Odhiambo confident as Sir Ali jostle for Kanbis’ third place

The 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association 50 – over League picks up a notch as the thirteenth week of matches welcomes a heated encounter when Sir Ali Muslim Club play host to Kanbis Sports Club in the Super League competition.

Sir Ali’s seaming all – rounder Eugene Odhiambo opines that they can beat their opponents if they do everything right, in spite of the fact that they copped up an 8 – wicket drubbing in the first leg at Eastleigh High School.

“We need to have a keen look at our combinations and perform to the best of our abilities. Teamwork is key in such encounters and the team is confident of pulling off a win,” states the paceman. Additionally, Odhiambo expresses his will to bat higher up the order after posting 38, 61, 36* and 33* in his last four outings, batting from 8 and often the last man out. He managed to attain his half century against Swamibapa Sports Club ‘A’ batting at 6.

Ellahi’s pace will be effective for Sir Ali’s home conditions

Both teams are ensconced at 3rd and 4th with 28 points from seven wins – a – piece, Kanbis edging forward with a superior run rate in the ten – team competition. While both have also lost five matches across the competition, Kanbis’ four losses have come off their last five matches, with three on the trot excluding their win over Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj (SCLPS) ‘A’ two weeks ago.

Sir Ali have only lost two out of their seven home matches and Odhiambo tips the home conditions to be in their favour this weekend as well. “Bowling, as always, will be a key factor to us and we don’t expect it to be any different this weekend on a pitch we are used to. What we need to work on is our batting.”

Sir Ali’s top order has been their major undoing owing to the fact that they have no regular performing openers hence prompting changes with different combinations. Perhaps, their greatest struggles, Joseph Owino and his nephew Tony Ochieng’ who are yet to display their full potential as the League rounds another bend. From 12 innings, Ochieng’ has 118 runs with a high score of 35 runs while Owino has posted just 44 runs form 11 innings with a miserable high score of 10.

George Owino scored a half ton last week after eight weeks in the cold. Photo credits

Notably, the two have batted everywhere in the order and Sir Ali may just breathe a little if they come good. The return of George Owino can also afford them the same at the top if he continues from where he left off last weekend with a half century.

Sir Ali have a different conundrum at hand, having to decide which of their four overseas players to field, with a 3 player – overseas cap, none having stood out over the last couple of matches save for Prinshu Yadav who scored a ton against Ruaraka four weeks ago and a half century last week against Ngara.

Yadav will slot in automatically as the stand – in captain in place of Gurdeep Singh who’ll be serving out his two match ban alongside his brother Tarandeep Singh following an on – field spat that ensued during their match against Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ two weeks ago. The real choice will be between Siddarth Mhatre and Sandip Adole at the top if Irfan Ellahi gets the now familiar new ball. Mhatre sat out last week where Adole scored 48 runs while Mhatre returned figures of 1 and 0 against Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj ‘A’ and Ruaraka Sports Club ‘A’ when he got the nod over Adole.

Kanbis Sports Club could do with all – rounder Rajesh Bhudia this weekend

A stark difference with their homegrown talent, Kanbis will most likely field Rajesh Bhudia this weekend if he’s available to play while backing their youngsters to deliver and get them out of the rut. With skipper Dhiren Gondaria back and in form from an ankle injury that kept him out for two weeks, the top order batsman just needs his boys to keep the scoreboard ticking well enough to get them out on the other end.

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