Kerai lucks out on maiden ton as Kanbis hammer Gymkhana

Kanbis Sports Club ‘A’s Pushpak Kerai was left stranded on 99 runs as Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ curtailed a near-300 – run target momentum at Eastleigh High School in their Super League fixture of the 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 -over League. Either, that did not stop Gymkhana from copping up a 168 – run defeat with more than half of their overs to spare.

The newly minted opening batsman is only making his third appearance at the top of the order up from batting 7 – 8, with an enviable 99 runs carved from 96 balls inclusive of 14 boundaries and two maximums. He follows up on scores of 6 and 31 in the two immediate innings he has played the opening role for Kanbis this season.

Kerai made an 82 – run opening stand with skipper Dhiren Gondaria (40 from 50 balls), the latter being adjudged leg before in the 17th over by prolific youngster Arnav Patel. His next three partners didn’t stick around with Kanbis finding themselves at 4-128 in 25 overs.

Playing for the team, Kerai told kenya-cricket.com that he just kept going. “I didn’t have any nerves because I was not even aware that I was in the nineties, let alone when I was on 99. The scoreboard was only displaying total runs. It was a fantastic match, though, and I’m not disappointed. As long as the team wins, I’m okay. we play as a team so, my main goal is to ensure I contribute to the team’s win. Personal milestones don’t really matter to me.” Said Kerai.

All –rounder Emmanuel Bundi restored some order with Kerai to add 36 runs to the fifth wicket before Lucas Ndandason had the latter bowled in the 31st over, a run short of his maiden League ton. Bundi then added 22 runs to the 6th alongside Kanbis’ stalwart Ramesh Mepani before he was sent packing by Yash Talati in the 38th over, caught by his childhood playmate, Martin Ndandason.

In a show of their batting depth, Mepani and Rajesh Bhudiya made an unbeaten 100 – run stand for the seventh wicket, with Bhudiya finishing unbeaten on 66 runs off 43 balls. Mepani made 47 of 51 balls as Kanbis closed on 6/298.

Upcoming youngsters Arnav PAtel and Yash Talati were the pick of the bowlers for Gymkhana with 2/66 and 2/39 respectively.

In reply, Nairobi Gymkhana’s scorecard was a horror show with only the 50 – run stand for the seventh wicket between the Ndandason brothers amounting to much. Gymkhana lost 3/0 before Lucas came in and clobbered five boundaries and five sixes to put up 59 runs off 39 balls while Martin only made 6 from 16 balls. Lucas was the 9th man to depart with any hopes Gymkhana had left, bowled by Emmanuel Bundi in the 23rd over to have them cleaned up for 130 runs with a sole additional run thereafter.

Veer Dave returned to form of sorts with 24 runs off 29 balls at the top with opening batsman Harshvardan Patel scoring 10.

Gymkhana’s paceman Lucas Ndandason acknowledges that they had a bad day out “We bowled well to begin with but things just crumbled at some point and that extended to our batting which did not go as planned, either.”

Nischay Kerai made his mark on the bowling charts with 4/18 off five overs with Emmanuel Bundi collecting 3/27 off five and Jinesh Jivani 2/43 from his six overs for Kanbis.

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