Kenya beat Mpumalanga by eight wickets in the Group C opener of the Africa Twenty20 Cup Friday at East London, South Africa.
Former skipper Rakep Patel (57 off 35 balls) came in at number three to bat all the way as the Kenyans brilliantly chased Mpumalanga’s 166/9 in the opening innings. Wicket keeper/batsman Irfan Karim (52 off 54 balls) also weighed in brilliantly with another half ton as they sought to assert authority in the tournament. Kenya posted a score total of 170/2 in 19.2 overs with four balls extra.
Patel’s contribution included four boundaries and a further four high balls as he showed his destruction mode in the crease with a strike rate of 162.85. The Kanbis star man was all-rounded classy as he also dropped three wickets in a fluid innings.
England-based Ianky opener Karim had two boundaries and a single six before being caught out by fielder Maarten Steenkamp off Codi Yusuf’s quick delivery. The left-hander was calm on the wicket and chose his balls well with his selection range being top notch.
Alex Obanda (46 off 26 balls) also had fine moments on the crease partnering Karim effectively especially starring with swingers. He had four sterling boundaries and three sky balls under calm weather to stifle the momentum of Mpumalanga. The big hitting Swami batsman was later to be caught for a duck by 23-year-old Glen Adams off a tight ball from orthodox bowler Gerald Ngwenyama.
In the earlier innings, Mpulanga had been dutiful with their play as they put in a statement of their own in front of their crowd. Benjamin Van Niekerk (44 off 25 balls) was their top scorer as he posted quadruple sixes on the board.
The right hand batsman who came in at number six had an incredible strike rate of 176.00 to his name before being run out by the busy Patel inside 19.6 overs.