Rift Valley dodge the showers
A round-up of matches from the second weekend of Kenya's new East African Cup and East Africa Elite League
East Africa Elite League
Rift Valley Rhinos and Rwenzori Warriors maintained their unbeaten records in the second round of matches, but there was a surprise defeat for Nairobi Buffalos, the form team of the opening games.
To some extent the weekend was marred by the continuing dispute between the board players, who continue to feel they are in a position to negotiate better deals despite the national team's feeble performances of late. As a result, several sat out the matches.
At Nairobi Club, Rift Valley Rhinos were comfortable nine-wicket winners over Coast Pekee. Coast Pekee made 104 for 5 thanks largely to Peter Kituku's 52-ball. However, the target was overhauled without much trouble with David Obuya (52*) and Mitesh Sanghani (31*) easing them home.
Nile Knights restricted Kongonis to 84 for 6 in their 20 overs and eased to a six-wicket win with 13 balls to spare. Asadu Seyiga was the pick of the Knights bowlers, taking 3 for 14 to rip the heart out of the Kongonis middle order. But Frank Nsubuga took the Man-of-the-Match award for his 21-ball 33 not out.
Nairobi Buffaloes never recovered from losing a spate of early wickets as they failed by four runs to chase down Rwenzori Warriors's 135 for 8. Irfan Karim, Kenya's Under-19 keeper-batsman, ensured the game went to the wire with a 43-ball 65 not out, and he appeared to have steered them home as Buffalos started the last over needing eight. But Brian Masaba only conceded three runs.
East African Cup
Rain put paid to two of the three second-round matches, with only the game between Rift Valley Rhinos and Coast Pekee going ahead. Coast Pekee, who have now lost all four of their matches across the two formats, may have wished it had not taken place after sliding to a 105-run loss.
Rhinos cruised to 243 for 5, with the veteran Ramesh Mepani capitalising on a tiring attack to thump 66 from 50 balls late on. Coast Pekee, whose batsmen have found the competition too good for them, never mounted a challenge and were content to play out their allocation of overs, finishing on 138 for 8.