The quarter final games at the university oval was action packed, entertaining and everything in between. From the star studded appearances of several internationals to the high flying sixers and generous boundaries - the quarter final games were every bit as exciting as the previews predicated and more.
Quarter final one
Ceylon Lions C.C 267/8 in 20 overs (Alex Obanda 102 off 48, Varinder Singh 61 off 24 and 2/1 in 1.3 overs) beat Jinja SS 49/2 in 6.3 overs (Robinson Obuya 31 off 19, Derrick Bwire 4/38) by 40 runs (D/L revised target of 89 runs)
Unimoni Man of the match: Alex Obanda (Ceylon Lions C.C)
It was a steady start for the Group B league heads in a game that saw them favorites to win. Openers Simon Ssesazi (7 off 4) and Ruwan Jayaratne (11 off 10) spent a short time at the crease with Sessazi dismissed in the second over after a fervent appeal from the side, solicited a recall of the umpire's 'not out' decision. And the contentious lbw was later granted energizing the Jinja side thanks to Derrick Bwire. This introduced the next batsman and man of the match - Kenyan International Alex Obanda.
At number three, he wasted no time dispatching boundaries and maximums like it was Stick cricket. The Jinja side were treated to a batting master class, that saw them go from 17/1 in 2 overs to 30/1 in three overs. Ruwan was caught in the next over, making way for another new batsman, Sri Lankan Malindu Maduranga (42 off 20) and by the fifth over Ceylon was cruising at 61/2 and by the time this volatile partnership was broken, the Lions were at 131/3 in 10 overs, with Malindu falling eight runs short of a deserved half ton.
Alex Obanda continued to punish the Jinja SS bowlers, finding an able partner in Varinder Singh, effectively terrorizing the Jinja side before Bwire had Obanda caught, but the damage had already been done. With 102 runs off 38 balls, Alex Obanda's century propelled the Ceylon Lions to 220 runs with over five overs and six wickets left.
Varinder Singh (61 off 24) who'd made his half ton by that time was joined at the crease by brother Narinder Singh (8 off 11), with the 17th over being Jinja SS' breakthrough, taking three more wickets before the close of innings. With a commanding 263 runs, the semis looked even more likely. Jinja SS started off the second innings with a mammoth target almost similar to KICC's record 266 runs against JACC.
Jinja SS' Robinson Obuya (32 off 17), the sole stand out bat for the side was on extra lives after nearly being dismissed twice in the first two overs, having been caught off a no ball and an ill-timed catch missed, contributed the bulk of their total however this only delayed the inevitable with Obuya dismissed two overs later after being bowled and caught by Varinder Singh (2/1). The rain just six overs in sealed the innings and the fate of both teams with Ceylon Lions winning easily by 40 runs after a revised target of 89 (by D/L) for Jinja SS.
Quater final two
Tornado Bees C.C 163/8 in 20 overs (Roger Mukasa 43 off 21 and 2/19 in 2 overs, Collins Obuya 43 off 31) lost to Aziz Damani C.C 165/3 in 18 .1 overs (Mir Afzal 55* runs off 38, Saud Islam 52 off 41, Charles Waiswa 4/15 and Riazat Shah 3/19) by 7 wickets.
Unimoni Man of the match: Charles Waiswa (Aziz Damani C.C)
The two teams faced off in the afternoon, having just met a few weeks back for the last game of the Jazz Safari Men's League. Whereas Aziz Damani retained their squad from their last game, Tornado Bee, brought out the big guns with Collins Obuya, Mwendwa Gerald joining the party alongside cricket cranes team mates Roger Mukasa and Deus Muhumuza, hoping to reverse their fate of previous fixtures.
Aziz Damani won the toss opting to field with the Bees sending in Cranes' skipper Roger Mukasa (43 off 21) and Akbar Baig (13 off 12) to open the batting. Roger's quick knock of 33 runs in three overs had Damani itching to get him out fast. Akbar Baig dismissal in the fifth over was the breakthrough they needed when just an over later Charles Waiswa set up the skipper to have him caught at cover leaving 60 runs on board in just six overs.
Deus Muhumuza (22 off 22) came in next and together with Kenyan international Collins Obuya (43 off 37) tried to find their feet amongst the now reviving Damani bowlers Charles Waiswa (4/15) and Riazat Shah (3/19) made it more difficult with the next four overs yielding a paltry 11 runs, but the two batsman opened the guns in the next three overs with generous boundaries and maximums reaching triple digits before Obuya was clean bowled by Riazat in the 15th over.
But Riazat became the proverbial thorn in the Bee's side picking two more wickets with a reverse swing in his next over, right after Ssenyondo's sole wicket while Charles Waiswa's two wicket haul in his next over was nearly converted to a hattrick but had to be content with the Bees worried at 133/8 in 18 overs. However, Mwendwa Gerald (14* off 9) revived the side, with his quick knock pushing the score to 163/8 by the end of the innings.
Aziz Damani came in full force, despite a shaky start losing two batsmen despite Kenneth Waiswa's quick knock (21 runs off 33), leaving a score of 37/2 in six overs. Mir Afzal (55* off 38) and Saud Islam (52 off 41) steadied the ship however, piling a little over a hundred runs before Saud was caught. Wth the score at 141/3 in 16 overs, Riazat Shah (27* off 13) took the crease with explosive play, and despite being caught and dropped twice in the same over, the partnership sealed the innings with a win and a semifinal game against Ceylon Lions for shot at the finals.