Kerai happy with top bat as Kanbis welcomes Gymkhana

The 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 – over League rounds the bend of the first round with week six fixtures beckoning this weekend, 15/08/2021.

Kanbis Sports Club ‘A’ host Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ at Eastleigh High School in one of the five Super League fixtures.

Kanbis came back full throttle against Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’ and Ngara Sports Club ‘A’ after their 3 – wicket loss to Ruaraka Sports Club ‘A’ and to top it up, Ramesh Mepani is back to hold the middle to lower order, allowing Rakep Patel to bat at the top.

Perhaps, the biggest transformation for the side is having Pushpak Kerai up from batting 7 – 8 to open the batting alongside skipper Dhiren Gondaria, a role he terms as ‘challenging but ready to take on.’ “Opening the batting is completely new for me but now that I have been given the opportunity to be a regular opener, I want to be good at it. It is definitely a challenge that I’m ready for because if I bat well, it gives me confidence in my bowling as well which is ultimately a huge advantage to the team.” Kerai has made scores of 5 and 36 at the top against Sir Ali and Ngara respectively.

I ask him how crucial Mepani’s return to the squad is and he states that he’s a major aspect of their batting order. “It enables Rakep to bat at the top of the order and guide me, Sachin Bhudia and Gondaria through the innings. So, if he’s there, we know that we have two seniors (alongside Rajesh Bhudiya) to hold the back end of the innings in case of a collapse.”

Nairobi Gymkhana are languishing at the bottom of the table after losing four consecutive matches and being docked two points for lack of an electronic scorecard. While their bowling and fielding has appeared generally okay, Gymkhana’s batting has failed to come up to par.

Gymkhana’s top order has been their undoing, with only two half centuries in two separate matches from Harsh Patel (against Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’) and Kavi Dosaja (against Swamibapa Sports Club ‘A’) this season. Veer Dave, Karan Kaul and Yash Talati have made starts with but lucked out while Talati, Aarnav Patel and Amish Amin have shown consistency with the ball so far. Gymkhana have brought wicket – keeper batsman Tirth Babaria up from their B – side, who have a bye this weekend to possiblt beef up their batting.

Kanbis Sports Club Players warm up to face Sikh Union ‘A’ in the NPCA Super League

The visitors will be hoping that the Ndandason brothers step up with the ball and hold the middle – lower order alongside Dominic Wesonga.

Karan Kaul told kenya-cricket.com that the team just needs time, even though the results have been disappointing so far. ”It has been tough as performances haven’t been collective. We see glimpses of what everyone can do in every match and in time, I’m sure we’ll get there. The issue at the moment is execution because we plan well. However, there is no need to panic. We have been in this situation before and I believe that the squad we have will change the results in our favour soon.”

Kaul also states that he couldn’t be prouder of the youngsters in their squad. “The youngsters are doing everything they can and it’s amazing to see how they’re carrying themselves. Players like Talati and Patel have done their selection justice. They play 2/3 matches in a week and still train in the evenings and I’m not surprised at their progress.”

Nairobi Gymkhana have never beaten Kanbis in this format.

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