It was a day of upsets as results largely favoured the minor sides against the norm in the East African Premier League matches played across the region.
In Nakuru, Kongonis were skittled out for a small total of 57 beaten Rift Valley Rhinos claimed a 3 runs win through the Duckworth/Lewis method after the rains which forced the game to be reduced to a 17-over per side game again resurfaced to bring about an early conclusion after 15.2 overs.
Kongonis had claimed the toss and elected to bat on a dry-surface with the rains looming in the horizon, before even the match could start, there was enough rain to push back the start time and cause a reduction in the number of overs for the game.
After the rains ahd subsided, Kongonis innings suffered a huge collapse and they struggled to 57 all out in 14.5 overs. They had only managed 25 runs for the loss of 5 wickets from 5 overs, before Nicholas Oluoch and Dhiren Gondaria combined to give the innings a slight lift to 42 before the latter was stumped off Hiren Varaiya attempting to go for a big hit.
Earlier on, Rhinos Peter Ongondo and Ibrahim Akello had picked up a brace of wickets a piece up the order and then skipper Varaiya chipped in with two more valuable strikes to bring to an end Kongonis hopes of posting a competitive score.
The situation almost repeated itself in the Rhinos innings, when they found themselves at 29 runs for 7 wickets in 8 overs thanks largely to Rakep Patel who returned impressive figures of 4 for 9 runs. The Kongonis skipper found assistance from Gordon Brown who took 2 for 13 and they had threatened to defend the total before Ongondo’s late hitting brought the home side right into it.
In Nairobi, Coast Pekee earned themselves the much-awaited win mainly due to an explosive innings of 91 from Nadeem Ahmed helping the visitors to post 170 in their allotted overs. Nairobi Buffaloes in reply then managed 155 runs handing the coastal side a 13-run victory.
Kampala saw, the Warriors won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that offered bounce to the bowlers. They got off to flying start, hitting 8 off the first over thanks to powerful hitting by Ali Raza and Roger Mukasa. The partnership was broken at 29 with a slower from Deus Muhumuza which totally deceived an advancing Ali Raza as he was bowled out for 18.
Roger Mukasa and Arnold Otwan held the side together until Arnold went across the line on a full length ball from Frank Nsubuga, and was out for 22 runs. With the wickets tumbling, a composed 15 from Ronald Semanda and powerful hitting at the end of the innings by Jonathan Sebanja (21 off 14 balls) helped the Warriors to a total of 126/9 in their allotted 20 overs. Davis Karashani was the pick of the Knights bowling with figures of 2/11 in his 4 overs.
Initially, the Knights were cautious in the run chase getting 5 runs off the first over off the bowling of Roger Mukasa. The 2 spinners, Mohammed Shafeek and Roger Mukasa troubled the Knights earlier on as they moved at under 5 an over. The Knights innings were held together by Arthur Kyobe and Benjamin Musoke with a fourth wicket partnership of 75 runs, before Arthur Kyobe’s brilliant innings of 83 runs off 54 balls were brought to an abrupt end by well taken catch, of the bowling of Jonathan Sebanja, with the Knights needing 21 runs for victory.
Two wickets fell quickly before the captain of the Knights, Davis Karashani scored the winning runs off his first ball.
It will be an all Ugandan final in the East Africa Premier League at Gymkhana Cricket ground in Nairobi on 29th October 2011.