Nine bowlers were not enough to stop Swamibapa Sports Club ‘A’ from comfortably beating Kanbis Sports Club ‘A’ by five wickets and roping them into the already crammed mid – table card.
Kanbis are now tied with Swamibapa and Sir Ali Sports Club ‘A’ in 2nd place with 24 points, leaving Stray Lions Cricket Club ‘A’ who tucked away two more matches to accrue 32 points towering above them.
Dhawanil Patel continued from where he ticked off last week with a half century to rescue Swamibapa from an imminent collapse with his maiden ton of the season. Patel was unbeaten on 118 from 115 balls picking up the game from the 5th over when Morris Ouma fell for 13 runs. The other two openers in the form of Jignesh Hirani and Pankaj Sanghani returned figures of 1 and 12, further deepening Swamibapa’s troubles at the top of their order.
Patel ground out his century with 12 boundaries and 4 maximums in a 109 match winning partnership with Prasang Hirani who played second fiddle to only contribute an unbeaten 27 as Swamibapa completed the run chase with 16 balls to spare.
Last week’s debutant and centurion Rakesh Kahar was in his usual blistering form with a 45 ball 63, looking to convert with 8 fours and 2 sixes therein before Rakep Patel had him caught by Nischay Kerai in the 29th over. Kahar relished a 75 – run partnership with Patel before falling in the 29th over with the game poised at 5 – 146.
Electing to bat, Kanbis were rattled by Dedan Stephen who bagged 4/58 after being called up to open the innings in the absence of seam duo Peter Koech and Nehemiah Ngoche who are away on national duty in Uganda.
Stephen picked out all the experience in the Kanbis set up, starting with Rakep Patel who went for a 2 – ball duck slotting in at 3. He then disrupted the mainstay of the visitors’ lower order batting by knocking back Rajesh Bhudiya’s stumps to have him dismissed for only the second time this season for 18 runs off 23 balls, leaving Kanbis at 6/234 at the close of the 47th over. Ramesh Mepani was the next victim to fall at the beginning of the 49th, caught by Rakesh Kahar having stuck in from the 29th over to craft out 27 runs from 53 balls with no boundaries involved.
The visitors had a solid start earlier on from skipper Dhiren Gondaria who went on to top score with his third half century of the season. Gondaria (67 off 72) had a 45 – run opening stand with Pushpak Kerai (30 off 31) before the latter was dismissed inside the ninth over by Swamis’ spin duo – caught by James Ngoche, bowling Jignesh Hirani.
The skipper, returning from having retired hurt earlier, resuscitated the innings with a 106 – run partnership for the third wicket with Mihir Jesani who made his super League debut with a half century of his own, 55 runs from 62 balls, 8 boundaries therein.
Sachin Bhudia chipped in with 25 runs in the middle from 45 balls.
Jadavji Bhimji wrapped up the match for Swamibapa with 2/42 from 9.3 overs while Hiren Kabaria was the pick of the bowlers with 2/34