Pushkar Sharma bulldozed his way straight to the top of the batting rankings by splashing his second ton of the season while taking Ruaraka Sports Club ‘A’ to the highest Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Super League total this season – 5/354.
Sharma’s ton rooted Ruaraka at fifth place with 18 wins from 4 matches as they beat Ngara Sports Club ‘A’ by a debilitating 202 runs to cement their fifth place on the log as he sits aloft the batting Leader board with 369 runs at a scintillating 92.3 – run average. His ton also came four weeks after his first against Shree Cuthi Leva Patel Samaj ‘A’, (144) where the team also recorded their previously highest score (8/340.)
Ruaraka were sent in to bat reeling from last week’s loss to Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ but bolstered by two more additional overseas players in the form of middle order batsmen Sachin Gill and Ajinkya Bhisole. However, it was Sharma who stole the show with an unbeaten 167 runs from 140 balls to record the highest individual Super League score of the season so far while slamming a whopping 17 boundaries and four maximums.
With the departure of the Ugandan duo of Brian Masaba and Kenneth Waiswa, the hosts rearranged their batting order to have Sharma pair up with Zephaniah Arinaitwe at the top. However, Akash Shah struck to have the fiery Ugandan caught by Ruchit Patel for 9 in just the second over and later knocked over Pankaj Bhudia in the 8th over for 16.
Sharma’s innings stitched together the most important partnerships of the innings: At 2 – 34, he helped rebuild the innings with Hirani, adding 69 runs to the third wicket before the latter was dismissed with the board reading 3 – 103. The other debutant, Sachin Gill introduced himself to the League emphatically with a half century, adding 135 to the 4th wicket alongside Sharma before being skittled by Dhey Patel for a run-a-ball 59 that included 9 boundaries.
With Chandresh Hirani being meagre with 10, Ajinkya Beloshe came in to remain unbeaten on debut with 43 off 33 balls and a further 105 – run unbeaten sixth wicket partnership alongside Sharma.
Akash Shah was the pick of the bowlers for Ngara with 2/32 from seven overs.
Despite the visitors’ top order answering the call to show up for their team, the target proved way out of reach as they capitulated for a mere 152 runs. They fell in packs with no significant partnerships on the board, Rajiv Sutaria top scoring with 34 with 52 balls batting at 3 and making the highest partnership of the innings with Jigar Patel (20.) Openers Manthan Joshi and skipper Karan Patel contributed 17 and 15 runs respectively. Tanzeel Sheikh’s dry run in the middle continued as he departed for 17 off 16 balls as Dhey Patel added 10.
Vishil Patel, relishing his return to form with the ball for Ruaraka picked 4/41 while Sachin Gill opened his wickets account with 2/19 from five overs.