Swamibapa halt Kanbis’ unbeaten run at Eastleigh School

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Nov 20, 2017
  • Alex Obanda bats against Kanbis Ajay Vachetta in a previous match. He hit six boundaries and a six scoring 63 from 81 balls with a variety of strokes. (SNA: File Photo)

After seeing their lead at the top brought to an end without playing any match, the last thing that Kanbis would have expected is to have their unbeaten run brought to an end.

Playing their second match in five matches against Swamibapa, Kanbis knew that winning was the only thing that would revive their chances of regaining the top spot and even boosting their chances of lifting the title.

However things didn’t work out in their favor because, after the last ball of the rain affected match at Eastleigh High School, Kanbis’ long unbeaten run had been brought to an end and their title hopes dwindled.

With news that Stray Lions had beaten Sikh Union by seven wickets at Peponi School to extend their lead, the hosts needed to get the 177 target to put pressure on the leaders.

But poor shot selection and some disciplined bowling with the aid of a slow outfield complicated the matters for the immediate former champions who came 49 runs short of the target.

After losing the toss, Kanbis expected that things will go their way and it appeared so when they reduced Swamibapa to 29 after 8.2 overs with the dismissal of Naman Patel on 13.

This brought Irfan Karim to the crease and together with opener Alex Obanda they only batted for two overs before the skies opened up and halted the proceedings for over an hour.

When the match resumed after being reduced to 37 overs the two national team batsmen dominated the Kanbis bowlers in a partnership of 86 in 19 overs.

Obanda the main aggressor

It was Obanda who was the main aggressor of the pair with six boundaries and a six scoring 63 from 81 balls and delighted Swamibapa faithfuls with a variety of strokes.

The visitors were cruising with the two in the middle but this was ended when Obanda was run out Rakep Patel with the scores on 114.

With the departure of Obanda, Karim was expected to take up the impetus but he fell to Rajesh Bhudia nine balls later after scoring 40 from 68 balls. Maurice Ouma (14) and Saumil Patel (24) then shared 41 for the fourth wicket.

After their dismissal of the two in quick succession to leave them at 163 for 5. Krishna Babu and Emmanuel Bundi remained unbeaten as Swamibapa posted 176 for 5.

Kanbis, needing 4.78 runs an over, found the going tough losing openers Bhudia and Dhiren Gondaria inside first five overs for seven runs.

Rakep Patel who looked disturbed with easy dismissal of Gondaria to Lameck Onyango was dropped on seven by Naman before he went on the attack on Swamibapa bowlers.

He scored 36 of the 41 runs stand with Nelson Odhiambo (4) before Saumil trapped Odhiambo in the 15th over.

Rakep raced to half a century but not without another dropped catch. He was left off the hook on 42 before he was caught behind off Bundi after scoring 52 that included three sixes and same number of fours with the board on 67.

After the dismissal of Rakep, Kanbis were reduced to 69 for for 5 in 18.1 overs and faced a great danger of a big loss.

Slow outfield

However, veteran Ramesh Mepani tried to pick up from where Rakep left off but the slow outfield denied him a number of potential boundaries that would have made them get closer and closer to the target.

The all-rounder shared three stands with Sachin Bhudia, Ankit Hirani and Gautam Bhudia but the stands only yielded 43 runs to get them to 112.

With the board on 126 for 8 after 33.3 overs, Kanbis chances of pulling out a victory finally came to an end when Maurice Ouma took a brilliant catch off James Ngoche to end Mepani’s run on 33 from 45 balls.

An over later, Babu bagged the last wicket of the day as Swamibapa bowled out the home team for 127.

With the loss, Kanbis remained second with 230 points, 36 behind leaders Stray Lions who easily beat Sikh Union at home.

Chasing 109 after Nehemiah Odhiambo had bagged 4 for 34, the home lost only three wickets as they reached the target in 17 overs. Neil Narvekar was the top scorer with unbeaten 50.

Results

Kanbis (127 all out) lost Swamibapa (176 for 5) by 49 runs

Stray Lions (110 for 3) beat Sikh Union (109 all out) by 7 wickets

Obuya Academy (162 for 9) tied Nairobi Gymkhana (162 all out)

Cutchi Leva (169 all out) lost (Ruaraka (170 for 7) by 3 wickets

Kongonis (110 for 7) beat Sir Ali (109 all out) by 3 wickets.