Gondaria’s ton stretches Ngara’s miserable run

Dhiren Gondaria bats in a previous match. Photo courtesy.

Dhiren Gondaria made good a comeback with a 116 – ball ton after a couple of off innings, including a second ball duck against Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’ last weekend, to gift Kanbis Sports Club ‘A’ a comfortable win over Ngara Sports Club ‘A’ by 112 runs in the ongoing 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 – over League.

The opening batsman clobbered six maximums and ten boundaries on his way to 109 runs including three major partnerships that propelled the visitors to 8/289 in their fifty overs.                                                                          

Gondaria made a 67-run opening partnership with Pushpak Kerai (36) who was dismissed in the 19th over before adding an equal second wicket partnership with Sachin Bhudia (21.) After Nelson Odhiambo fell to Dhey Patel (caught & bowled) for a duck with only two additional runs on the board, Gondaria partnered with Rakep Patel (15) to add 64 runs to the fourth wicket before both were dismissed four balls apart in the 38th and 39th overs.

Kanbis’ stalwart Ramesh Mepani posted 34 runs off 30 balls in his first innings of the season in a 64 –run partnership for the 8th wicket alongside Rajesh Bhudiya who remained unbeaten on 35 runs.

Despite the onslaught, Dhey Patel managed respectable figures as he picked 5/60 for the South –C based side off his entire allotment.

In reply, Ngara lost wickets frequently to find the scoreboard at 4-62 in the 18th over. A 44 – run 5th wicket partnership between skipper Mehul Patel (17) and Harshad Patel who stayed unbeaten on 73 runs off 92 balls threatened to revive the innings before the hosts lost 3/2 to find themselves repositioned at 7/108 after 33 overs.

In a show of grit and patience, Vraj Patel faced 35 balls that yielded only 3 runs, to partner with Harshad Patel to add an unbeaten 60 runs to the 9th wicket but it was barely enough as Ngara wrapped up the match on 8/177. Opening batsman Manthan Joshi added 33 runs off 58 balls at the top, six boundaries to his name.

The fact that they were missing the hard hitting Nikul Patel in the middle – lower order did not help matters for the hosts.

Kanbis’ twin – spin of Mikunj Pindolia and Rajesh Bhudiya were the pick of the bowlers with 3/31 and 3/26 from 9 and 10 overs respectively.

Dhiren Gondaria spoke to kenya-cricket.com about sticking in through a challenging match and being in the runs once again. “The pitch was slow and turning so it turned out to be quite challenging to bat on. They also had some good pace from Tanzeel (Sheikh) and left arm spin but we stayed calm and managed to score.”

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