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Mutembei shines as Star Field U19 floor Swamibapa in a tight finish

12/08/21 Nairobi, Kenya

Kevin Mutembei’s triple strike ensured that Star Field elite under-19 cricket team overcame a stubborn Swamibapa side by 9 runs in a pulsating encounter staged at Nairobi Gymkhana on Thursday afternoon.

Mutembei got the better of half of the top order batters as he accounted for the dismissals of Krish Haria for nought, the dangerous Prashang Hirani (35 off 30 balls) and Rajan Limbani (3 off balls) to help contain the chase.

Earlier on Star Field had won the toss and opted to bat first posting a total of 109 off their allotted 20 overs.

After a bright opening stand of 32 off just four and half overs between Tirth Babariya (24 off 20 balls) and Raj Manji’s run-a-ball 12. Swamibapa’s Haria then wrecked havoc by removing all the first three batsmen with his right-arm leg breaks and a run out accounted for those dismissals as spin arrived to slow down the bludgeoning run rate and provide the necessary breakthroughs.

Star Field’s middle order then huffed and puffed to 78 for the loss of six wickets from 16 overs before the arrival of Pravin Kannah (22 off 20 balls) and Dhir Talati (13 off 16) gave the innings renewed momentum towards the end to catapult the total beyond a hundred.

In response, Swamibapa’s inning got off to a slow than expected start as Mutembei and Yash Talati combined to a great effect to deny the batsmen run scoring opportunities. It took a massive effort from Hirani who found the boundary four times to give their inning some impetus.

Hirani’s effort was more of a one-man show as the chase was always behind the required run-rate and he desperately needed support from his fellow batsmen who all failed to give him the necessary stand.

None of the Swami batsmen coming in after number four were able to register double figure scores and that put paid to their hopes of overhauling Star Field’s total. In the end Star Field restricted them to 100 and claimed a narrow 9-run win.

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