•Playing in the absence of their high-flying skipper Dhiren Gondaria, who is out of the country at their Eastleigh High School backyard, Kanbis won the toss and elected to bat first.
•Gymkhana were all out in the second innings with a cumulative total of 125 after their top scorer Martin Okoth (40) was caught out by Keval Bhuva with less than four overs to spare.
Star batsman Rakep Patel believes Kanbis Sports Club 'A' are the team after a convincing 38-run victory over visitors Nairobi Gymkhana A in Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) T20 League.
Playing in the absence of their high-flying skipper Dhiren Gondaria, who is out of the country at their Eastleigh High School backyard, Kanbis won the toss and elected to bat first.
But it's Rakep’s batting prowess that gave the visitors a tough chase with a scintillating knock of 92, which steered his side to a decent total of 163 for 9 in 20 overs of the first innings.
Gymkhana were all out in the second innings with a cumulative total of 125 after their top scorer Martin Okoth (40) was caught out by Keval Bhuva with less than four overs to spare.
Rakep was all smiles after their season-opening win and said: "First game of the year and the way we played goes to show that we are still up to it after winning the recently concluded 50 overs league."
"Scoring 160 plus on that pitch was a good score and I think the bowlers played really well," Rakep explained.
Asked about their rivalry with top teams among them, Stray Lions and Swamis, Rakep bantered: "By now, I think everyone is looking forward to playing Kanbis. It’s always a good game, so just come prepared.”
"You know our captain Dhiren wasn’t there, yet he is one of the best in Kenya and the highest scorer in the league for Kanbis last season. So playing without such a player and having him back in the team is a bonus, as he is one guy who takes away the game from the opposition and a very good fielder as well."
Commenting on his good form, Rakep narrated: "I just think it was important to keep playing a longer inning because I was losing my partners frequently. So I thought the longer I play, would get things easier for everyone. Coming to bowl and after the first six overs, we took over the game considering that they had already lost five wickets. In T20 it’s very hard to come back when you have lost 5 early wickets," Rakep went on.
Gymkhana skipper Harsh Patel commented: “Drop catches are what cost us quite a few runs, with myself and some of my teammates being knocked off quite early. Our fielding is something we will relook at before going into the next fixture. But we are a team that always believes in the end. Cricket is not over until the last wicket falls. So, it’s still early days and we will continue fighting.”
In the other Super Division matches, Swamibapa'A' defeated Cutchi Leva 'A' by 8 wickets. Cutchi Leva scored 112 for the loss of 9 wickets with Ankit Bhanderi top scoring with 26 runs.
Jignesh Hirani and James Ngoche each bagged two wickets. Swamibapa chased the score with only two wickets down in 14.3 overs with captain Rushab Patel top-scoring with 58 not out.
Sir Ali Muslim Club A dealt Ruaraka SC A 32-run blow. Batting first, Sir Ali were struggling at 25 for the loss of 4 wickets before Eugene Maneno (60 runs) and Kulpreet Singh Pannu (67 runs) led them to a fighting total of 172/7 in 20 overs.
In reply, Ruaraka batsman failed to put on any meaningful full partnership and ended up with 140/6 in 20 overs, falling short by 32 runs.
Sikh Union A cruised to an 8 wickets victory over Obuya Academy in another Super Division encounter.