On a day that saw four batters stranded in the nineties in the Super League division of the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 –over League, Sikh Union Sports Club played out the most dramatic of matches with two incidences from the opposing teams as Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj (SCLPS) ‘A’ went on to record their second win of the season by three wickets.
Sikh Union Sports Club ‘A’s skipper Sukhdeep Singh was left stranded on 94 runs as they went on to post their highest total of the season yet, 9/233, befittingly at home. Sukhdeep was in at 3 on the last ball of the seventh over, after Raj Manji’s dismissal on 8, to post a crafty 94 off 117 balls, inclusive of only four boundaries and one maximum. He only departed in the 42nd over, the duo of Cutchi Leva youngins combining to dismiss him; caught by Ankit Bhanderi, Darsh Panchani bowling.
He terms the innings as the best of his career. “I got a couple of 80s in my career but this was one of the best innings I’ve played. I feel very positive with my performance with the season ahead.” On his top order not making an impact, he states, “There wasn’t much nerves on display, we all wanted to do well before our overseas players came in. turns out my partnership with Kalyan was the main impact in the match. The 100 – plus partnership was very good and it’s what took us to a decent total. He did well and would have done much better if his partners held on.
The talented Muhammad Kalyan slotted in at 5 to finish unbeaten on 70 runs off 91 balls, three boundaries therein and also made a 120 – run partnership for the fourth wicket with the skipper, the most considerable stand of the innings.
None of the other batsmen made double figures after the skipper’s departure, in an innings that consisted of three run outs, two of them by Lameck Ngoche who claimed Paarth Dixit (8) and Aum Patel (0). Opening batsman Harpreet Gill could only add 13 runs despite starting on a high with a boundary and a maximum.
Sumit Halai was the pick of the bowlers for Samaj with 2/53 off his entire purchase.
In reply Rahul Nathani was left a run short of his maiden season ton as the visitors chased down the score with 6 balls to spare. The stylish opening batsman pulled his groin and had to retire hurt on 24 in the eleventh over, but the hosts’ plans fell through when he came back in the 22nd over and stayed still the end.
Nathani is glad the boys enjoyed a good contest despite being stranded on 99 for the second time in his career. “I first got stranded on 99 against Goan Institute ‘A’ five years ago. I’m happy that we had a good game and the boys enjoyed a tight match. Last over finishes are very nice and interesting, so overall, it was a good game. Credit to the Sikh Union youngsters who are coming up so well and will shine in the next 2 – 3 years.”
Samaj displayed a more settled top order with the return of Vishal Bhojani from wedded bliss with a 57 – ball 38 batting at 4, while adding 63 runs to the fourth wicket with Nathani. Jignesh Kerai added 17 at the top of the order while Hiten Vekaria continued his good streak chipping in with 21 off 25 balls.
The hosts’ skipper all – round effort earned him 3/34 in return with left arm pacer Gurleen Singh backing him up with 2/39.