Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kenya Ladies record historic first league win

Kenya Women’s XI registered their first victory in the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association League with a win over hosts Oshwal on Sunday. A brilliant batting display by Perlyne Omamo and good bowling spells from Belinda Maska and Mercyline Adhiambo contributed heavily to the Women XI first win since being incorporated in the league last year to play the men’s sides.
The three gave the side what they had been yearning for and led their team to 19 runs win in the match played at Highride Primary School grounds.

Omamo batted the entire inning - 49 overs and managed to score her maiden half century as the Women XI put on 155 runs -their highest score in the league. She put on a 15 runs opening stand with Sarah Bhakita (2) before Bhakita was caught off Jay Nagda. Margaret Banja (8) added 38 with Omamo to get the scores to 53 before a third wicket stand with Maska added nine. Dun Okinyo, the team coach, scored a quick 25 and ensured the Women XI got their first hundred of the season. Okinyo’s departure- bowled by Hitesh Ngoa paved way to Emily Ruto who added 9 as Women XI surged on to their biggest total so far in the league.

Adhiambo (0), Peris Adhiambo (0), Mary Belle (3) lost their wickets in quick succession before Sylvia followed on with the third duck of the inning. Their previous score in the league last year was 132 against the same side. Omamo’s 50 not out included five boundaries.
Omamo's half century was the third for the Women team after the unbeaten 187 and 86 by Bhakita and Ruto respectively in their record win over Rwanda last year in the East and Central Africa Women Championships.

Josphat Irungu was the toast of Oshwal bowling with three wickets for 17 runs as the innings came to an end with an over to play.

Irungu started the chase with a bang putting on 32 runs in three overs but that came to a halt when he edged to Bhakita off Maska. Bhakita keeping wicket in the absense of Aimee Maria then stumped Hiten Jakhari with the total on 51 for two before Ruto held a low catch at deep mid wicket to get out danger man Nagda for 15 giving Maska her third wicket. While Maska was getting the wickets, Adhiambo was beating the batters with her swing and she was rewarded when she clean bowled captain Mitesh Dephia for nine with the score on 82.

Okinyo got the fifth wicket when Mehul Ghala was caught by Ruth Mwihaki for naught with 69 runs needed for victory. Adhiambo got her second and biggest wicket in her seventh over when she had Mehul Gala caught by Okinyo for naught with scores on 92. Okinyo added the seventh wicket before Mwihaki got two more wickets including tapping Pradeep Patel on 17. Ketul Gudka (21) and Dhiren Bid put on a 20 run stand for the last wicket before Bhakita stumped Gudka for 21 to the jubilation of the team.

Captain Emily Ruto attributed the win to hard work on the field and ability to follow the laid game plan.

“The initial idea was for us to bat all the overs. This worked out well and as a result we were able to get a defendable score. When it came to bowling the plan was again bowl on the stump and let them make the mistake. They made the mistake and we carried the day,”

“Omamo’s inning was actually something that we will remember every time we talk about the win and it was also good for her as she has realized she can bat well on a good day. Her presence in the crease made us strong and I believe if we continue working like this we will be a better team by the end of the season,” she said.

The team's next match is against leaders Parklands and Ruto said the plan will not change.

“Why change?. We will not do anything different from what we did today. It will be for them to change their plans not us. Our plans will be to bowl on the stumps and try and bat all the overs,” she said.

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