Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ finally made their presence in the 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 – over League felt when they beat on form Ruaraka Sports Club ‘A’ by 5 wickets in their weekend fixture, befittingly at home.
The win earns Gymkhana four points and drags them from a -2 deficit position at 10th to 8th on the Super League log with 2 points.
The win also muddied the farewell of the Uganda Cricket Association duo of Brian Masaba and Kenneth Waiswa who return home today for national duty.
Plucked from the B – team to make his Super League debut, Babariya Tirth put on an impressive 44 – ball 28 runs, five boundaries therein, at the top of the order to guide Gymkhana to their maiden season win with 20.3 balls to spare.
The budding wicket keeper – opening batsman is elated but told kenya–cricket.com that he can do better. “It’s a great feeling to be part of the team’s first win while playing at the top order. It was a bit challenging but my teammates backed me which helped me absorb the pressure and get runs. I have gotten great starts batting at the top order but I need to focus more in order to convert. I’m working on the mental aspects and a few technical issues with the coaches at the Academy (Starfield Sports Academy) in order to score bigger runs for the team.”
Tirth put on a 40 – run second wicket partnership with Harshvardhan Patel (21) before being caught by Kenneth Waiswa off Vishil Patel in the 15th over. Veer Dave (4) departed cheaply making way for Dominic Wesonga and Martin Ndandason who made an unbeaten 29 – run stand for the 6th wicket to steer the hosts home, each with a 20 – run contribution.
The return of Ruaraka’s pace bowling sensation Elijah Asoyo was hardly enough to save the Thika Road side as they watched the hosts fly away with the win.
Asoyo and Vishil Patel shared two wickets – a – piece for Ruaraka.
Riding on the backdrop of three wins on the trot, a confident Ruaraka Sports Club elected to bat but things went awry quickly for the dependable top order. Chandresh Hirani (2) was the first to go in the second over with only 11 runs on the board. Flashy Zephaniah Arinaitwe got off to a flier before being stopped inside the 9th over, 33 runs off 27 overs to his name, inclusive of three boundaries and two maximums, with the board on 3 – 59.
Arinaitwe’s departure triggered a 2 – 0 loss courtesy of Amish Amin, when his countryman Kenneth Waiswa followed him back to the pavilion for a golden duck. Ruaraka then lost 3 – 2 in the form of Pushkar Sharma (28), Brian Masaba (1) and Keval Bhuva (8).
Pushkar Sharma could only add 28 runs off 27 balls before he was caught behind off Dominic Wesonga in the 12th over.
Harshit Vekaria (20) tried to salvage the lower order once again with Pankaj Bhudia (21) but a further 3 – 1 loss had the visitors wrapped up on 124 runs in 32.2 overs.
Lucas Oluoch kept us his groove with the ball, picking 3/27 off 8 overs, backing up young Amish Amin who finished with 3/31 of his 10. Dominic Wesonga added 2/23 from 7 overs.