Aces in Nasser Memorial cricket quarters

31Aug 2016
Japheth Kazenga
The Guardian
Aces in Nasser Memorial cricket quarters

RAZA Imaam put up solid batting performance as Aces Super Strikers trounced Gymkhana B by 105 runs in the Division B match of the Kazim Nasser Memorial Challenge tournament at the Leaders Club in Dar es Salaam early this week.

Riziki Kiseto bowls during APL cricket in Dar es Salaam.

Aces won the toss and the team’s stand in skipper, Raza Vakil, chose to bat first despite the overcast weather.The scheduled 30-over game, for that matter, was reduced to 20 overs after the agreement reached by the umpires and the two teams’ skippers.

Aces opted to rest some of their experienced players including Salum Jumbe, Shafii Mwarami, Sanjay Sharma and skipper Waheed Mushtaq, as the team felt it was up against weak opponents.

Aces’ information officer, Amitabh Jha, said the match against Gymkhana B was an opportunity for the former to rotate its squad.
Aces’ openers, Juma Mohamed and Raza Imam, were unstoppable right from the first delivery of the innings, hitting balls fearlessly.

The team, for the first time in the Division B event, had the opening batting stand of 50 runs, with Imam playing as the opener for the second consecutive game. He also featured in the previous match against Caravans A, which ended with the latter winning by 33 runs.

Aces scored 75 runs without losing wicket in the mandatory power play. Imam was later dismissed after scoring 56 runs and Muzzamil, who was playing his first game of the season, stepped at the crease and opted for a variety of shots to score runs.

Mohamed opted for a different batting approach in a bid to accelerate the team’s run rate as the side had registered 100 runs midway through the ninth over. He was eventually dismissed after posting 60 runs.

Mohamed Shah and Muzzamil’s partnership saw Aces post 150 runs midway through the 13th over, with Muzzamil later being dismissed after posting 46 runs.

Hasnain Hyder and Shah fared slightly better in the slog overs to ultimately take Aces to the 228 runs for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

In response, Gymkhana B attempted to have a solid start in which opener, Vijay, nailed two boundaries off deliveries by Aces’ seamer, Imran Khan.

The 10th over came to an end with Gymkhana B having managed to post 92 runs for the loss of four wickets. Gymkhana B were eventually bowled out for 123 runs with three overs remaining.

Jha disclosed that Aces were forced to modify their bowling strategies, in which one Saiyed was brought in and gave the team an important breakthrough.

It was Saiyed’s spell of two overs, Jha noted, which saw the latter register two wickets for the loss of three runs, that eased pressure off Aces, given the team was still reeling from the defeat at the hands of Caravans A.

Aces’ Emmanuel Peter dismissed two more Gymkhana B’s tail enders to take three wickets, whereas Hamza Zahid maintained his formidable tight lines and grabbed two wickets.

Aces, Jha said, have one more game against Amateur Bongos slated for September 11 with the winner eventually securing a place in the last eight’s stage of the Division B event.