It was the kind of match that we all wait for but are never there to witness as Mombasa Simba won the toss on home turf and elected to bat against Mombasa Heats. The opening duo of Amir Hamza (104) and Nimesh Panchal (100) laid into the Heats bowling attack joined by Santosh Kumar (108) in the later stages of the innings to take the scores to a record 405/3 in the allocated 40 overs. Bruce Phillips (1/41 in 5 overs) the best bowling figures for heats. Simba were certain of a 3rd victory in the league as they took to the field and sent Padma Kumara (4) as well as Tyrell D’souza (1) packing back to the pavilion. However, their joy was short lived as Jeremy Fernandes blasted an unbeaten 208* and Rajith Tharaka (99) reached the target with 10 balls spare. Jasmeet Bhuller (1/52) was not able to stem the tide of runs as all bowlers went for aplenty. Definitely the match of the league. Heats four points adrift from the top of the table need to upset the giants to finish in the top three of the league.
Elsewhere, another unforeseen upset took place at the Burhani Grounds where hosts Mombasa Jaffery chose to field against the league champions of three years Mombasa Sports club. Lucas Oluoch (2/25) and Emmanuel Bundi (2/35) soon had Sports Club on the back foot with scores reading 13/2 in four overs before Sagar Karia (36) took the side to 75/5. Thereafter, last minute 39* runs from Thabit Mohammed propelled Sports Club to a lack lustre 148 with over 10 overs to spare. In reply, Mohamed Fazal’s return without scoring and Mujtaba Walji’s flamboyant 14 saw Mombasa Jaffery totter on 39/3 before Lucas Oluoch (42) and Emmanuel Bundi (49) took Mombasa Jaffery to victory with 13 overs to spare. ZahirAbbas Khaku’s 2/34 the only thorn in Jaffery’s batting. Mombasa Jaffery with one game in hand can potentially pick the cup if they win all remaining fixtures of the league.
In the third fixture of the day, playing at Gymkhana grounds, Burhani put hosts Shree Cutchi Leva in to bat and restricted the home side to a paltry 78 runs with 15 overs spare as Paresh Bhudia (12) and Khilesh Hirani (17) failed to get support from the rest of the side. Veteran Mohammed Dadabhai (4/21) and Mustansir Akberali (2/21) picking the batsmen at will to tidy things for the rejuvenated Burhani side. In reply, Ammar Taibali (29) and Talha Khan (21) made light work of the score taking Burhani to victory with 17 overs spare. Neekil Shamji (2/14) causing some turbulence in the way for the Burhani batsmen. Burhani also in contention for the top three slots provided they win their remaining fixtures and upset the league leaders in the coming weeks.
With plenty of action still to come and the league entering its last leg, there is much more cricket in the offing it is really time the local enthusiasts paid heed to the grounds on Sundays and come to cheer on their respective sides to boost the morals and performance of our own boys as they aim to achieve slots in the national side. Come one, come all, come as a family to have a Sunday of entertaining cricket.