Patel bolsters Hawks to a fiery NCL tournament start

Rushabh Patel put on a man of the match 17 – ball 37 to help Eldoret Hawks cruise to a comfortable 4 – wicket win in their opening match of the Nairobi Cricket League T20 tournament currently underway at the Nairobi Gymkhana.

Fresh from the Pearl of Africa T20 Series that wound up in Uganda on Saturday, Patel is happy with the return of Franchise Cricket to Kenya. “It’s good to see this calibre of Cricket return to the country after such a long time and with such good competition. It was a good match, we really pushed ourselves to bowl well and restrict them to 105 runs.”

Sent in to bat, Kisumu Cranes were woeful, losing 4/20 inside the power play, with only one double digit figure from Tinotenda Mawoyo, who was the first to go after playing Irfan Ellahi onto his stumps for a run – a – ball 10.

It took the effort of Ajantha Mendis at 7 to resuscitate the innings with a 21 – ball 34, adding 44 runs to the seventh wicket, the only meaningful addition to the batting line-up with Lucas Ndandason who remained unbeaten on 13 runs.

Jassim Matharoo cleaned up the middle order with 3/14 including a double wicket maiden over that claimed David Mutua (11) and Pushpak Kerai for a second ball duck.

Irfan Ellahi and Lahiru Gamage were spitting absolute pace, combining their entire allotments to scalp 2/18 and 2/10 while combining to have Mendis caught by Gamage, bowled Ellahi in the 15th over.

In reply, Rushabh teed off with two sixes off Shem Ngoche’s first over, adding four boundaries to his tally before Ngoche caught him off Eugene Ochieng’. His opening partnership with Pushkar Sharma (23) stood at 59 runs when he departed in the fifth over, setting up his side for a comfortable win with 34 balls to spare.

Pushkar Sharma put on a 59 – run opening stand with Patel

Hawks found themselves in a spot of bother, however, losing 3/6 and later 2/3 before the dependable Charith Jayampathi stood unbeaten on 16 runs to see them home.

Skipper Shem Ngoche was the pick of the bowlers for Kisumu Cranes with 2/28 off 14 balls, picking the dangerous Prinshu Yadav and Jassim Matharoo for just seven runs, combined.

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