Nairobi Lions batsman Collins Obuya in action against Mombasa Rhinos at the Ruaraka Sports Club during the maiden Africa Premier League opener.
Nairobi Lions maul Mombasa Rhinos in new Africa League
by Barry Silah
Nairobi Lions had a bright start in the inaugural Africa Premier League Twenty20 campaign after vanquishing Mombasa Rhino by five wickets at Ruaraka Sports Club yesterday.

Sachin Bhudia (47 off 30 balls) was the star man with the bat for Lions in an inning that saw Alex Obanda (36 off 26 balls) also contribute to the total tally score on the board in a mesmerizing chase.

Mombasa Rhinos had won toss and selected to bat; in the process posting 127/8 in their allotted overs in the opening innings, however the Lions came good \ after the break with their own 132-4 to close out the match sweetly.

The first innings was interesting especially from the perspective of the Rhinos who saw Gurdeep Singh( 25 off 21 balls) having a steady run before being bowled out by James Ngoche (2-28) in the fourth over following a tricky delivery from the Swamibapa bowler. Veteran Jimmy Kamande (24 off 20 balls) was also coasting with his runs before being stopped by Singh who stumped him. Peter Kituku ( 23 off 32 balls) was also a good hand in shoring up number for the Rhino team but was not really lucky after Dennis Musyoka bowled him out.

Lions captain Collins Obuya (26 off 19) came in at number three to help run the show after Obanda’s dismissal and his experience ensured the Rhino side had to dig deep. Obuya had two boundaries to his name in what was an effective chase with the Lions only doing enough to win the match. Lions just needed 14.3 overs to do their bidding in the match at the grande Ruaraka pitch.

There was also an interesting mix of legendary and upcoming stars with Jimmy Kamande and Collins Obuya leading their charges whilst also having the young arsenal of Dennis Musyoka and Aditya Sanwari.