KAMPALA- Something other than the ordinary at the 2017 National Men’s Twenty20 League quarterfinals was expected at Lugogo Oval rather than Kyambogo on Sunday. With Challengers and Aziz Damani expected to ease past opponents Africa Cricket Club and Charity Trust Fund respectively at the University Oval, the onus was on Lugogo to deliver the shocks.
First, 2016 finalists KICC survived in a close eight-run win over Kampala Pirates. But 2013 semifinalists Tornado Bee were stunned in a five-wicket loss to Kutchi Tigers. Tigers made their first semifinal thanks to an epic batting show that saw them respond to Tornado Bee’s 175-3 set score with eight balls to spare.
“Our pros batted very well,” Tigers’ thrilled captain Alphesh Hirani said while lauded Indian imports Jaydev Parmar, Rakesh Kahar, Vyas Nisarg and Saumil Patel.
If anyone had watched Roger Mukasa’s batting show in the first innings, the few scattered all over the shadows around Lugogo could thought less of a defeat for Tornado Bee. After Kenyan opener David Obuya (19 off 25) departed to leave the scoreboard reading 33-1 after 6.2 overs, Mukasa walked in at three, hitting a quick-fire 91 runs off 44 balls. Mukasa shared a 142-run stand with Akbar Baig (42*-run-a-ball) before he fell on the first ball of the 20th over.
But Tigers replied in style Parmar (29 off 17), Kahar (37 off 21), Vyas (35 off 20) and Ankit Patel (28* off 15) combining to shock the Tornado Bee bowling unit.
The latter shared 45 runs for the sixth wicket with Dhansukh Jesani (19* off 11). “Their batsmen did well,” admitted Tornado Bee captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke.
RESULTS - NATIONAL TWENTY20 LEAGUE
KICC 89/9 Kampala Pirates 81/10
Tornado Bee 175/3 Kutchi Tigers 176/5
Challengers 195/2 ACC 111/9
Aziz Damani 172/3 Charity TF 111/7