The Starehe zone mini cricket tournament took off at 9.00 a.m at Sir Ali Muslim Club with 11 primary schools participating with all the boys and girls looking forward to winning the trophy in both categories on a good sunny day. The Starehe zone schools that took part were as below:-
1. Riverbank Primary
2. Muranga Road
3. City Primary
4. Highridge Primary
5. Arya Primary
6. Muslim Academy
7. Pangani Primary
8. Dr Aggrey Primary
9. Pumwani Primary
10. Martin Luther Primary
11. Muslim Primary
Arya Primary was off to a flying start in the boy’s category by running through their opponents but was given a reality check by Muslim Primary in the group stages. The semi-finals separated the new rivals but they were too strong for their opponents and inevitably met again in the finals and this time Arya found enough strength in reserve to claim their maiden victory at the expense of the fast improving Muslim outfit.
Youngster, Ishan Patel was the star of the team taking his Arya side to the finals, he opened both the batting and bowling for his side and excelled in both helping them to 50 runs and then claiming a wicket in his bowling to derail the chase.
In the girls event, Highridge Primary went unbeaten in the entire event largely to their all round performance in the different departments of bowling, batting and fielding. They ensured that their scored more than their opponents each time they batted first and restricted the opposition to gettable scores when they fielded first.
If there was a team capable of destabilising that run, it would have been defending champions Martin Luther girls, but when they came together at the finals after negotiating the group stages, Highridge seemed to have prepared better, they had a match for every trick the former champions tried to employ.
Winning that crucial toss, Martin Luther opted to bowl first and restricted Highridge to 31 runs but the former champions could not prevent Highridge from claiming this one. They bowled tightly throughout the encounter and ensured the 14 runs needed off the last two overs only yielded seven runs.
Ladies best all-rounder Natalie Ann bowled 5 dot balls in the final over and only a shorter delivery on the final ball got pulled for four but by then 11 was needed off the over, the game had been well and truly won by the Parklands based school.
They are a group of girls that have been as a unit for the better part of the year and there was jubilation at the end of the tournament as the winners and best players picked up their trophies and medals.
Winners; Arya Primary School Winners; Highridge Primary School
Runners- up; Muslim Primary School Runners- up; Martin Luther Primary School
Best Batter: Bilal King (Arya Primary) Best Batter: Wilkister Diana (Martin Luther)
Best bowler: Brian John (Muslim Primary) Best Bowler: Diana Amulavi (City Primary)
Best All rounder Ishan Patel (Arya Primary) Best All rounder: Natalie Ann (Highridge)
The tournament was also the last event for this zone before the schools close for end of the year. Awarding the winner’s trophy to the girls was the Kenya ladies captain Emily Ruto who thanked Cricket Kenya for organising such a tournament and encouraged young boys and girls to take cricket seriously as she was also a beneficiary of the development program and told them that she was in South Africa last month because of cricket.
Closing the tournament David Odhiambo praised the youngsters for their discipline throughout the day and for displaying some good cricket. He also thanked the teachers who assisted with umpiring and scoring duties for exercising what they had acquired from the courses run by the Association to enhance their knowledge in cricket and finally expressed GBS Television for covering the event. All said and done the spirit of mini cricket was followed by an enjoyment and celebrations.