Challengers shock Telugu to storm finals

Challengers Cricket Club defeated Telugu Royals in the semi-final by 2 wickets on Sunday at Kicukiro Oval to set up a final date with Right Guards in this year’s Computer Point T20 tournament.

Challengers Cricket Club defeated Telugu Royals in the semi-final by 2 wickets on Sunday at Kicukiro Oval to set up a final date with Right Guards in this year’s Computer Point T20 tournament.

Pre-match favourites Telugu won the toss and opted to bat first, putting on 124 runs in the allotted 20 overs for the loss of seven wickets. Eric Ndangamyambi and Ivan Mitali top scored for Telugu Royals with 31 runs each.

The former faced 39 balls scoring 1 four and was run out by Ahmed Farishta, while the later faced 36 balls and hit 3 fours before he was  bowled by Challengers’ captain Srinath Vardhineni, who also took the wicket of P. Vikeria (4 runs off 4 balls).

Two other batsmen; AB (16 runs off 21 balls) and Aziz James (10 runs in 6 balls) scored in double figures for Telugu, who also benefited from Challengers’ inconsistent bowling that gave away 21 extras.

Challengers’ opening bowler Zapy Bimenyimana took the two vital wickets of Telugu’s opening batsmen; D. Pindoria for a duck and Rishi Arya for four runs.

In response, Challengers CC made 127 runs from 18.5 overs for the loss of eight wickets, thanks to the brilliant performance of opening batsman Daniel Ruyange, who produced 46 runs not out off 46 balls.

Ruyange hit 1 six and six 4s before he was bowled by Vikeria, who finished with figures of 5 wickets in four overs for 17 runs.  Ruyange was ably supported by Zaid Khan (21 runs from 25 balls) as well as Geoffrey Ghandi, who contributed 18 runs from 10 balls.

For Challengers, who had not beaten Telugu in the last two years, victory on Sunday was very crucial, according to team captain Srinath.

“We have a clear game-plan, which we executed quite well, taking into consideration that we have not fared well against Telugu in previous meetings,” he said.

He added, “We restricted them to a low score and our batsman did well to reach the target, at the end, we lost wickets, which made the match look like a tight finish but we managed to see it out, now we can look forward to the final against Right Guards.”

Challengers will face Right Guards, who beat Kigali Cricket Club by 5 wickets in the first semi-final, also played on the same day at the same venue.  The final is scheduled for October 15 at Kicukiro Oval.

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