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Tornado Bees await Nile in cricket league

Division one defending champions Tornado Bees have their sights on making it two wins in two games, when they meet Nile at the Entebbe cricket oval this Sunday, reports JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.

Even after Tornado Bees’ commanding season opening victory 204/6 in 48.1 overs against Aziz Damani’s 200/10 in 48.4 overs, captain Jeremy Kibukamusoke is keeping talk of their target for a fifth successive league title in check.

This has nothing to do with the fact that Damani are newly promoted from division two, for the Bees to get carried away. However, Kibukamusoke insisted that excitement does not win the league, but focus and patience to take one game at a time, including Nile this weekend.

Kibukamusoke acknowledged that because they are the team to beat, every opponent prepares hard to make life difficult for them: “In that case, we must be on our guard and be serious against every opponent regardless of who they are.”

Damani wicket-keeper Ali Hunzai (left) watches Tornado Bees batsman Lawrence Sematimba during a league match last Sunday

Kibukamusoke is quite cognisant of the season last, when they struggled for much of the first round and nearly did not win the league. They would not want to see a repeat of that. Nile is one of the teams that gave the Bees a real run for their money last year.

And following their season opening loss to Challengers a fortnight ago, they do not want to run the risk of being in a relegation dog fight. Nile’s batsman Abu Seguya, who scored 56 runs in 66 balls in his team’s 279/6 win over Patidar 106/10 last weekend, showed that they have bounced back.

“I told you when we lost to Challengers that we were missing some players and we had not gelled. But now we are good to go,” said Seguya. Such comments will tickle the Bees. But not more than the job at hand at the daunting Entebbe oval.

Nile appear to have found a batting gem in Mehul Makwana, who scored 85 runs in 121 balls and Ivan Kakande 52 runs in 57 balls against Patidar. Nile are a potential banana skin. But so was Damani, yet the Bees killed them softly, relying on their workaholic approach and experience to handle tough situations.

Meanwhile, Damani have the task to prove that their confidence going into their game with the Bees last weekend was not far-fetched. They face top-flight runners-up, Challengers in Kyambogo.

With the array of talent in Damani: Arnold Otwani, best batsman in division two last year, Masaba Man of Series in 2016, Emmanuel Isaneez and the national coach Steve Tikolo also playing for them, they are formidable on paper.

However, Challengers’ Arthur Kyobe, Hum Kayondo, Henry Ssenyondo and Irfan Afridi looked terrific in their first game against Nile. Damani will need a stellar display to match them.

Cricket league
Sunday@10am:
Kutchi v Charity, Lugogo
Challengers v Damani, Kyambogo
Bees v Nile, Entebbe
Wanderers v SKLPS, Budo
Jinja SS v Tornado, Jinja

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