Ngara Sports Club ‘A’ skipper Mehul Patel reckons it will be tough for his side to remain in contention for the 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 – over Super league title until the top order steps up and delivers.
Patel also stated that the success of the team can’t revolve around any two or three players and that the entire team should click as a unit.
After an impressive opening win away to Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’, Ngara lost their second match of the league by six wickets to Stray Lions Cricket Club ‘A’ and are faced with the daunting task of playing away to Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’ on Sunday.
Speaking to kenya-cricket.com after their loss to Stray Lions Patel said: “We need batters until numbers six and seven to win us games. It can’t be dependent on two or three players in the batting line-up but an inclusive job where everyone takes up the challenge.
“So, our main focus is to reveal situations to each other and expect each and every one to come into their own and become those fearless match winners that we should have going into a big tournament. These next few matches, it’s going to be very exciting to see who stands up in pressure situations when the top order has failed,” Patel said.
Ngara’s top order includes Jolet Abraham, Rajiv Sutaria, Dhyey Patel and KP Patel. With the absence of KP Patel after a dislocated finger behind the stumps in the loss to Stray Lions, it’s the skipper’s hope that someone else will rise to the occasion and how the middle order will react in case the top fail to fire.
He also hopes that his side will be able to bat all the allotted overs because that is the only way they can post a meaningful total.
“We have no shortcut in getting huge totals on the board. We will have to allow ourselves to bat till the end,” he said.
In the bowling attack, Patel will hope that week one hero Vraj Patel will be on top of his game on the Sir Ali surface.
After a displaying a match winning performance against Gymkhana on the opening day of the season, he completely lost the plot against Stray Lions and was a culprit of short balls and volleys in his five wicket-less overs at home last Sunday.
The match will also be a perfect platform for all – rounder Tanzeel Sheikh to continue his impressive start in the season.
The home team will be looking at putting on a better show with both bat and ball as they seek to make it two out two.
Against Gymkhana, they benefited from Gymkhana’s poor fielding show to carry the day. And with Ngara having shown that they can be challengers too, they are likely to give the hosts a stronger challenge than what they received at the hands of Gymkhana.
“It’s not going to be an easy match despite having a favorable record against them. We will need our batting to get us going. We haven’t had a good start at the top and we will need to rectify that or else we will be facing the same situation we have been in in the last two matches,” skipper Gurdeep ‘Sunny’ Singh said.
Sunny has started off the season well with 78 from two innings.
He will need support from Zahid Abbas, George Owino and Hamza Amir to handle the visitors bowling attack.
Abbas was the hero last Sunday with a match winning half ton.
For the hosts to sparkle, the recently acquired trio of Eugene Maneno, Tony Ochieng and Joseph Owino will also need to prove their worth in the squad.