Sandip Adole nearly became the fifth batter to be stranded in the 90s over the weekend but he was dismissed on 89 off 107 balls that propelled Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’ to their highest score of the 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 – over League season – 8/249. The professional top order batsman pummelled ten boundaries and batted through the 14th – 37th overs with a flailing middle order as Sir Ali beat Stray Lions Cricket Club ‘A’ by 58 runs in their Super League fixture at Peponi School.
Sir Ali made history, beating Stray Lions for the first time in their backyard and recording a second overall win in five years.
Adole told kenya-cricket.com that he will take the win, albeit disappointed for not achieving a milestone for the second time in a row. “I was set today and I’m disappointed that I didn’t get my hundred but the team won and I’m happier with that. The team has been training harder together after the loss to Kanbis and that has enabled us to win back to back. The unity of the team is getting stronger as everyone backs the other to perform well.”
Stray Lions’ Zimbabwean wicket keeper batsman Gary Chirimuuta continued his heroics behind the stumps to claim opening batsman Siddarth Mhatre and Zahid Abbas at 4 for 2 and 15 runs respectively off Sri Lankan Charith Jayampathi’s bowling. The two catches extend his catch tally to 10 and total dismissals to 18 at the top of the fielding statistics.
Skipper Gurdeep Singh once again danced around the batting order to drop to 6 from opening, managing only 28 runs before being trapped leg before by Hiren Varaiya in the 33rd over.
Bowlers’ Union combined in the form of Eugene Maneno and Tarandeep Singh to add 46 runs to the eighth wicket before Shem Ngoche had Singh caught by David Mutua for 30 off 28 balls, leaving Maneno unbeaten on 33 runs on 52 balls.
Jayampathi finished on 2/43 off 9 overs as the spinning duo of Shem Ngoche and skipper Hiren Varaiya picked 2/27 and 2/54 off ten and nine overs respectively.
In reply, Stray Lions could not hold partnerships together, losing successive wickets all the way down to sum up a dismal show all round as described by skipper Varaiya. “We weren’t good in all departments – we dropped like 5 catches, missed two stumpings and weren’t disciplined to bowl on one side of the wicket. Credit to Sir Ali for batting out the overs to give themselves extra runs but we also gave away almost 40 extras.”
On their batting, the skipper informed kenya-cricket.com that they ignored the basics, lacked partnerships and were especially hurt by leaving out almost 8 overs. “We got starts but failed to bat longer just like last week (against Gymkhana.) We need a quick turnaround. Even so, the youngsters (Gerald Mwendwa and Mutua) are trying and will learn with experience. Shem and Gary also did well with ball and bat respectively.” Noted Varaiya.
Gary Chirimuuta top scored with 46 runs off 59 deliveries and formed a rare fourth wicket partnership with Krishna Katukala (33 off 56). For a normally bustling side, Chirimuuta only managed two maximums and Katukala one boundary. Dependable middle order all – rounder Shem Ngoche (1) was dismissed for only the second time in the season, paving way for Jayampathi. The former Sri Lankan U – 19 and U – 23 player tried to control the lower order butt could only extract 33 runs before Irfan Ellahi had him caught behind by Mhatre at the beginning of the 43rd over, the last man to depart with 191 runs in the shed.
Neil Mugabe (18) and Alex Obanda (16) chipped in with the bat.
Ellahi added 4/37 to his nine wicket tally, his second 4-fer scalp of the season, as Abdul Rehman stepped up further with 3/38 from nine overs alike.