Rwenzori Warriors won the toss and opted to bat on the nice and hard wicket. Lawrence Ssematimba’s decision to bat paid off when his warriors amassed a grand 184 runs in their allotted 20 overs. Man of Match Roger Mukasa, playing with a groin injury employed the ‘smack it strategy’ racing to 50 runs off 24 balls, finally finishing with 126 Not Out off 64 balls. Roger’s innings had 20 boundaries (92 runs) of which six, were sixes.
It was quite brilliant batting from the warriors posting two good partnerships of 65 and an unbeaten stand of 106 runs for the first and third wickets respectively with Arnold Otwani at 39 Not Out. Only Pradeep Patel managed to pick a wicket with figures of 1/25 off 4 overs as Kashif Khan did multiple shuttles chasing the white ‘Shadow’ leather cricket ball at the boundary.
Coast Pekee lost by 106 runs when their chase was halted at 78 runs. Coach Francis Otieno and Sagar Karia scored 29 apiece for a 5th wicket partnership of 58 runs. The Warriors’ bowlers shared the spoils with Charles Waiswa 2/12 in 4, Henry Ssenyondo 2/15 in 4 and Roger Mukasa 2/4 in 2.
In Nakuru town, hosts Rift Valley Rhinos were tamed by the visiting Nile Knights at the Rift Valley Sports Club, the visitors winning by 4 wickets. Knights immediately applied pressure on their opponents removing the top order in quick succession to leave the home side stuttering at 32 for 6.
The Rhinos never recovered and ended up with ascore of 79. Chris Sterling 22 not out was the only batsman above 20. Frank Nsubuga was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 11 runs.
In reply, Knights set about chasing the total with caution and completed the job on the first ball of the final over. Skipper Davis Arinaitwe contributed handsomely with the bat for his 40 off 50 deliveries including 4 boundaries.
Nicholas Kebba had the Knights well set up for this one with a clinical 20 off 19 balls with 3 fours. Rhino’s stand-in skipper Joseph Angara picked up 2 wickets for 10 runs from 3.1 overs but his efforts were in vain as they went down to the Ugandans.
In the other encounter, Kongonis won the battle of the city rivals when they beat Nairobi Buffaloes by 10 runs in a pulsating match played at Nairobi Club on Saturday afternoon.
Kongonis opted to bat first but never got off to the start they would have hoped for on a sunny afternoon in Nairobi. After recovering from the early loss of Abdul Rehman (3) Baden Odinga (22) and Gordon Brown (23) put on a 2nd wicket partnership of 40 runs to propel their total to 48 before both fell to Raj Savala who ended up with 3 for 7 off his 4 overs and disrupted Kongonis innings in the process.
Savala began by trapping Brown leg before, then he had Rajesh Bhudiya sent back for nought and completed his haul by cleaning out Odinga for 22.
Kongonis had lost 3 wickets for 3 runs and were in danger of folding up but they fought bravely to post 86 for 7 wickets off 20 overs and their bowlers returned the favour by restricting the Buffaloes to 76 all out in 19 overs and claim the bragging rights for the first round.
Destroyer in chief was Gordon Brown who picked up 3 for 8 from 4 overs as the Buffaloes batsmen failed to live up to the billing, with only skipper Karan Kaul 21 the only batsmen to cross the 20-run mark.