It was a Sunday full of surprises as though the week long rains heralded a shift and change as the star studded Mombasa Jaffery B looked set to humble leading giants Mombasa Sports Club and Simba Union were set to gain ground on the points table against Shree Cutchi Leva Patel samaj with ease but the tables were turned in what turned out to be dramatic encounters across the Island.
Put in to bat, Simba Union took 25 over to put 75 runs on the board with top scores from 18 extras and Randeep Birdi with 10 giving the simba bowlers very little to work with. Paresh Gami and Paresh Budhia with 3/15 each led the bowling onslaught for SCLPS. In reply, SCLPS comfortably reached the target within 16.3 over with Ritesh Patel scoring 38 having taken 2/23 as only Yusuf Hussein of SU showed some aggression in the bowling department with 2/16 in 5 over.
At Mombasa Sports Club, having won the toss Mombasa Sports Club elected to field with their captain digging into Mombasa Jaffery B’s batting line up from the word GO. Led by their captain Zaheer Khaku whose 4/24 in 7 over saw the scalps of Steve Tikolo and Jimmy Kamande in the first over as well as wickets of rising youngster Hussein GulamHussein and JSC B captain Juma Abbas in later over, Jaffery S.C B were 36/4 before Akram Abbas and Thomas Odoyo steadied the ship for a 68 run fifth wicket partnership that steered the team to a semi respectable score of 137 all out. Vinit Shikotra and Sagar Karia with 3/20 and 3/22 respectively helped bring down the giants for their captain. In reply, MSC openers Rajiv Sutaria and Mohamed Al-Harazi dug in with 40 and 32 runs respectively with contributions of 25 not out from Taaha and 22 from Sagar Karia seeing the game home within 34 over. A few close chances that could have swung the game went begging with Jaffery fielders failing to capitalize.
Jaffery Sports Club A moved to second position after posting 260/9 in their 40 over against Mombasa Heats. Winning the toss, JSC A sent Shehryar Akram and Mohamed Fazel to bat with both contributing 73 and 33 runs respectively to the score ably assisted by a quick 30 from Aliasgher Abdullah as well as Mazhar Kassamali and Mohamed Mehdi Gulam Hussein finding their form with 32 and 43 runs respectively. Mombasa Heats Tim Jensz keeping the pressure on as always bowled his 8 over for 38 failing to get any wickets which were shared by Quintin Henry (3/68), Jeremy Fernandes (2/52) and Andrew Englesfield (2/35). In reply, it was the Captain Tim Jensz and Jeremy Fernandes that again gave MJSC a run for their money with 60 and 28 runs respectively both falling prey to Hussein Iqbal Virjee (2/25) whilst Ali Karim (3/40) and Ahmed Virjee (3/15) ensured that the visitors were restricted to 162 all out.
In the most bizarre game of the day, Burhani Sports Club won the toss and put Coast Gymkhana B in to bat. CG B managed 166 all out with Ashish Kerai (36) and Kamal Gohil (27) getting the runs. Hussein Mukarram (4/23), Murtaza Zafferali (2/24) and Mohamed Dadabhai with 2/18 restricted the batsmen with disciplined bowling. However, in reply, Burhani SC found themselves floundering in deep water as youngster Harajsingh Sohal’s 5/30 scuttled their batting line-up and Burhani SC ended losing the match by 1 run with 3.2 over to spare. Murtaza Bakir (52), Yusuf Vejlani (33) and Shiraz Esmailjee (26) failed to give Burhani a much needed win.
With 30 matches still to go, a clear leader is not in sight as Giants Mombasa Sports Club, Mombasa Jaffery A, Gymkhana A and Simba Union face each other off in the coming weeks with SCLPS and Mombasa Jaffery B also in the gunning for the top spots. A couple of upsets could change the tables round as the finish line looms in sight mere points separate the top four as players find their form and teams gel for the final lunge to the finish line.