Tuesday, January 10, 2006

NPCA Twenty-20 Semi Finalists Decided

Four of the Big Guns of Nairobi cricket have, as expected booked their slots for Sunday's semi finals of the tournament at Nairobi Club this Sunday. Nairobi Jafferies, boosted by the return of Collins Obuya on his return from Australia, restricted Kongoni's for 122 of their 20 overs, then knocked off the runs with the loss of only 4 of thier own wickets and still 3 overs remaining.
In the two all-club affairs between Swamibapa "A" and "B" and Kanbis "A" vs Kanbis "B", it was as expected the two "A" sides that dominated, beating the second string sides by 58 runs and 59 runs respectively. While the results were not unexpected, it was good news for the selectors with several of the potential national one day squad hitting good form.
In the final match of the day, Aga Khan Sports Club batted first against Nairobi Gymkhana and thanks to half centuries from Ashish Karia and Hafiz Manji posted a respectable 6 for 158. Their bowlers then did their job and removed the Gymkhana batsmen for a Nelson (111) to take the match by 47 runs.
Sunday's semi finals should be a great contest with Jafferies taking on Kanbis "A" from 9:30 in the morning, then Swamibapa "A" and Aga Khan doing battle from 2 O'Clock. It will be a great day's cricket, and not to be missed by anyone in Nairobi this weekend!
Results summary:
  • Kongoni's 122 (M.Rudd 33, A.Sheikh 3-25) lost to Nairobi Jafferies 4-123 (D.Obuya 41, T.Odoyo 33) by 6 wickets.
  • Swamibapa "A" 209 (M.Ouma 48, J.Kamande 47, P.Pindolia 2-26) defeated Swamibapa "B" 9 - 151 (N.Sangani 44, J.Ababu 3-20, L.Onyango 3-36) by 58 runs.
  • Kanbis "A" 8-163 (R.Mepani 51, R. Bhdhia 34, J.Jesani 32, V.Khetan 3-23, R Varsani 2-25, H. Vekaria 2-28) defeated Kanbis "B" 102 by 59 runs.
  • Aga Khan Sports Club 6-158 (A.Karia 58, H.Manji 54) defeated Nairobi Gymkhana 111 all out by 47 runs.

Collins back from Downunder

Collins Obuya, Kenya's number one leg spinner returned last week from Australia where he has been training with spin coach Terry Jenner. Jenner is one of the people who takes much of the credit for getting Shane Warne to the position he now holds as leading Test Wicket taker. Though Collins has only been working with Jenner for a comparitively short time, he will no doubt have learned a lot, and hopefully Kenya will now also benefit from this knowlege.
Much of the work he did was to concentrate on getting back to basics - slowing the ball down and spinning it more rather than the almost medium pace he was bowling when he arrived in Australia. When Collins first arrived, Jenner christened him "Courntney" after Courtney Walsh the West Indies fast bowler "because he was all arms and legs, just like Courtney Walsh used to be, and he was also bowling at a similar pace". They also worked on cocking the wrist, ball delivery, use of the fingers for different deliveries, and the use of the left arm in controlling the delivery. While it was only a 5 week stint, this trip will no doubt have made a huge impact on the leg spinner not just in technique, but also in confidence, in itself a major weapon in the leg spinner's armoury.
Obuya's return to the domestic scene was a fairly quiet 1 for 28 in Jaffery's victory over Kongoni's in the quarter finals of the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association's Twenty-20 Tournament. He will however have a second chance to progress in the semi finals on Sunday, and also hopefully in Bangladesh in February should the One Day series being touted actually eventuate.
Thanks for Obuya's trip should go to Richard Done, the ICC's High Performance Manager who organised the trip, and Petroleum and Industrial Services Ltd (PIS) who sponsored the trip. They are the first company to put forward any sort of sponsorship to Kenyan cricket since the new administration took over, and hopefully the success of this trip will prompt other companies to follow suit.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Kenya Cricket

Kenya Cricket

Juniors give hope for future

The Kenya under 15 boys team have beaten Uganda by 26 runs at the Aga Khan ground in Nairobi yesterday to win the regional under 15's trophy. This is great news for the future as last year's trophy was won by the Ugandans, and there have been mutterings that Uganda may be the upcoming force in African cricket.

Kenya lost the toss and were put in to bat by the visitors Though no one really took advantage of the conditions, Kenya still managed to post a total of 196. Kenya's highest run getters were captain Madan Sundaran with 38 and Shem Obado with 36. Uganda's run chase never really got off the ground as thier top order was dismissed cheaply bringing the score to 5 for 55. A fightback by the middle order and tail made the match interesting, but Kenya retained the upper hand and the match closed when the last batsman holed out to Michael Shikoli at long on off the skipper's bowling.

Kenya U15s 196 beat Uganda U15s 169 by 23 runs.

In the other match of the tournament, Kenya uner 15's "A" team narrowly lost low scoring game against Tanzania. Kenya "A" batted first, but were never able to take control, and were removed for only 75. Tanzania also struggled with the conditions, but never the less were able to bring up the winning runs with the loss of only 6 wickets.

Tanzania U15s 76 -6 beat Kenya U15s "A" 75 all out by 4 wickets.

With Zimbabwean cricket on the wane, it is important that more than just talk is seen from Samir Inamdar's board in regards to developing the game in Kenya so we can fill the void that will be left. We failed to qualify for the Under 19 World Cup, losing out to Uganda, so while a small victory on the stage of World Cricket, winning this trophy by beating the country that kept us out, is never the less an important step in the right direction.
The administrators now have to build on this to take the game forward at a national level. While Kenya won yesterdays match, we have fallen behind our neighbours in terms of junior development. This has to be rectified. The good news is that Uganda's strong junior infastructure was in part put in place by our own Tom Tikolo, so we now have both the know how and experience to put in place a similar setup in Kenya. We shall watch with interest to see if this happens, but in the meanwhile, congratulations to Madan Sundaran and the rest of the Kenya under 15s.