It was a see-saw affair after two matches between the Rift Valley Rhinos and Nairobi’s Kongonis over the weekend. The Rhinos claimed a massive scalp on the Twenty20 match by beating their hosts Kongonis by 20 runs before Kongonis restored some pride with a convincing victory over the Rhinos on Sunday in the 50-over encounter at Nairobi club ground.
Rhinos drew first blood when they elected to bat and despite posting a low total of 87, they then bowled tightly to dismiss Kongonis for a disappointing total of 67. Man of the match performance from Hiren Varaiya ensured the Rhinos enjoyed the afternoon in Nairobi as he top scored with 16 and later on claimed two wickets for 5 runs as the city outfit crumbled at home.
Apart from Varaiya’s effort in batting, only Harrison Ambani (13) and Ketan Patel (15) had double figures for the Rhinos. In reply, Kongonis also had a similar number of batsmen reaching double figures. Chris Childs (15), lead Alex Obanda (12) and youngster Emmanuel Ringera (11).
In the more predictable 50-over event on Sunday, Kongonis won the toss and elected to bat. The decision paid immediate dividends, as the hosts got on top of the Rhinos bowlers building an opening stand of 55 runs between Chris Childs and Rakep Patel.
Chris Childs departure at 55 paved the way for Obanda who made a quick 22 before succumbing to a regular catch behind the stumps by Anil Patel. Player coach Kennedy Obuya joined Patel at 107 runs and quickly got into his stride bashing the bowling attack to bring up his half-century at a run-a-ball. He was to depart on 80 attempting a huge stroke but by then Kongonis had disappeared with the game.
All this while Patel stood with a magnificent 122 runs which earned him the match of the match award, but his efforts could have come at a cost as he sat out the afternoon session with a slight strain. He managed 9 boundaries and 2 sixes from 148 deliveries.
The Rhinos were no match to this total as they were cheaply bowled out for 107 from 39.3 overs. Pick of the bowlers was Dominic Wesonga with 3 for 21, while Shem Ngoche’s 3 for 22 shared the responsibilities with the ball.