The third week of matches in the on-going CCA Pro 40 league saw some enlivening matches take place at various venues around the city.
The first match of the day saw Jaffery Sports Club A sort superiority out with Coast Gymkhana B who haven’t had the most auspicious start to the league season. Coast Gymkhana B won the toss at home and quite inexplicably sent Jaffery Sports A in to bat on a pitch that so far has seen the highest runs per innings scored.
Jaffery did not disappoint their fans although they did have a jittery start to their innings as their opener M.Walji was sent packing early and A.Abdalla soon followed suit leaving JSC A at 32 for 2 wickets. It was left to Mohamed Fazal and Abbas Mawji (35) to stabilise the innings from thereon.
As the pitch eased out under the sun and the ball got older, finding the middle of the bat became easy. M.Fazal making merry with a century, ending up with 116runs. He shared a stand with MR Tejani who realised 73 not out as he partnered M. Fazal and thereafter with the late middle order to set up another huge score of 303 for the loss of 5 wickets.
Sachin Dixit, the Coast Gymkhana B captain returning figures of 2/50. The form on the field carried on into their batting as Coast Gymkhana B started their chase with the loss of the veteran Kamal Gohil early. None of the Coast Gymkhana B batsmen settled to the bowling of JSC A, save Ashish Kerai (30 n.o.).
The home side being bundled out for a paltry 75 runs with fantastic bowling by youngster Ali Karim’s 4 wickets in 4 balls in his first over, finishing with figures of 4/1 in 2 overs and MR Tejani 4/15. JSC A won the match with a massive 228 runs. While JSC A was going all guns blazing, Mombasa Sports Club entertained Mombasa Heat at luscious MSC ground.
MSC won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch that generally has something for the batsmen and bowlers. Yusuf Bakirali showing some of his form that was long coming churning up 74 runs. He was well supported by Mohammed Al-Harazi with 68 runs. Although MSC did not finish their
40 overs as they set up 208 all out in the 32nd over. Bill Sawyer realised the first 6 wicket haul of the CCA league for Mombasa Heat finishing with figures of 6/37. An impressive performance from Sawyer. However Mombasa Heat could not emulate Sawyer’s brilliance with the ball this time around with the bat, as the highest score of the Mombasa heat innings being extras at 20. None of the other Heat batsmen breached that mark and were shot out for 66 runs.
MSC winning by a huge margin of 142 runs. Jaffery Sports Club B, a youthful outfit which is always refreshing to note under the captaincy of the BJ Abbas grappled with Coast Gymkhana A at the astro-laden JSC pitch. CG A having won the toss and elected to bat saw massive batting partnerships set up with Manoj Patel realising the second century of the day finishing with a quick fire 119 runs. Vandan Patel notched up 55 runs as he partnered Manoj Patel in their batting sojourn.
Another veteran of Coast cricket Sanjay Patel (53) partnered some youthful CG A batsmen in setting up a good score of 286 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. CG A themselves having fielded a youthful side mixed with the experience. Alijawad Molu returning encouraging figures of 2/27 in a 6 over spell of off spin bowling. It is hoped that the youth would learn a great deal from the experienced players to ensure continuity of this great game.
As JSC B embarked on their chase, the CG A bowlers started making inroads into the batting until they came across BJ Abbas and Mujahid Janmohamed who were in the mood of spending some time in the middle. BJ Abbas came back with a fighting 75, as he left Mujahid unbeaten on 25. JSC B realised an encouraging 193runs for the loss of 7 wickets .
CG A winning the match by 93 runs. The last match of the day wass a low scoring affair as Burhani Sports club entertained Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj on the former’s astro-turf. Akin to the Mombasa Heat’s innings on MSC, the highest scorer in the Burhani innings were extras at 33. None of the batsmen could come to terms with the bowling of SCLPS as Burhani were bundled out for 84 runs. Paresh Bhudia returning figures of 3/16 and Rajesh Valani realising 2/3 in 4 overs.
SCLPS made short work of the score, though not without some hiccups as they lost 3 wickets in chasing 84 in the best part of 13 overs. Bipin Bhudia coming back with 27 and Santi Pindoria with 22. SCLPS carried the day by 7 wickets. It would not be cricket if we did not mention the efforts of the umpires who braved the heat of Mombasa by standing tall and adjudicating the matches in a professional manner.
Kudos to the Coast Umpires Association and to the individual umpires who have put in all the effort to ensure the game is played in the manner that befits the game of cricket.
Next round of matches scheduled for 18/3/2012 are as follows:
Coast Gymkhana B v/s Simba Union (SGSS) on CG
Mombasa Sports Club v/s Coast Gymkhana A on MSC
Jaffery Sports Club B v/s Mombasa Heat on JSC
Burhani Sports Club v/s Jaffery Sports Club A on BSC
The standing of the league will sure make for some enthralling reading after this round of matches. The league is now truly warmed up and should promises some heated matches with surprising results.