ALL EYES ON
SWAMIBAPA … RUARAKA
The Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) League braces for a second week of action without umpires appointed by the Kenya Umpires and Scorers Association. The umpires are demanding outstanding dues on matches officiated dating back to the 2019 season.
NPCA will once again have to rely on ‘volunteer umpires’ to officiate the action this coming week as they look to resolve the matter in due time.
In the Super League Division, Swamibapa Sports Club debut a seemingly depleted squad devoid of the national team opening batting pair of Alex Obanda and Irfan Karim; bowling all – rounder Emmanuel Bundi and ex – Kenya international, Lameck Onyango.
Onyango who has moved to Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj (SCLPS) ‘A’ says that his dream is to see the game grow and to change the culture of Clubs only showing up for matches without training. “There comes a time when you have to answer the hard questions. I have been coaching at SCLPS and I would like to nurture the talent there in order to make our League more competitive. I can only accomplish that by playing alongside them, “says Onyango.
Cutchi Leva will be riding on their opening win against finalists Sir Ai Muslim Club as they host Kanbis Sports Club this weekend.
Swamibapa open their season’s campaign away to Ruaraka Sports Club who are fresh from a humiliating 169 – run defeat at the jaws of Stray Lions last week.
New signee Elijah Asoyo acknowledges that Ruaraka need to improve on their fielding. “We dropped a lot of catches last week and were not up to par with our batting. We have been training and hope to be better prepared this week.” Asoyo says.
The Kenya National team bowler is hoping that the three Ugandan imports – all – rounder Brian Masaba, top order explosive batsman Zephania Arinaite and medium pace bowler Kenneth Waiswa – will beef up Ruaraka’s line up both with bat and ball.
On the other hand, Swamibapa have signed Peter Koech from Nairobi Gymkhana to boost their bowling department and promoted Mitesh Sanghani from their ‘B’ side to strengthen their batting at the top alongside Morris Ouma.
Stray Lions Cricket Club carry fine form to Ngara Sports Club who look threatening after a stomping feat against Nairobi Gymkhana featuring batting and bowling brilliance from Nikul Patel’s 55(53) and Yvraj Patel’s 6/24 respectively.
The Lions will be hoping that Sri Lankan all -rounder Charith Jayampathi and Zimbabwean wicket keeper batsman Gary Chirumuuta get a chance to impress alongside Shem Ngoche who made a century last week. Chirumuuta caught two and stumped five in his maiden appearance for the Club but failed to impress with the bat, managing only 8 runs and Jayampathi 4.
After disappointing openers for both sides, a rejuvenated Nairobi Gymkhana host Sir Ali Muslim Club with the hopes that their pair of returning top order batsmen will be shooting from the hip. AbdulQadir Najmi makes a return to the ‘A’ side after a blistering half century against Sir Ali’s B side and a couple of fifties playing at Kutbis. A voyaging Harsh Patel makes a timely return with his off spin – bat as Gymkhana will be missing the services of Arnav Patel who picked 4/35 in their opening encounter.
Skipper Kavi Dosaja is positive that their blend of young and upcoming players like Shay Shah coupled with the experience of the Ndandason brothers, Karan Kaul and Dominic Wesonga will aid them as the team reels from last week’s defeat to Ngara Sports Club. “We have been training hard with the pain of losing our opening match in mind and we hope to capitalize on it. We are also giving our youngsters a push with a little change to our batting order which should do the trick.”