Nehemiah Ngoche put up a brilliant ‘performance of the season’ with the ball to help Swamibapa Sports Club ‘A’ bag their away match to Ngara Sports Club ‘A’ by five wickets and keep their League title hopes alive.
Swamibapa are still secured at second place with a match in hand, advancing to Wednesday’s match with 11 wins from their 14 matches.
Speaking to kenya-cricket.com after the match, Ngoche expressed his relief at the win and the fact that it only took a change in approach to hit their target. “We knew that we had to play hard in order to make a comeback today after losing to Ngara at home. We went in with a positive approach and I’m glad that the fast bowlers led the way today. I’ve been quite unlucky this season and it feels good to pick a five – fer at the business end of things.”
Swamibapa avenged their 4 – wicket loss at home by first reducing their hosts to a paltry 78 runs inside 25 overs, courtesy of their speedsters who led from the front. Ngoche laid down his maiden season five – fer for only 19 runs in 9 overs while his compatriot Peter Koech picked 3/19 from his five.
James Ngoche added 2/21 from his 6 overs.
In a bid to up their run – rate, Swamibapa lost five wickets but still got home with 81 runs in 12.1 overs, Morris Ouma leading the batting brigade with 30 off 29 balls, unbeaten. Rakesh Kahar (17) and Harendra Kerai (14) were the other contributors.
Only three of Ngara’s batters made double figures: skipper Mehul Patel (15), Rajiv Sutaria (11) and vice-captain Harsh Patel (10,) a poorly slight improvement from last week’s performance where Kanbis bowled them out for 57 runs but still dismal, by all accounts.
Sentiments echoed by left arm spinner Vraj Patel. “Our batting has not been working out for us especially at the top and missing Tanzeel (Sheikh) has made a huge difference in our batting and bowling. Our overseas player, Darshan Trivedi has also been unlucky and not lived up to our expectations so far. Last week, in particular, our overall performance was pathetic but we would have put up a good fight today if we had a good score on the board. Swami had five wickets down within the first ten overs and if we had, say, 100 more runs, we would have surely won it.”
Today’s loss means that Ngara have lost four out of their five second leg fixtures, succumbing to heavy defeats in all of them. Their bowling seemed to be their strength but that too has waned recently. “The team has relied heavily on the spinners to deliver with the ball. We have picked over 40 wickets so far this season (myself and Dyey Patel) but that only means that there is a lot of pressure on us,” states Vraj.
Notably, they are the only two bowlers to pick a couple of five wicket hauls for their side this season.
Amit Shukla was the pick of the bowlers for Ngara with 2/21 from four overs.