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Babariya, Talati stars as Cheetahs claim maiden win

15/03/21 Nairobi, Kenya

A century second-wicket partnership between captain Tirth Babariya and Yash Talati helped Cheetahs claim their maiden win on Sunday against the Lions by a handsome margin of 73 runs in the current Starfield Sports Limited super three’s cricket league being held at Nairobi Gymkhana club.

Babariya’s 61 came off just 37 deliveries and included four fours and a maximum, while man of the match Talati’s unbeaten 46 was conjured up from 51 balls including three boundaries. The 103-run partnership between the two top-order batsmen was realized from a mere 67 balls - just to show how dominant the Cheetahs were in the first half of the match.

This was after they had lost opener Garv Galaiya who was caught behind for nought in the opening over bowled by Lions’ speedster Brian Ochieng. Ochieng’s joy was short-lived as Babariya joined Talati at the crease to begin the onslaught. 

Babariya was the aggressive of the two batsmen while Talati exhibited patience in building his inning. Babariya had profited from Dylan Shah’s inaccurate bowling to find three boundaries off Shah’s opening two overs forcing skipper Yash Gohil to remove him from the attack soon thereafter. The same fate was to befall the returning Kit Garner who conceded consecutive boundaries on the leg side as the Cheetahs batsmen became rampant.

By the time Babariya fell to Kevin Nganga’s off break, caught by wicketkeeper Gohil, the Cheetahs had bossed the game and were in total control at 103 for two in 11.4 overs.

Neel Doshi was given the same treatment by Dhir Talati who drove straight on, while pulling one through mid-wicket for back to back boundaries as the scores surpassed the 150-run mark as Cheetahs quest for a big total eventually bore fruits finishing on 173.

In response, the Lions innings never got going as they lost wickets at regular intervals without adding runs that carried great weight to the scoreboard. 35 for four soon became 67 for seven as the Cheetahs shut the door on the Lions. Only three Lions batsmen, John Ivayo 20 off 17, Pravin Kannah 14 off 13 and Hrithik Choudhery 11 off 12 managed double figures 

Talati was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 8, off his three overs. 

The Cheetahs next face the Tigers at the weekend in the final round of matches.