Plagued by inconsistency in their last five matches, Ngara Sports Club ‘A’ have their task cut out as they host strong and confident Swamibapa Sports Club ‘A’ in their Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) league encounter at Ngara Sports Club this weekend.
Having slipped to sixth place in the league log after a 112 – run loss to defending champions Kanbis Sports Club ‘A’ last Sunday, Ngara now face a win-or-perish situation in their top four finish aspirations.
In contrast, Swamibapa, second behind leaders Stray Lions Cricket Club ‘A’, with a match in hand have no such worries as four consecutive wins have made them one of the favourites for the title.
For the home side, it has been a story of one step forward and two steps backward. They began the season well with a win over Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ before losing to Stray Lions and Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’ in their next two matches.
Later on, they easily beat Sikh Union Sports Club ‘A’ before going down to Kanbis last weekend thus jeopardizing their top four aspirations that skipper Mehul Patel had spoken off at the start of the season.
With this performance, the skipper will have an unenviable task to lift the team morale ahead of their fourth home match.
With four more matches to go, Ngara cannot afford to lose at the moment and it will be interesting to see how the side copes up with the situation with the big challenges lying ahead.
The Nairobi South C – based side think-tank is struggling to find the right combination for the side and the earlier they get it right, the better.
Ngara’s batting has failed to work in unison in all their matches. All their hopes have rested on Tanzeel Sheikh who is currently the club’s top scorer with 141 runs from five innings. Last week, when he was dismissed within four balls at three down, the rest of the batting apart from Harshad Patel (73 not out) crumbled as they were bowled out for 177 despite being on 106 for 5 at one juncture.
To get something out of Swamibapa, Ngara’s batting will have to dig deeper and contain the spin trio of James Ngoche, Jadavji ‘Malindi’ Bhimji and youngin Jignesh Hirani. The three have shared 31 wickets between them and have been Swamibapa’s match winners on more than one occasion.
It has taken way too long for Swamis’ seam duo of Nehemiah Ngoche and Peter Koech to put on a match winning display and it will be the hope of every Swamibapa fan that the duo will finally announce their presence in the squad with match winning figures.
With skipper Rushab Patel coming to full force with 85 last weekend, Morris Ouma must be a relieved man and would be expected to play his normal game without too much pressure at the top order. Swamibapa’s batting will however, be wary of Vjay Patel and Dhey Patel both having starred with the ball for the hosts with a five – fer each and chipping in on separate occasions.