Issa Kikasi

The matches aim at putting the senior national team in great shape ahead of international assignments scheduled for later this year. The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, in which they posted 156 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs largely thanks to tenacity displayed by the middle order batsmen, who somewhat spared the rest of the batsmen’s flaws.

Opener Issa Kikasi (28 runs off 92 balls) was the only top order batsman who at least managed to put the foreign professionals’ bowlers at bay with a couple of well executed knocks. His dismissal, therefore, happened to be a huge setback to the side as fellow top order batsmen, Seif Khalifa (six runs off 13 balls), Abhik Patwa (10 runs off 26 balls) and Benson Mwita (seven runs off 15 balls), lasted just a few overs at the crease.

Middle order batsmen, led by Kassim Nassor (37 runs off 63 balls) and Khalil Rehemtullah (21 runs off 37 balls) put solid batting to keep the team’s hopes of ending the innings with a convincing triple digit total alive, although other batsmen somewhat struggled.
South African, Nicholas Govender (3-36 in 10 overs) was the pick of the APL professionals’ bowlers, in which he claimed his hat-trick of wickets midway through the senior national team’s innings, after dismissing Zamoyoni Ramadhan, Rehemtullah and Riziki Kiseto.

Other wicket takers in the APL professionals’ squad included another South African, Kyle Marshall (2-18 in eight overs), Kenyan, Jimmy Kamande (2-32 in 10 overs) and Indian, Shriniwas Rangachary, who had one wicket in his nine-over spell. In response, the APL professionals put their batting prowess to show and successfully chased their opponents’ score for the loss of six wickets in 44.4 overs.

The visitors’ top order batsmen, in particular, were on top form to bring about hopes of reaching the target midway through the innings. Openers, Rangachary (38 runs off 96 balls) and Subramaniam Doraiswamy (30 runs off as many balls), had a promising partnership early in the innings and brought their side’s total to a convincing triple digit figure by the time they were dismissed midway.

Other contributors to the team’s total were Marshall (32 runs not out off 55 balls), Kamande (19 runs not out off 32 balls), Ncame Livi (10 runs off 24 balls) and Thomas Odoyo, who had nine runs off 17 balls. Senior national team wicket takers were spinners, Kiseto (3-13 in 10 overs) and Tambwe Rashid (2-36 in 10 overs). The two sides were expected to wrap the friendly series at the same venue on Thursday.

By JAPHETH KAZENGA, Tanzania Daily News

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