Aces face national U19 in Hill cricket meet

24Jul 2016
Japheth Kazenga
Guardian On Sunday
Aces face national U19 in Hill cricket meet

ACES African Fighters cricket team open their quest for top honours in the division A of the Kazim Nasser Memorial Challenge tournament today, confronting the Tanzania Cricket Association’s TCA U19 at the University of Dar es Salaam grounds.

The two sides are in the group A-2 of the division, which also has Saint Gobain Strikers and Veecom Warriors.
The duel stands to be a tricky fixture for Aces, given that they will be facing a TCA U19 squad full of talented youngsters that also turn out for the national U19 cricket team.

Aces boast of a mixture of young and experienced players led by skipper Azim Thakur, who is also the team’s founder, and the team is expected to deploy its dependable players to get the better of the TCA U19 team.

Thakur said his team is optimistic of emerging victorious in the game, insisting the team will not take their opponents lightly much as the latter are mostly up-and-coming cricketers.

“We will play up-and-coming players but we will hardly underrate them. We will be committed throughout the game,” he said.

“We will give them stiff opposition with a view to helping them gain experience, given they will take part in the International Cricket Committee’s ICC Africa U17 Division 1 tournament in South Africa.”

The likes of Shafii Mwalami, Jumanne Mohamed and Salum Jumbe helped Aces put impressive displays in the Dar es Salaam Region Cricket Committee’s DRCC Mwalimu Nyerere tournament, held at the end of last year and the team will, again, be banking on the players to help it excel in the ongoing event.

Aces, Thakur noted, has been boosted by the return of Jumbe, who had been attending training at the Bright Morning Club in Lahore, Pakistan for the past month.

TCA U19 players are using the Kazim Nasser Memorial Challenge to put themselves in better shape prior to participating in the ICC Africa U19 Division 1 tournament slated to take place in South Africa in September.

Victory over TCA U19 will help Aces leapfrog the former and Veecom Warriors to occupy the second position in group A-2, led by Saint Gobain Strikers.

Saint Gobain Strikers have won their first two matches to collect a total of 21 points, which includes bonus points awarded for excelling in both batting and bowling in the two games.

Saint Gobain have scored 358 runs in 60.2 overs and conceded 350 runs in 80 overs to post a net run rate of 1.56.
Veecom Warriors and TCA U19, who went down to Saint Gobain Strikers, have managed four and three bonus points and have posted net run rates of -1.71 and -1.42 respectively.

Group A-2 of division A comprises other prominent domestic cricket outfits of Morogoro, Estim Eleven A, Aga Khan SC A and Gymkhana.

Division A’s participants play 40 over matches, with the top two teams in either group eventually qualifying for the semi-finals.

If a side batting first is dismissed under 35 overs, as per the playing condition released by DRCC official, Sanjay Bhatia,the team batting second may opt to add five overs to their innings with the same target.

The option can be put to action at any stage before the 30th over in the second innings ideally at the mandatory drinks interval.

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