By Alvin Bagaya
Oman 233/9 in 50 overs (Zeeshan Masood 82(75), Ahmed ALI 42*(59), Nester Danbha 32(39), Shem Ngoche 3/40 in 10 overs, Elijah Otieno 2/40 in 10 overs) lost to Kenya 236/7 in 49.1 overs (Collins Obuya 111(122), Dhiren Gondaria 30(30), Munis Ansari 3/30 in 9 overs, Zeeshan Maqsood 2/29 in 6.1 overs) by 3 wickets.
Collins Obuya’s Innings at Jaffery Sports Club cricket ground was a show of the class and technique of a batsman of his ilk which he has honed over the years, walking in at 67/3 in in the thirteenth over, he scored eleven 4s and two 6s one of them for the winning runs; the senior batsman on the side dug in for 1 hour and 20 minutes of grafting, powerful pulls shots, free flowing drives over and through covers; and hard running between the wickets surviving a probing Bilal Khan spell to stroke an unbeaten century that will have allowed many in Cricket Kenya to sigh with relief after the drought of wins that had blown their way.
Oman lost Arun Manavalan and Jatinder Singh early in the innings but Khawar Ali 35(49) and Zeeshan Maqsood 82(75) disputed Mohammad Azharuddin’s diagnosis that they are a in T20 mode steadying the innings with a patyient 51 for the third wicket; weathering a probing Elijah Otieno and Lucas Oluoch opening partnership that kept the ball out of driving distance and just short enough to leave the pull shot out of the options.
Maqsood however was quick to pounce on anything short and occasionally skipped down the track to clear the infield with his intent to keep the scoreboard ticking; Zeshaan scored eight boundaries and three sixes favouring the deep square leg region as he read any error in length very early to find his favourite area on the field.
Khawar fell LBW to Shem Ngoche and Zeeshan kept losing partners in the middle order before he was caught behind off Lucas Oluoch 18 short of his century, the Kenyans then began pulling the game back after an hour where nothing seemed to go their way with some dropped catches and indifferent fielding.
Ahmed Ali 42*( 59) and Nester Danbha 32(39) displayed Oman’s batting depth putting on a masterful 68 for the 8th wicket, Ali impressing with his nifty footwork against spinners to create scoring opportunities and Nester a willing accomplice in putting the Kenyan fielders under pressure to turn singles into hard run twos.
Lucas Oluoch returned in a third spell to remove another set batsman as he broke the partnership and the free scoring stopped; the innings closed with Ali unbeaten 8 short of what would have been a well-deserved half century.
The Kenya run chase encountered the slingy Munis Ansari early on as the Lasith Malinga like action picked the dangerous Diren Ghondaria 30(30) and Abraham Vadada 17(34) early.
Rusabh Patel was caught in the deep at Mid-wicket by Khawar Ali and at 67/3, Kenya looked in all sorts of trouble and Oman had their tails up.
It took Collins Obuya 111*( 122) twenty balls to score his first 7 runs, thirty to get to 17, and sixty balls to get to 38; a man with a purpose and a mission; he scored his first boundary off his 23rd ball and concentrated on keeping the dangerous Bilal Khan, Nester Danbha and Zeeshan Maqsood at bay as he stemmed the fall of wickets, preferring to graft the singles and twos that were on offer in his ‘Chancellor to the Exchequer reading budget to the Parliament’ business like application.
When he stroked two to get to his half century off 72, he switched gears unfurling those swashbuckling drives and pinging the pull shots off anything short; hitting Nadeem Muhammad back to back pull shots for four through midwicket and backward of square leg in one over.
From then on, Collins never looked like giving up his wicket, even when he lost Gurdeep Singh 12(22), Nelson Odhiambo 22(34) there was never any sign of panic as he cashed in on any loose bowling from Oman to pick the boundaries and keep Kenya within striking distance of their target.
His 67 run partnership for the fifth wicket with Nelson Odhiambo dented the Omani bowling attack taking a large part of the 234 target out of the equation and some errors crept into the fielding unit as Obuya and Odhiambo began to pinch some singles where they never looked possible some about an hour before.
Odhiambo fell to LBW to left arm spinner Ajay Lalcheta but Hiren Veraiya 15(34) marked his return to the Kenyan national side with a crucial 46 run stand with Obuya for the seventh wicket to reward the selectors for their faith as they took Kenya to within 16 of victory before he was caught behind off Munis Ansari.
Lucas Oluoch 6*(3) was not hanging around and his on drive for four left Oman defending 3 off the last over but the well set Obuya pulled Zeeshar Mansood’s first delivery over deep square leg for six to guide Kenya home with 3 wickets in hand and five balls to spare.
UgCricket Match reports
15th May 2017
|RISING ZEBRAS VS ROARING LIONS||243/4 - 179/7||LUGOGO CRICKET OVAL|
|CHARGING LEOPARDS VS MIGHTY RHINOS||55/3 - 60/1||LUGOGO CRICKET OVAL|
|ACC VS SKLPS(R1)||160/6 - 162/7||BUDO CRICKET OVAL|
|AVENGERS VS NYAKASURA (R1)||172/6 - 140/5||BUDO CRICKET OVAL|
|AVENGERS CC vs J.A.C.C (R1)||194/8 - 131||JINJA S.S.S|
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