Stray Lions wander on unchartered grounds ahead of Swamibapa clash

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 04, 2016
  • Stray Lions' Hiren Varaiya calls the shots in the match against Kanbis at Eastleigh School. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Kanbis Cricket club players crest-fallen after losing to Stray Lions. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Local cricket fans turned out in numbers at Eastleigh High School to have a glance at Indian all rounder and Kolkata Knight Riders star Yusuf Pathan when Stray Lions faced Kanbis in the top of the bill on Sunday.

Some reached the venue as early as 9 a.m. to watch the Indian entertainer in action on Kenyan soil for the second time since 2010 when he came with his Baroda side for a series of matches with the Kenyan cricket team.

After the final ball of the highly explosive match, Stray Lions maintained their second spot in the league after a 133 runs win after bowling out the hosts for 133 in their pursuit for 267.

The fans had to wait until the 32nd over to have a glimpse of the Indian player and he briefly entertained them with a quick fire 35 off 22 balls.

After waiting for 32 overs to get in the middle the Mumbai-born Pathan survived a first ball lbw appeal from Narendra Kalyan before going on to hit two maximums and four boundaries on his way to 35.

He first dislodged Kalyan to the boundary with a pull before sending over the sight screen with his first maximum. Kanbis skipper Rajesh Bhudia was the second to get Pathan’s wrath when he was also dislodged over the opposite sight screen for another six.

Pathan got his third six when he pulled Harish Varsani over mid-off. His inning came to an end when he was brilliantly caught deep mid-wicket by outstanding Pushpak Kerai.

“It was good to play here again. It was not as I expected as the bowlers bowled well. The fighting spirits in both teams is exciting and really enjoyed myself in the middle,” Pathan said.

He added: I am looking forward for another good time in the coming match against Swamibapa and I hope to put on a better performance."

Early at the crease?

After three overs, it looked like Pathan will be at the crease early but it was not to be thanks to a 128 runs stand for the third wicket partnership between Collins Obuya and Manoj Sai.

The two right handed batsmen who linked up after 19 balls of the match after the dismissal of openers Abraham Vadada and Tanmay Mishra rebuilt the inning in 28.4 overs getting the scores to 142.

Manoj who had scored a century in the first leg between the two sides top scored for the visitors with 79 runs from 83 runs. He hit 11 boundaries and a six before falling to a catch to Shantilal Raghwani.

Obuya continued from there and shared a fourth wicket stand of 58 runs with Pathan. Obuya was on course for another big score in a slow inning of 134 balls before falling to another Kerai’s brilliant stunner with nine overs to go having scored a six and three boundaries off Rajesh Bhudia.

Shem Obado was run out on 14 runs and Wilkin Mota and AG Praveen got their side past the 250 mark with 19 and 15 runs respectively.

After winning the toss, the visitors lost Vadada first for eight runs when he was caught behind off Dhiren Gondaria.

Five balls later, Nelson Odhiambo had Mishra heading back to the pavilion when he had him caught behind too for three runs paving way for the Obuya and Manoj’s third wicket stand.

In reply, the hosts had a good start but only for three balls. Kalyan hit Praveen for three consecutive boundaries to lift them to 12 after five balls but that was how far it could go as he was out the last ball of the over when he skied to into Jay Chandarana’s hands at square leg.

Two new batsmen were on the crease four balls later when Gondaria was caught at mid wicket by Mota for a duck.

Rakep Patel and Nelson Odhiambo looked set to rebuild the inning but their resistance only produced 22 runs before Praveen brought the stand to an end when he had Odhiambo caught on 15 runs.

Dire need

With three wickets down, the home side were in dire need of a crucial stand and that seemed to have come until Raghwani was caught off Varaiya with the board on 71.

Stray Lions big moment in their defense came up in the 22nd over when Rakep was caught short off his ground by the wicketkeeper Vadada. Having played the ball to gully, Rakep was sure of a single but his partner Ramesh Mepani didn’t honor the call forcing him to go back.

But by the time he was getting to the crease, Vadada had uprooted the stumps and Stray Lions fans were in big celebration. From there on, Kanbis went on to lose wickets at regular intervals with no stand producing more than 10 runs before finally ending on 133 runs.

For the sixth time in seven matches, Varaiya was once again the star with the bowl with a sixth wicket haul.

At Nairobi Jaffery’s leaders Swamibapa extended their lead at the summit with a six-wicket win over Sikh Union.

Chasing 184 runs to win, Swamibapa reached the target with 25.4 over to spare thanks to Alex Obanda’s 69. Rakesh Kahar too played a crucial role in the chase with 46 runs after Maurice Ouma had retired hurt on 35.

Kahar was the chief destroyer of the visitors with 4 wickets for 24 runs from eight overs. Saumil Patel and Nehemiah Odhiambo picked two wickets each.

Match-winning knock

At Ruaraka, hosts Ruaraka Sports Club added more miseries on Nairobi Gymkhana with a 24 runs win. Batting first, the home side scored 222 runs with Rahul Chauhan producing a match winning knock of 81 runs.

He was ably assisted by Keyur Parmar who posted 50 runs.

In reply Vijesh Rabadia proved to be a thorn in flesh in Nairobi Gymkhana's quest for a win with four wickets as they fell on 198 in 38.4 overs.

Rushab Patel was the top scorer for the visitors with 59 with Rishabh Singh adding 42 runs.

Results

Kanbis (133 all out) lost to Stray Lions (266 for eight) by 133 runs. Swamibapa (184 for 4) beat Sikh Union (183 all out) by six wickets. Ruaraka (222 all out) beat Nairobi Gymkhana (198 all out) by 24 runs. Kongonis (181 all out) beat Cutchi Leva (145 all out) by 36 runs.