Swamis end Kanbis' unbeaten run

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 28, 2015
  • Swamibapa's James Ngoche bowls to Kanbis' Chiraq Sisodia. Swamibapa ended Kanbis' unbeaten run on Sunday at Eastleigh High School. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Cricket fans follow the action between Swamibapa and Kanbis at Eastleigh High School on Sunday. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

More than 1000 fans-the highest turn out in Kenyan local cricket scene in the recent past, were treated to a great afternoon of cricket as Swamibapa ended Kanbis’ unbeaten run at Eastleigh High School on Sunday.

Chasing 225 runs to maintain their dominance over the former league champions, the home side fell by 56 runs to the joy of Swamibapa fans who had colored Eastleigh High School grounds blue.

Kanbis, the defending champions without three key players had a mission to ensure that the visitors continue to play a second fiddle but Swamibapa who have consolidated their number two position had a different take which was to inflict the first defeat to Kanbis.

And what a better place was this possible other than at Kanbis' homeground in Eastleigh.

As soon as umpires David Odhiambo and Rockie de Mello walked onto the pitch for the first ball, the atmosphere of waving and chanting fans that had become rare in Kenyan cricket for over ten years started to unfold as the fans from both teams urged their players.

When the match began it was Nehemiah Odhiambo who made all the difference between winning and losing. Odhiambo put on a match winning show with both ball and bat to hand Swamibapa a memorable win over their rivals who had vowed to silence their opponents.

Odhiambo who has struggled with his form was excluded from the national team, top scored with 71 runs as his side recovered from 102 for 4 to score 225 runs for nine in the allotted 50 overs.

The all rounder later earned his side the win with three wickets that helped them bowl out the home side for 169 runs with 15 overs to spare.

After winning the toss, Swamibapa lost Nicholas Oluoch (4) and Dilip Rathod (0) for 38 runs in nine overs before Naman Patel (52) and Maurice Ouma (31) added on 42 for the second wicket in 13 overs.

Slow scoring rate

The scoring rate appeared slow against a high scoring side and Swamibapa looked capable of accelerating it but lost Patel in the process to stay at 80 for 3. They were 102 for 4 after 26 overs when Ouma was run out.

The wicket brought in Odhiambo and he took on the bowlers with gusto hitting five sixes and three boundaries on his way to 71 from 63 balls.

Before falling to a catch to Harish Varsani with six overs to go with the scores on 185, Odhiambo had lost Francis Otieno and Mitesh Sangani.

Odhiambo was delighted with his match winning performance saying it came at the right time. “Failing to make it to the national team was sad for me but winning today has erased all the disappointment and we are hoping that things will go our way in the remaining matches,” he said.

Kanbis started the chase on a sound note putting on 14 in the first over but that is how far their excitement from both the players and the fans went as wickets started to fall.

Before the first wicket fell two balls into the second over when Aizaz Kothariya was brilliantly caught by Francis Otieno, Narendra Kalyan had been dropped twice in the first over.

Kalyan and Rajesh Varsani then got the scores to 41 after 7.3 overs before Lameck Onyango picked his second when he had Kalyan caught by Mitesh Sangani on 25 from 22 balls to leave the hosts into a panic.

Odhiambo who had earlier led Swamibapa to its total with a half ton, picked up his first wicket from five balls when he clean bowled Varsani on eight from 22 balls to leave the hosts on 42 for 3.

Arvind Halai and Chiraq Sisodia then added on eight for the fourth wicket before Halai was bowled on three by Odhiambo. It was 56 for 5 after 12.1 overs when danger man Vinod Rabadia was caught at point by Vinit Patel off Sangani’s delivery on three from nine balls.

Captain Rajesh Bhudia and Sisodia added 37 runs for the sixth wicket and the two looked poised to get their side closer to the total until Odhiambo picked up his third by uprooting the skippers leg stump on 12 runs from same number of balls.

Sisodia to anchor the inning and together with Jagdish Khetani got the home to the hundred before James Ngoche had Khetani caught in the 20th over.

Ngoche clipped Sisodia's bails

Four overs later, Swamibapa finally got the breakthrough when Ngoche clipped Sisodia’s bails when the Indian professional tried a ‘Dilscoop’ on 70 runs. Before his dismissal, he had hit eight boundaries and a six from 45 deliveries.

The ninth wicket stand between Gautam Bhudia and Harish Varsani added on 16 before Bhudia was bowled by Ngoche on seven runs. This left the home side needing 71 from 20 overs and a wicket in hand.

Varsani and Piyush Kerai remained unbowed for six overs until Jadavji Bhimji clean bowled Varsani for the last wicket.

The loss was first for Kanbis this season and also the first since July last year when they went down by a wicket to Sikh Union.

At Peponi School, Manargandi Sreenivas’ six wickets haul went in vain as Stray Lions continued with their good run in the second leg with a four-wickets win over second placed Sikh Union.

Chasing 203 runs to win after Sreenivas had picked up 6 for 47, the home side reached the target in 42.5 overs courtesy of Tanmay Mishra’s 48 and Jay Mehta’s 45. Gurmanjot Singh had top scored for Sikh Union with 60 from 82 balls.

At Pindolia Academy, hosts Cutchi Leva lost to Premier by 68 runs. Chasing Premier’s 138, the home side was all out for 68 runs thanks to five wickets haul of 5 for 13 by Ronak Patel.

Amish Patel was the other top bowler with 3 for 5 from three overs Arpan Patel and Jatin Patel led the visitors to the total with 36 and 32 runs. Other contributors with the bat were Sanjeev Patel and Parth Patel with 22 and 21 runs