National team players struggle in NPCA league

Friday January 11 2019

National cricket team batsman Alex Obanda plays a delivery during a training session at Simba Union ground on February 1, 2017. Obanda and Irfan Karim chalked half century in the nine-wicket defeat to Denmark on November 17, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

National cricket team batsman Alex Obanda plays a delivery during a training session at Simba Union ground on February 1, 2017. Obanda and Irfan Karim chalked half century in the nine-wicket defeat to Denmark on November 17, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

RICHARD MWANGI
By RICHARD MWANGI
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Majority of national team players performed poorly with both bat and ball in last season’s Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association Super Division league with only a handful of them ranking in top ten in battling and bowling averages.

Perhaps it’s because of this poor performance that the interim Cricket Kenya chairman Tom Tikolo is coy on how they will select the national team for international assignment this year. When asked on how they will pick the team, an evasive Tikolo answered that they will have a sub-committee that will be tasked to come up with a national squad.

“We want everything to be done correctly. We are going to pick a selection sub-committee during our board meeting on Tuesday, then brief them on our mission, ” he said.

Kanbis’ Dhiren Gondaria, Kenya’s top order batsman, was the highest runs getter with 567 runs from nine innings. He hit a high score of 115 runs and had an average of 70.88. This record pales in comparison with NPCA batting record of 1500 runs set by former prolific batsman Steve Tikolo in 1995/1996 season.

Rajesh Bhudia, Kanbis skipper, shone with both bat and ball as he placed second to Dhiren in batting with 362 runs, with a high score of 122 runs and an average of 40.22 in ten innings. He however topped the bowling chart with 25 wickets in 10 innings with a best of 6/32. He conceded 248 runs.

Kenyan opening batsman Alex Obanda turning out for Swamibapa was placed sixth with 303 runs from six innings and an average of 50.50 and high score of 121 runs. Former national team captain Rakep Patel was eighth with 261 runs from eightinnings with a high score of 108 runs and an average of 32.63.

Another national team player Nehemiah Odhiambo, who plays for Stray Lions, was 1th with 246 runs from eight innings with a high score of 91 runs and an average of 35.14.

In bowling, only three national team players made it to top ten. Stray Lions’ Shem Ngoche was second behind Rakesh with 17 wickets from eight innings with a of 3/44 conceding 281 runs. Kanbis’ Pushpak Kerai was fifth with 16 wickets, a best of 5/12 from eight innings and conceded 281 runs. Odhiambo was 10th with 14 wickets, a best of 4/11 and 183 runs conceded in seven innings.

Batting ranking
1. Dhiren Gondaria (Kanbis Sports Club)
2. Rajesh Bhudiya (Kanbis Sports Club)
3. Deepak Pal (Swamibapa Sports Club)
4. Sidharth Gemawat (SCLPS)
5. Maurice Ouma (Swamibapa Sports Club)
6. Alex Obanda (Swamibapa Sports Club)
7. Abraham Vadada (Stray Lions Cricket Club)
8. Rakep Patel (Kanbis Sports Club)
9. Veer Dave (Nairobi Gymkhana)

10. Nelson Odhiambo (Kanbis Sports Club)

Bowling ranking

1. Rajesh Bhudiya (Kanbis Sports Club)

2. Shem Ngoche (Stray Lions Cricket Club)

3. Sidharth Gemawat (SCLPS)

4. Dilip Rathod (SCLPS)

5. Pushpak Kerai (Kanbis Sports Club)

6. Jadavji Bhimji (Swamibapa Sports Club)

7. Jayant Mepani (Kanbis Sports Club)

8. Harshin Varsani (SCLPS)

9. Martin Okoth (Nairobi Gymkhana)

10. Nehemiah Odhiambo (Stray Lions Cricket Club)

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