Swamibapa spinner James Ngoche called on his side to “play their roles” as they host a struggling Nairobi Gymkhana in the fourth round of the Super League division in the ongoing 50 – over Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (N.P.C.A) League this weekend.
Ngoche’s side have endured a difficult start in the league with the departure of five of their top players to register emphatic victories over Ruaraka and Sikh Union but even with the two victories, Ngoche is still concerned about his team’s batting and is hoping that the batters rise to the occasion. “I want our guys to show everyone how good they are. We have talented batsmen in our team but they are yet to spark,” said Ngoche.
With the departure of Alex Obanda, Naman Patel and Irfan Karim, Morris Ouma and Rushabh Patel remain the side’s main batsmen alongside promoted Pankaj Sangani, Jignesh Hirani and Harendra Kerai from their second team.
In two innings, only Rushabh Patel has stood out at the top with 92 runs while the rest of the top order batsmen have struggled. “We haven’t done well at the top, there’s no getting away from that, but if we can rise to the occasion and really show how good we are then we’ll have absolutely no problem,” the former national team player, told kenya-cricket.com earlier in the week.
Ngoche and his elder brother Nehemiah Ngoche have been in good form with the bat, solidifying the middle order in both innings. He added: “My message is very much one of confidence. We have what it takes to do well and we are taking our time to blend as a team as we identify what everyone can do. Our only limitation is that some or our players don’t get enough time to train and get in sync. We hope that can improve in time.”
It has not been a good start for Nairobi Gymkhana and taking advantage of Swamibapa’s line up that is yet to gel could see them end their losing streak of 3/3.
The two losses to the Kavi Dosaja – led side have all come off their own making. In their opening match against Ngara Sports Club ‘A’, they failed to build up partnerships while against Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’, their fielding was quite unimpressive.
It will need a totally different approach from the visitors, mostly the senior players to register their maiden win of the season.
Spinners Yash Talati and Aarnav Patel are back to boost Gymkhana’s bowling department after missing out on their second tie while top order batsman Karan Kaul also makes a return.
All-rounder Lucas Oluoch told kenya-cricket.com that he is looking forward to the game. “We have a full squad turning up this weekend and we are confident about changing our fortunes. We are looking at how best to utilize our batting order and have been working hard to improve our fielding. Hopefully, it pays up.”
A lot will be expected from Lucas Oluoch’s experience while Dominic Wesonga and Harsh Patel will give him support.