Najmi spurs on rubble rousing feat for record – setting Gymkhana

Abdulqadir Najmi’s maiden double century powered Nairobi Gymkhana ‘B’ to a mammoth 368 – run win over Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘B’ in their Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Division I League fixture over the weekend.

With that win, Gymkhana extend their unbeaten winning streak to nine matches to remain perched at the top of second pool of the second tier competition with the best card in the season. They also hold the record for the highest team and individual score in the current competition.

Najmi bulldozed his way to 220 runs from just 146 deliveries, flooring 29 boundaries and 2 maximums while batting through 40 overs. With that performance, he leapfrogs Brian Likavu and Irfan Karim to the top of the batting card with 428 runs from just 4 innings and an enviable 142.7 run average, the two now needing some catching up to do when they come back from national duty with 364 and 317 runs respectively.

Najmi, who only played one season for his A – side this season before settling in the B – squad dedicated the win to his late wife and is happy that a run out chance after he had crossed his ton did not materialise. “My wife was a very big fan of my cricket and she would rarely miss my matches. She passed away barely a month ago and I dedicate this innings to her.”

The certified pilot with Safarilink Aviation says adores the skies as much as he does the pitch. “I have a very busy schedule but I try and get my days off work so that I can get to play on Sunday. It is quite tough to balance work with Cricket as you don’t often get Sundays off so turning up for game is very difficult. The good part is that we have a fantastic Cricket facility at our residence (Saifee Park) where I can train at night,” states Najmi.

Najmi’s partner Arvindbhai Patel perished early, hitting the ball twice in just the third over to be dismissed for 9 runs off 7 balls. From 1 – 25, Najmi commanded the innings, partnering up with his best friend and skipper Murtaza Ebrahimjee for a 360 – run second wicket partnership before Najmi was finally dismissed in the 41st over, Charanjit Singh holding on to a Boniface Anjere delivery.

Abdulqadir Najmi (centre) scored 71 off 69 balls for Gymkhana two matches ago. Photo credits

The skipper’s innings played second fiddle despite registering a ton, his 113 runs coming off 108 balls that included just twelve boundaries. He played on to the 43rd over before also being bowled by Anjere, having added just 14 runs with Harsh Gutka (10) who also fell just a ball prior with the score still on 399.

Jigar Patel remained unbeaten on 34 runs while Sagar Patel and Tej Patel added 21 and 20 runs respectively to get Gymkhana to 6/495, hav elected to bat.

In a match where 6 out of seven bowlers conceded half a century of runs, Zeeshan Ali bagged 3/93 as Boniface Anjere finished on 2/114 from his 9 overs.

In reply, Sir Ali were bolstered by Charanjit Singh’s half century but they had already been set a mountain too steep to climb. Singh managed 52 runs from 49 balls batting at 6, the only other double figures of the match coming from Itishan Ali (26), Boniface Anjere and Aniket Prajapati who scored 14 runs alike.

Tej Patel bagged for 4/7 form 3.2 overs for the hosts with Najmi coming back to pick 2/10 from just four overs. Kevin Mutembei and Sagar Patel wrapped up the work with 2/27 and 2/22 from 15 overs combined.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: