Sikh Union face dificult task against League Leaders

Fresh from their maiden Super League win of the season last weekend, Sikh Union Sports Club ‘A’ pitch-up tomorrow morning at Peponi School against Stray Lions Sports Club ‘A’.

The match will be a top versus bottom encounter in the Nairobi Provincial Cricket League (NPCA) Super League with Sikh Union hoping to create what, for many, would be a surprise win over the league leaders.

With their confidence lifted after last week’s victory over Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’, Sikh Union will be keen to repeat that winning performance.

To do so, the visitors will have to play without the talented Mohammed Kalyan, their top player and second leading run scorer who is unavailable after being drafted in the senior men’s side currently in Uganda and the players who turn out on Sunday will have to be in their best form to dislodge the league leaders.

The former U-19 player has had a terrific start to the season and has scored 179 runs in the six matches he has played with a high score of 70 not out and a 36 – run average.

The hosts will also be without two of their key players, Alex Obanda and Shem Ngoche who are also in Uganda.

Stray Lions Cricket Club ‘A’ will be missing Alex Obanda

Obanda was at his best last weekend with his first half century of the season as Stray Lions moved back to the top of the table with a sole wicket win over Kanbis Sports Club ‘A’.  

With both teams missing their key players, they will have to find a new formation in the match.

Indian pro Deepak Singh may be the one Sikh Union will rely on to do the work in the middle.

After managing only one run in his first match against Sir Ali Muslim, Club ‘A’, Deepak bounced back with a with a well fought 53 runs as they beat  Nairobi Gymkhana by a whopping 168 runs.

Coming in at six with the board on 84 for 4, Deepak, played a defiant, arguably match-winning role for the team, as he faced just 40 balls in a fifth wicket stand of 103 with skipper Sukdeep Singh (110).

Sikh Union Sports Club ‘A’ will miss the services of Muhammad Kalyan who is on international duty

Once again as it has been the case in all their matches this season, Sikh Union will bank heavily on their skipper Sukdeep Singh to deliver with the bat. 

The skipper is currently having the season of his life with 304 runs from just seven innings at an average of 43.  It will also be the hope of the visitors that their opening pair of Himanshu Dixit and Sudhir Kumar Yadav will trouble the scorers for longer this time round

Deepak will once again be expected to lead the bowling attack that also has Jassim Jitendra Matharoo. The two had a good outing last Sunday as they kept on breaking their opponents’ partnerships regularly to set a 21 runs win.

League leaders Stray Lions are the only team in the league to have lost the least number of matches, a solitary stinging loss to Sir Ali Muslim Club three weeks ago.

They have seven wins from the eight matches which they have played and will be seeking to end their first round of fixtures with another win.

Even with the absence of their top wicket – taker and batsman, Stray Lions have a large pool of players available and usually can field a strong, all-round performing team. However, they are not invincible.

Sukhdeep Singh top scored for Sikh Union Sports Club ‘A’ with a maiden ton against Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ last week.

Despite all their wins, their batting has struggled against strong bowling sides in the league and Sikh Union will be banking on their bowlers to expose this weakness once again. The Lions were reduced to 136 runs by Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ and hobbled to chase130 runs against Swamibapa Sports Club ‘A’ just two weeks later for six wickets.

Even with the absence of Ngoche, Stray Lions’ bowling still remains their main weapon, with Krishna Katukala, Gerald Mwendwa, David Mutua, Charith Jayampathi, the usual attackers available.

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