Challengers CC helped the Tigers to victory, winning the match by 73 runs.
Highest individual batsman score in a game - 181 runs. This goes to Challengers' Hamu Kayondo who's patient knock of 181 off 136 balls was vital in their game against Tornado Bees, winning by 261 runs.
Closest finish of the season - Aziz Damani vs Kutchi Tigers (2nd game). The Tigers bowled well to limit Damani to 102 all out, and they chased with intent. It was a fight to the last over, that saw saw a fight to the last over in a game that the Tigers had dominated throughout, Damani's Isaneez with his two wicket spell in the last over made for a dramatic finish that saw them clinch the title by a nervy 9 runs.