Aces cricketers storm into Nasser Memorial semis

02Aug 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Aces cricketers storm into Nasser Memorial semis

ACES African Fighters’ cricketers have booked a place in the semi-finals of the division A of the Kazim Nasser Memorial Challenge with a six-run win over Saint Gobain Strikers at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) venue on Sunday.

Solid batting displays by Salum Jumbe, who blasted 71 runs off 53 balls, catapulted Aces to the deserved victory and issue a sound warning to opponents in the next stage of the tournament.

Jumbe, who had made his way to the team after having attended a training stint at a Pakistan outfit of Bright Morning for three months, hammered ten boundaries and a sixer before he was stumped by Saint Gobain’s wicket keeper, Issa Kikasi, off Vaibhav Patel’s bowling.

Aces won the toss and chose to bat first, in which the team posted 202 runs for the loss of six wickets in 34.2 overs.
A no nonsense approach by the team during its innings turned out to be crucial for its plan to register the imposing total.

There was also notable contribution from Shafii Mwarami, who scored 32 runs off 61 balls (two boundaries), Zafar Khan, who recorded 44 runs off 28 balls (five boundaries and two sixes) and Mohamed Ali, who finished with unbeaten 17 runs off nine balls, with his score comprising a boundary and two sixes.

The trio helped stay in control of the innings after having experienced a wobbly start, when openers, Juma Mohamed and Nassor Zahoro, were dismissed after posting one and two runs respectively.

Mohamed, one of the team’s reliable run scorers, had a frustrating day on the crease, in which he was run out by Kikasi, while Zahoro was bowled by Saint Gobain’s skilful spinner, Suraj Jani.

Jitin Singh, Patel, Jani and Jatin Darji took a wicket each during Saint Gobain’s turn with the ball.Saint Gobain, in response, failed to chase their opponents’ score as they were bowled out for 196 runs in 36 overs.

Singh led Saint Gobain’s quest for a successful chase, blasting four boundaries on his way to score 37 runs off 21 balls but his efforts did little to help the team avoid defeat.

A 33-ball 32 by Jani which comprised three boundaries, 33 runs off 52 balls by Darji, consisting of two boundaries, 15 runs off 41 balls by Sanjay Bhatia and Harsh Ramaiya’s 13 runs off 20 balls also significantly contributed to Saint Gobain’s acquisition of the respectable total.

Ayaz Mustafa’s three wickets for 34 runs in eight overs and Mohamed’s two wickets for 12 runs in three overs saw Aces successfully foil Saint Gobain’s attempt to chase the former’s score.

Athuman Siwa, Ali, Nyenje Hashim, Jumbe and Azim Thakur finished with one wicket each for Aces.The win has seen Aces join Saint Gobain in the last four’s stage of the tournament and the two teams will come up against the other teams that will finish in the top two positions from group A-1.

Dar es Salaam Regional Cricket Committee (DRCC) has organised the competition which has attracted top domestic cricket outfits that have been put into divisions A and B.