Ngara Sports Club ‘A’s batting finally fell into place as they chased a massive score on the back of good knocks from Manthan Joshi and Dhyey Patel to win against Obuya Cricket Academy (OCA) by six wickets at Lenana School on Sunday, in the absence of skipper Mehul Patel for the third week running.
Asked to bat, the home team posted 207 in 47.5 overs, mainly courtesy of Collins Obuya’s 93, a target that the visitors reached with 14.1 overs to spare.
Impressive was Ngara’s batting on the day that their top three batsmen partnered for 100 hundred runs – their highest in the ongoing Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) League so far.
Opener Joshi played an innings of substance, which unfortunately ended with only 20 runs needed to win. Together with Karan Patel, they gave their side the best possible start of 46 in just 33 balls for the first wicket.
After Karan had been caught behind off Atharva Tembhekar on 15 off 14 balls, Joshi was joined by Rajiv Sutaria (30) and the two got the scores to 100 with a partnership of 54 in nine overs before Sutaria was trapped lbw by Joshua Rajula after having managed four boundaries off 31 balls.
With the momentum having been set by the three batsmen, it didn’t take long for Dhyey to settle in and within no time the scoreboard was ticking just as it was the case in the last two partnerships.
The two rotated the strike regularly and dislodged any bad ball to the boundary as they put on 88 runs in 20 overs to give the visitors an upper hand in the chase of what looked like a daunting task at the beginning if their past performance with the bat was anything to go by.
With seven wickets in hand, 17 overs to play and 26 runs required and missing their strike bowler in Steve Biko, O.C.A turned to the inexperienced Peter Ngure to bowl and the youngsters scalped Joshi in his second over.
He had him caught and bowled off the first delivery of his second over to end his 106 – balls knock of 76 runs that included eight boundaries.
Tanzeel Sheikh added on 16 with Dhyey to get the score to 206 before another youngster Saavir Karania got the wicket of the latter after he had scored 50 off 61 balls.
OCA’s inning got off to a dreadful start, as they lost Sahil Shah in the fifth over with the board on 5 before Collins anchored their innings with a well-mannered and entertaining knock.
The former national team skipper shared some crucial stands with Tembhekar and his elder brother Kennedy, that got his side to 159 runs after the 35th over.
He put on 51 runs with Tembhekar (14) for the second wicket and 103 runs with Kennedy (57) for the third.
After Collins was caught off Bharat Panchasara off the last ball of the 35th over with the board on 159, O.C.A’s inning crumbled and they lost six of their remaining wickets for 50 runs with none of the remaining batsmen scoring double digits.
Amit Shukla was the chief destroyer of the host’s middle order with 3 for 48 with Sheikh and Harsh Patel bagging two wickets each.