Poor fielding cost Swamibapa against Kanbis

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Mar 20, 2021
  • Good batting and resilience coupled with poor fielding by their opponents saw Kanbis reach the NPCA 40 Overs knockout tournament.

Poor fielding and an inability to take wickets through the middle stages contributed to Swamibapa's loss to in the semi final of the NPCA 40 Overs Knockout tournament.

This was the verdict by Swamibapa’s technical director and former national team opener Tariq Iqbal. Maurice Ouma top scored with 115 to lead his side a competitive total of 248 for 7 off their 40 overs.

But sloppy fielding and poor field placement saw Kanbis cruise to victory with four wickets with former national team bowler Lameck Onyango picking all the wickets for Swamibapa. Dhiren Gondaria (87),

Rakep Patel (79) and Narendra Kalyan (62 not out) saw Kanbis chase the total with eight balls to spare, finishing at 250 for 6 to reach the final.

"We were very happy with 248. We thought it was probably a 220-230 wicket so we were probably 20 runs ahead," Iqbal said. "But they got off to a good start and it was always going to be tough to peg them back. If we were able to pick up wickets through the middle, we would have given ourselves a chance but we weren't able to do that."

He observed: "The way Rakep, Dhiren and Narendra batted was outstandingly well and took the game away from us. To get there with over and over to spare was very good work."

It was a match that any team would have won but it swayed towards the team that took up their chances, which Kanbis did and did it well.

Impressive batting display

While Swamibapa fielders were spilling catches and misfielding, Kanbis comfortably edged closer and closer to victory with some impressive batting display from its top three batsmen Gondaria, Kalyan and Patel.

The three scored 228 of the required 249 with Kalyan the ruthless of the three with a cracking 62 off 22 balls. But it was a second wicket stand of 152 runs between Gondaria and Patel that made all the difference in determining the winner.

After Kalyan retired hurt in the fourth over and Nelson Odhiambo had been trapped by Onyango, the two right handers pounced on Swamibapa bowlers at will reducing the required rate. By the time the stand was broken in the 32nd over, the damage had been done.

However it was not going to be easy because after Gondaria was caught off Onyango with 50 runs required, Kanbis lost four wickets for 40 runs with Onyango picking all the wickets. But Kanbis had the final say.

Kalyan who returned to action after recovering from a strain in the third over scored the winning runs for his side.

Kanbis had earlier got the best possible start of the chase when Kalyan got 22 runs off Nehemiah Odhiambo’s over. He did not stop there. Together with Gondaria they pounced on Elijah Otieno-scoring 11 runs in his first over.

Earlier in the day in the day, Ouma’s good form continued when he cracked a fine century (115 not out) off 113 balls.

Unlike Kanbis start, Swamibapa had a sour start when they lost Alex Obanda early in the inning with the board on six falling to catch off Nelson Odhiambo on four. They however had a brief revival with a second wicket stand of 36 runs between siblings Ouma and Nicholas Oluoch.

Oluoch caught behind

The brothers batted for eight overs before Kalyan had Oluoch caught behind on 15 from 29 balls. Kanbis’ impressive bowling paid off once again when they reduced Swamibapa to 55 for 3 when Emmanuel Bundi was caught on five off Pushpak Kerai.

They found a reprieve in their inning when Ouma and Saumil Patel stuck in the middle for 7.4 overs to get their side to 103. The stand was broken when Patel was caught by Gondaria after scoring 26 balls from 30 that included a six and three fours.

Rakesh Kahar came in the middle and as usual took no time to settle scoring 45 runs from his six overs in the middle. His 29 balls knock was ended when he was caught at long on trying to get another maximum off Kerai leaving the defending champions on 169 for 6.

Ouma and Odhiambo led their side past the 200 runs mark in a sixth wicket stand of 32 runs before Odhiambo was bowled. Odhiambo hit a six off Rakep Patel but it was Patel who won the battle having him caught at long off the very next ball after scoring 13 off 12 balls.

Otieno (8) and Onyango (2) chipped in as Swamibapa made a remarkable comeback in the inning.