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Masvaure Smashes Century To Pull Off Stunning Heist

Kenya — 206-1 in 20 overs (Dhiren Gondaria 86, Alex Obanda 83*, Rakep Patel 23*; Richard Ngarava 1/43)

Board XI — 207-4 in 19.5 overs (Prince Masvaure 103*, Ryan Murray 23, Chamu Chibhabha 22; Shem Ngoche 2/28, Pushpak Kerai 1/30, Nelson Odhiambo 1/45)

Board XI won by six wickets

Prince Masvaure smashed an unbeaten century that powered the Board XI team to a remarkable six-wicket victory over Kenya in a 20-over match at Old Hararians on Wednesday afternoon.

This was truly a remarkable match, in which Kenya displayed some brilliant batting to top 200, while for the local side Masvaure matched this with an equally outstanding inning of 103 not out to win the match under tremendous pressure.

The Board XI won the toss and put Kenya in to bat under a sunnier sky than in the morning.

Dhiren Gondaria gave the Kenyan innings a positive start, presenting an immediate danger as he scored 24 runs off Tendai Chatara’s first two overs, including three fours and a six, before dealing out similar treatment to Richard Ngarava.

Alex Obanda decided to join the party, hitting two sixes, and the Board XI was coming under great pressure; 50 runs were on the board after five overs.

After 10 overs the score had reached 87 and no bowler was able to keep the batsmen in check.

The team hundred came up in the 12th over, and in the 13th Gondaria (42 balls) and Obanda (33) both reached their fifties.

The slaughter intensified, only coming to an end in the 18th over with a score of 172, when Gondaria was caught in the deep off Ngarava; he hit nine fours and four sixes off 56 balls.

Rajep Patel now came in with a licence to hit, and this he did so, bringing up the 200 in the final over.

The final score was a huge 206 for only one wicket, Obanda finishing with 83 not out off 54 balls and Patel with 23 off 10.

All the bowlers were hammered mercilessly, with Chatara’s 49 runs conceded off his four overs being the most expensive of all.

Realistically, it seemed that all that remained was for the Board XI to try to save as much dignity as they could with a good batting performance.

Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and Chamu Chibhabha made a gallant start, as Kenya, believing they were in a virtually invincible position, gave some of their second-string bowlers the opportunity.

The batsmen put on 44 until, in the fifth over, Chibhabha (22) was caught on the long-off boundary from the bowling of Shem Ngoche.

Ryan Murray began well with boundaries from the second and third balls he faced, but Kamunhukamwe, attempting a reverse sweep against Ngoche, was given out lbw for 21; 56 for two in the seventh over.

With Masvaure as his partner, Murray swung a ball from Collins Obuya over the long-on boundary for six to bring up the hundred after 12 overs; but the required run rate was now over 13.

A few balls later Murray drove a return catch to Pushpak Kerai and was out for a well-played 23.

Masvaure now began to open up and play some brilliant strokes, reaching his fifty off only 31 balls, including a flurry of sixes, mostly from drives.

After 16 overs the score had reached 154 for three, 53 still needed off four overs, Elton Chigumbura getting into his stride, and there was still hope for an amazing victory.

Twenty-eight runs came off the next two overs, leaving 25 still needed off the last two.

The penultimate over, from Emmanuel Bundi, was a strange one, with a mixture of good and bad balls; it yielded 13 runs, and 12 were needed from the final over, to be bowled by Nelson Odhiambo.

Off the first ball, Chigumbura drove and was caught by long-on running in for 20, scored off 13 balls.

The batsmen crossed, giving Masvaure the strike; there was a wide, then two twos, followed by a pull for six over midwicket that a fielder almost caught brilliantly, but unavoidably ran over the boundary.

This stroke brought up Masvaure’s century off 56 balls, with eight fours and six sixes, and the scores were level with two balls in hand.

Masvaure turned the next delivery to midwicket for a single to clinch one of the most remarkable victories that could be seen.

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