Ruaraka Sports Club ‘A’ will be desperately seeking to snip their five-match losing streak at the hands of Cutchi Leva when the two sides battle it out in their fourth round of the 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 – over Super league tie at Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj (SCLPS) School grounds this Sunday.
For three years now, Ruaraka have been easy prey for the Nairobi West – based side and with the absence of seamer Elijah Asoyo, they will have to come up with something special to arrest the slide.
Asoyo has been admitted to a Nairobi hospital for a number of days now.
“I had not been feeling well for almost three weeks and when I went to seek medical attention, the results showed that I have had internal bleeding for a while. With that I needed an urgent blood transfusion and endoscopy to alleviate symptoms and ascertain the cause of the bleeding, so I got admitted,” Asoyo who joined Ruaraka SC from Stray Lions Cricket Club ‘A’ told kenya-cricket.com
The senior men’s national team player missed Ruaraka’s three wicket – win over Kanbis Sports Club ‘A’ last week and with his unavailability once again, the visitors are likely to field the same team that ended Kanbis’ lengthy winning streak as they seek as they seek to have one up over Cutchi Leva.
“Cutchi Leva is one of the teams that we have been giving easy points. No matter how much we try, they have always carried the day,” skipper Purshotam Vekaria said.
He added: “We would have wished to go for that mission (ending the losing streak) with Asoyo in the squad but unfortunately, that is not possible. We wish him a quick recovery so that he can join us soon.”
While the hosts lost heavily to Stray Lions last Sunday to register their second successive loss, Ruaraka were winning their first match in three outings, a victory that has motivated them.
“All of a sudden, everyone has developed the belief that we can win. Before that win, we had lost heavily but now, it has somehow given us some energy and we feel that we have what it takes to win matches,” the skipper added.
Just as it was the case against Kanbis, the visitors are banking on their Ugandan imports; Zephaniah Arinaitwe, Brian Masaba and Kenneth Waiswa for success.
Waiswa was a thorn in the side for Kanbis’ top order before Arinaitwe gave them a good start in the chase. While Masaba could have had a better bat and ball show, his presence in the field has been crucial in the club according to Vekariya, besides him taking two catches and enacting one run out (Nelson Odhiambo) to dismiss two top order Kanbis’ batsmen last week.
“On the field, the three have been so impressive. They have given it all. As a national captain himself, Masaba has helped me so much when it comes to both bowling and field changes. His availability is so key to us,” he added.
Cutchi Leva, on the other hand, began the season with a bang with a rare win over Sir Ali – only to suffer comprehensive losses at the hands of Kanbis and Stray Lions.
They will have to improve their bowling at the death and batsmen will have to put a price on their wickets if the team is to get back to winning ways.
Except for veteran Lameck Ngoche, all the Cutchi Leva bowlers were expensive as Stray Lions chased 100 in 25 overs. Ngoche has many years of experience and captain Rahul Rabadia will be looking at him to deliver. It will be tougher for them this weekend without the services of seamer Rajesh Bhudia.
It is also the skipper’s hope that the top order will find a way of troubling Ruaraka’s bowlers.
Last weekend, there were four ducks at the top and middle order with only opener Jignesh Kerai getting into the double digits.
It only took 16 runs from Ankit Bhanderi and 36 from Harshin Varsani for them to get to 100.