Upbeat after their comprehensive 138-run victory over Sikh Union Sports Club ‘A’, a confident Ngara Sports Club ‘A’ will be eager to further brighten their prospects with yet another win over holders Kanbis Sports Club A in their Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Super League game at Ngara Sports Club on Sunday.
Kanbis’ victory over Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj ‘A’ last weekend – which came a week after having gone down to Ruaraka Sports Club A – proved that they are still not ready to relinquish the title. Ngara’s comfortable win over Sikh Union came after back to back losses to Stray Lions Cricket Club A and Sir Ali Muslim Club A.
It is going to be a daunting task for the home team and the clinical dissection of Sikh Union at home is just the shot in the arm that the Mehul Patel-led side needed ahead of this huge challenge.
“Kanbis has always been a good side to play against and we are looking forward to the match. I know it won’t be an easy one but last weekend’s win has really motivated the players and we will try and put on a better performance than what we have put up before,” the skipper said.
Since they were promoted back into the league in 2017, Ngara has never beaten Kanbis. The last time they met was in February last year where the hosts, Kanbis won by 5 wickets.
“It’s (Kanbis) usually a good team to play, a very hard working unit that has a number of match winners. So playing that kind of a team always needs you to be strong and fight to the end and that is what we are planning to do,” he added.
The home team will once again hope that all-rounder Tanzeel Sheikh will be in his current form. If not with the ball, Sheikh who doubles up as an opening bowler and middle order batsman has carried Ngara on his back. Last Sunday he top scored with 81 off 74 balls as Ngara posted 279 for 9.
“He has pulled the team out of many deep holes in the past and he is still doing it. He is definitely a good asset and we try as much as we can to play around him,” Patel added.
The skipper was also hopeful that the top order that has struggled in the past will be able to get runs as they take on the likes of Emmanuel Bundi, who has been the pick of Kanbis’ new ball bowlers this season while spinners Mikunj Pindolia and skipper Rajesh Bhudia have been chocking runs from their opponents and taking wickets.
The captain also believes that their top spinner, Vraj Patel still has what it takes. “Vraj is an exciting player who is ready to learn. he has only missed out on double wickets once so far and I believe he is a bowler that can change our fortunes. We just need to back him up and give him all the support he needs as he bowls,” the skipper said of the youngster who picked 6 for 24 wickets on their league opener against Gymkhana.
The defending champions would be pleased with Rakep Patel finally producing significant innings with twin half tons against Cutchi Leva and Sir Ali. Nelson Odhiambo and Sachin Bhudia, the other two with half tons at Cutchi Leva have also had a good season and it will be the skipper’s wish that they will continue with the same form on Sunday.
Kanbis’ fans will also be praying that skipper Dhiren Gondaria starts troubling the scorers again. From four innings, Gondaria has only scored 83 runs with a high score of 78.