Rakesh Kahar emphatically marked his season’s debut with a century that helped Swamibapa Sports Club A’ overturn their two – match torrid run to stop short red hot Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’ by 52 runs over the weekend.
The hosts were snuffed out of a fourth match winning streak with the 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) wrapping up the penultimate week of the 50 – over competition.
A returning Kahar bagged 11 boundaries and five maximums as he remained unbeaten on 123 runs from 106 balls with the visitors making their highest total of the season – 5/341. The overseas batter came in at 6 to also make a 77 – run fourth wicket stand with the other debutant – Duwanil Patel, who managed 62 runs off 94 balls, inclusive of five boundaries.
Kahar added a further unbeaten 103 runs to the sixth wicket with Nehemiah Ngoche (22*) to help Swamibapa reap the full benefits of electing to bat from their half.
Swamibapa’s openers were poorly, leaving them reeling at 3 – 54 after just 10.3 overs that included a 2 – 1 wicket fall – Rushab Patel, Jignesh Hirani and Morris Ouma returning figures of 15, 9 and 14 respectively.
In heroic fashion, Harendra Kerai stamped his authority with his highest innings of the season, recording a 51 – ball 68 that included six fours and four maximums in a 4th wicket 107 – run stand with the other overseas player, Duwanil Patel.
Sir Ali’s strike bowler Irfan Ellahi went wicket – less for only the first time this season but all – rounder Sandip Adole picked 2/59 off his entire allotment.
In reply, a return to form for Swamibapa’s paceman Peter Koech meant that Eugene Maneno’s half century was all in vain when his stumps were knocked back in the 36th over for 61 runs off 44 balls inclusive of 5 boundaries and three maximum. Maneno was the ninth man to depart with the board spelling doom on 266 runs, never to repeat another match winning partnership with Tarandeep Singh (16) who also fell to Koech just eleven balls prior.
Only 23 runs were added thereafter when Abdul Rehman (15) gifted Nehemiah Ngoche his sole wicket inside the 41st over. Koech asserted his new ball spot with 3/38 off his 6 overs.
Skipper Gurdeep’s Singh swing back to the top of the innings only yielded ten runs on his way to being skittled by Koech in the 4th over. Siddarth Mhatre and Sandip Adole managed to give Sir Ali momentary hope with a 69 – run partnership before Adole departed for 42 in the 12th over, courtesy of Jadavji Bhimji.
Bhimji cleaned up the next two – Zahid Abbas (31) and Irfan Ellahi (2) to finish with 3/34. Mhatre ended up top scoring for Sir Ali with 69 runs off 51 balls, opening Rakesh Kahar’s season’s account when he was trapped leg before at the close of the 23rd over.
In the end, Sir Ali’s batting change up was all in vain as they closed out the innings 52 runs short and a 55 balls to spare.