Sir Ali defy suspension odds to rise above mid-table contest

Ngara Sports Club ‘A’ continued their see-sawing League performance by copping a 71-run loss in their own backyard at the hands of Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’ in their return leg of the ongoing Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 – over competition.

Unperturbed by the absence of skipper Gurdeep Singh and his brother Tarandeep Singh who are serving a two match ban handed to them by the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Disciplinary Committee following a verbal on field spat that ensued during their match against Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ last weekend, Sir Ali went on to break their three match jinx and return to winning ways in the 12th Super League round of matches.

Tarandeep Singh (left) and Gurdeep Singh (second right) have been suspended for two matches.

Following the forced change, George Owino made only his fourth appearance for Sir Ali ‘A’ since playing the third match of the season at home to the same opponents. In style, he picked up the gloves in place of Siddarth Mhatre to effect a catch behind the stumps backed by a 41 – ball 52 at the top before playing back to Vraj Patel in the 16th over.

Owino owes his return to form to rest and hopes to be a regular part of the team moving forward. “I was struggling and needed a proper rest to get my form back. Now that I seem to have rediscovered the magic, I hope that I’ll stay in the playing XI. We had a good match and despite quick wickets falling, we were able to recover at the back end of the innings to post a respectable score.”

Ngara’s skipper Mehul Patel got rid of the rest of the top order, Zahid Abbas stumped off the first ball of the innings and Sajjad Malik caught by their professional, Darshan Trivedi for 3 in his next over.

Ngara skipper Mehul Patel (L) picked two wickets and scored 27 runs

Owino and Sandip Adole (48) added 89 runs to the third wicket before the former fell in a pack alongside Joseph Owino with the score on 97, gifting the recently capped Patel with 2 wickets from three balls to wrap up his spell with 3/52. Prinshu Yadav topped up his maiden ton three weeks ago with a 49 – ball 54, six fours and three sixes therein to help the score to 7 – 187 when he departed.

Once again Eugene Ochieng’ was the last man out for the visitors, stumped off Dhey Patel for 38 handy runs with 26 balls to spare. Abdul Rehman and Hamza Amir who remained unbeaten contributed 22 runs alike to bolster the lower order.

Eugene Ochieng’ was the last man out for Sir Ali with 38 runs

On the other hand, Ngara are finding no respite after losing the last four of their five matches, this being their third on the trot. This weekend, they missed the firepower offered by Tanzeel Sheikh in the middle and the finisher Nikul Patel as they slumped to 192 runs with a top score of 29 from Manthan Joshi followed by the skipper and his vice, Harshal Patel who scored 27 runs alike.

Stand in skipper Prinshu Yadav and Sandip Adole led the onslaught for the visitors, picking three wickets-a-piece to ensure Sir Ali cement their fourth place position on the ten-team log with seven wins under their belt.

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