Naveen Sharma and Praveen Kumar shined with the bat as Stray Lions beat hosts Kenya Kongonis by 41 runs at Nairobi Club in a NPCA Super League match on Sunday.
This was their third win in the league. Stray Lions posted 221 runs all out as Sharma (48) and Kumar (45) rattled up a 62 run stand off 18 overs to lead their side to recovery after being in danger at 8 for 2.
Stray Lion’s bowlers complimented the work of the batsmen as they made life tough on the hosts’ chase with a very disciplined effort to bowl them out on 180 in 46 overs. Sharma (3 fours, 1 six) and Kumar (5 fours, 1 six) plundered seven boundaries in their partnership before the stand was broken by Dolla Aballa who dismissed Sharma.
After losing Abraham Vadada (0) and Collins Obuya (5) early, Sharma and Jay Mehta (28) put up a 62-run stand for the third wicket to get the score to 70 for three before Aballa bowled Mehta.
Dominic Wesonga and Aballa were Kongonis top bowlers in the match with three wickets each while Martin Okoth had two wickets on his credit.
Chasing the target, Kongonis opted to have it easy and concentrated on building a platform after losing Newton Muthee (0) early. Chris Child (25) and skipper Shem Obado (17) bid their time and appeared to consolidate but with the run rate pilling Obado fell with the board on 38.
Aballa and Paul Anjere got Kongonis back on track with a 70 run stand for the fourth wicket after Childs had been caught off Hiren Varaiya. But after the two were dismissed in quick succession by Obuya and MR Srinivas with Kongonis starring at their second successive home defeat.
Stray Lions wrapped up their third win when Obuya and Srinivas combined well with a wicket each.
Obado blamed the loss to a poor show with the bat at crucial moments. “We didn’t bat well. The stand of Anjere and Aballa almost saw us close but poor shot selection made the difference between winning and losing,” Obado explained.
Swamibapa forced to fight hard
At Nairobi Gymkhana, Swamibapa were forced to fight hard on their way to a 34 runs victory over hosts Nairobi Gymkhana. Chasing 286 runs to win, the home side were edging closer to victory after Abdul Najmi and Lucas Oluoch had hit half centuries.
Najmi scored 64 from 74 balls and Oluoch hit nine boundaries and a six on his way to 62 runs.
The home side began the match well with openers Najmi and Kavi Dosaja (12) putting on 45 in 7.5 overs. After Dosaja was caught behind by Ouma, Najmi and Hamza Malik (33) put on 78 for the second wicket as the hosts surged forward.
However, their surge received break when Rushab Patel and Nikul Patel fell in quick succession to leave their side on 134 for 4. Captain Karan Kaul and Oluoch put on 23 before Jadavji Bhimjo had Kaul caught on 26.
The dismissal proved to be costly for Nairobi Gymkhana as Oluoch felt the pressure of getting boundaries but was stumped off James Ngoche. Bhimji, Patel, Ngoche and Mitesh Sangani picjked two wickets.
Earlier Maurice Ouma led his side to 284 score with 92 runs. Ouma was assisted with Nehemiah Odhiambo (66) and Alex Obanda 35 with none of the other batsmen getting past 20 runs mark. Ouma and Obanda made a second wicket stand of 106 after early dismissal of former captain Nicholas Oluoch.
Lucas Oluoch and Raj Savala ended with three for 46 and three for 63.
In other match, defending champions Kanbis also stretched their unbeaten run with an eight wicket win over home side Premier Club.
After electing to bat, Premier Club were bowled out for 101 a target that Kanbis reached with ease. Nelson Odhiambo and Rajesh Bhudia all picked up a three wickets with Gautam Bhudia picking two for 11 runs in just three overs.
In reply, Kanbis lost Narendra Patel (46 off 21) and Chirag Sisodia (21) on their way to their fifth win.