Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’ pulled a rabbit out of the hat today to run away with an unlikely victory over Ruaraka Sports Club ‘A’ by 3 runs in a last ball thriller at home. The rabbit, in the form of Prinshu Yadav who registered a maiden ton that helped them set 10/270 while missing four of their key players.
Skipper Gurdeep Singh, paceman Eugene Odhiambo and all-rounder Zahid Abbas are in Uganda on national duty while top order batsman Sandip Adole suffered a groin injury at practice on Saturday.
The overseas player who received his greenlight to play at 6:30 am on match day was ecstatic about his performance that granted a win to his Club. “It feels good to take the team through despite being four wickets down and without out three internationals. I was in high spirits because of the warm welcome by the Club and everyone made it easy for me. I have been training hard for weeks and would have loved to play the previous match against Swamibapa Sports Club.” (Sir Ali lost by 52 runs.)
Electing to bat, the hosts were rocked to 4 – 12 in just 31 balls courtesy Sachin Gill and the in – form Harshit Vekaria to put a question mark on Sir Ali’s top order batting. Siddarth Mhatre was the first to depart at the close of the first over, edging Sachin Gill to Pushkar Sharma at slips for a duck.
Tony Ochieng’s poor run at his new Club continued when Harshit Vekaria hadi him stopped by Zephania Arinaitwe at point for a two –ball duck in the second over while Joseph Owino added just 6 runs before Gill rapped into him in front to pick his second wicket in the fifth over. In another failed attempt by Sir Ali to find a proper batting combination at the top, Sajjad Malik took only nine balls to feather one into the gloves of Chandresh Hirani for a duck.
Effectively 4 – 12, it took a herculean effort for debutant Prinshu Yadav to make a permanent case for himself in the side as he slammed ten boundaries and 7 maximums to register a 94 – ball 106 runs before holing out to Keval Bhuva off Ramesh Gajparia in the 30th over. His 164 – run partnership for the fifth wicket with Abdul Rehman was pivotal for the Club setting up a competitive total for Ruaraka who have four professional players in their misdst.
Rehman’s return to form saw him with a maiden half century (69 off 84) that couldn’t have come at more opportune time as he took the side to 6 – 213.
The dependable middle – lower order chipped in; a returning Hamza Amir posting 24, 22 from the handy Irfan Ellahi and 10 for stand in skipper Tarandeep Singh.
Sachin Gill and Harshit Vekaria finished their spells with 3/33 and 3/60 respectively as Ramesh Gajparia bagged 2/37.
A brilliant opening partnership for Ruaraka got them off the mark with a half century from stand n skipper Pushkar Sharma. Sharma managed 53 off 62, inclusive of 7 boundaries before Sir Ali’s strike bowler Ellahi had him caught by Ochieng’ in the 22nd over having pushed the score to 4 – 103.
Earlier, Sharma made a 69 – run opening stand with Chandresh Hirani (30), his departure paving way for Zephaniah Arinaitwe to guide the innings. Arinaitwe (36) looked set to win the match as he put on an 81 – run stand for the fifth wicket with Sachin Gill (42) before he was run out by Yadav at the close of the 34th over, leaving Ruaraka keeling at 5 – 184. To add to the visitors’ misery, they lost 2 – 0 when Gill got bowled by Yadav just five balls later.
Ajinkya Beloshe took up a final rescue effort from there on with Pankaj Bhudia, adding 53 before Bhudia (20) was stumped inside the 46th over off the skipper just 30 runs short of the target. Beloshe took up the laurels from then on but poor judgment of the game situation left him stranded on 55 runs from 48 deliveries as carnage erupted on the opposite end.
Needing ten runs from four deliveries, Beloshe hit a maximum but then called Vishil Patel for a second run which didn’t materialize. Last man Ramesh Gajparia perished in the same manner, stopped short of his track by Ellahi in the penultimate ball of the innings to wrap up Ruaraka for 267 runs.
Ellahi and Yadav finished their allotments with 2/66 and 2/50 respectively with Abdul Rehman picking 2/37 form his none overs.