Stray ‘Lions’ successfully escape Swamis trap

In a contest of ordinary batting, Stray Lions Cricket Club ‘A’ had the extra bit of quality to successfully chase an under-par Swamibapa Cricket Club ‘A’ total at Peponi School.

Swamibapa seemed to lack the enterprise and skill to handle Stray Lions’ bowling, but their bowlers and fielders were spirited in the defense, dragging the hosts down. Chasing 130, the top order faltered after a quick start, but Neil Mugabe and Charith Jayampathi steadied Stray Lions from 103 for 6 all the way to victory with 21.4 overs to play.

It was a slow and low track all right, fast becoming the norm at Peponi School now, but it wasn’t deceitful enough to justify either Swamibapa’s total or the struggle Stray Lions had to go through to get there.

The only batsmen that seemed at ease in Swamibapa’s team were Morris Ouma (53) and Rushab Patel (20) while Mugabe, Jayampathi and Alex Obanda (36) managed to offer some resistance for the visitors.

Ouma’s half-century injected some life in Swamibapa’s limp innings after early wickets had seen them struggling at 1 for 1, 32 for 2 and 48 for 3 before crawling to 113 for 8 by the time Ouma was being dismissed in the 36th over.

Swamibapa’s batting order was exposed once again with all but three of their batsmen failing to get to double digits as the hosts’ bowlers ripped through them.
Jayampathi was the chief architect of Swami’s failure with three wickets which included opener Pankaj Sanghani for a two ball duck off the third delivery of the match.

Rushab and Jignesh Hirani added on 31 for the second wicket before Jayampathi broke it by dismissing Rushab in the ninth over. Two overs later, Shem Ngoche made it 48 for 3 by having Hirani caught.

They lost two quick wickets of Prasang Hirani and Harendra Kerai for ducks to leave them at 54 for 5 courtesy of Ngoche and Hiren Varaiya.

Swami’s innings managed to get a sigh of relief in a 47 – run stand for the sixth wicket between James Ngoche (12) and Ouma.

Morris Ouma (l) and James Ngoche (r) made a 42 – run partnership for Swamibapa Sports Club

James played cautiously and seemed looking to give Ouma a stand as he faced 66 balls for 12 runs before he was run out in the 33rd over.

Nehemiah Odhiambo didn’t last long in the middle, scoring only four runs before becoming Krishna Katukala’s first wicket of the match. Seven balls later, Jayampathi bagged the big wicket of the innings when he had Ouma caught after facing 57 balls that included three fours and two sixes.

Katukala and Ngoche cleaned up the tail to end the visitor’s innings on 130 with 8.1 overs to play. .  

The second innings began in the same fashion as the first as Praveen Mogasati was back in the dugout by the end of the first over, caught for a duck off Odhiambo.

Obanda and Katukala steadied the innings with a second wicket stand of 54 in 7.1 overs with the former clearing the boundaries thrice in the 29 balls he faced.

The bowlers never seemed to trouble Obanda and it was a direct hit from Ouma that ended his brief dangerous stay at the crease.

Alex Obanda cleared everything he could

From 57 for 1, the hosts found themselves in trouble at 70 for 5 when Gary Chirimuuta was run out for a duck, and Katukala and Nitin Arvind fell to Jadavji Bhimji’s spin.

Ngoche and Jayampathi put on 33 for the sixth wicket to give the home team some edge. Bhimji scalped Ngoche in the 25th over to pay way to the winning partnership between Jayampathi and Mugabe.

Jayampathi hit two sixes and matching boundaries in his 10 balls’ stay at the crease while Mugabe faced 45 balls managing only two boundaries.

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