Ngara Sports Club ‘A’ walked into Sikh Union Sports Club without their captain and two of their main all – rounders but when they came out, they had climbed up one spot on the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Super League table after beating the hosts by 148 runs, ten more to their first leg win margin.
As luck would have it, Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ were dropping the ball right across the road to ensure a seamless 6th /7th place exchange on the ten team log, Ngara the better of the two.
Sikh Union’s skipper Sukhdeep Singh rues lost chances for the mammoth total and lack of partnerships in their 9th loss of the season. “It was not a good show at all. We dropped about 8 catches in total including 3 off Harsh Patel who went on to score 40+ runs. I don’t think we deserved to win after such a poor show. The way we went out was very frustrating.”
Ngara was a team effort, the entire line up chipping in when it mattered and as it turned out, they only required half of the runs they put on the board. A voyaging Nikul Patel broke his six – week hiatus with a half century, his second of the season to begin the second leg the same way he begun his first.
Nikul top scored with 51 runs off 44 balls in his characteristic fiery style that saw him hit four maximums and two boundaries before his stumps were dislodged by the hosts’ skipper in the 40th over to win his team the second match in six weeks.
In the absence of Mehul Patel, skipper Harsh Patel tell kenya-cricket.com that the boys are happy to pick a huge win and after a while. “It’s a great feeling to have and especially with a big margin.”
Of Nikul, who came straight from the airport to play his 7th match, he states, “It’s very good to have him back as he offers a lot of batting balance, solving issues we have had in the batting order.”
Ngara’s often inconsistent top order were in sync with 112 runs spread between their overseas bat Darshan Trivedi (43), Manthan Joshi (35) and Karan Patel (34) as stand in captain, as handy as ever, added 42 runs to the lower order in a 66 – run 6th wicket partnership. Sukhdeep picked 4 wickets but went the mile for 70 runs, getting the assist from Deepak Singh (3/50) as the visitors went on to amass 296 runs with three balls to spare.
On a day that Dhey Patel (2) was the only one at the top to miss out with the bat, he more than made up with the ball with his second five – fer of the season, grabbing 6/24 off his 8 overs to wipe out Sikh Union’s middle order including the prize wicket of Sukhdeep who top scored with 63 off 58 balls before being stumped off Patel in the 26th over with the board on 4 – 136.
The skipper’s dismissal sparked pandemonium for the hosts who lost a walloping 6-12 from then on to keel over for 148 runs at the close of the 32nd over.
Gurmanjot Singh was a glimmer of hope on his first instance the top of the order with 21 runs, departing with the score on 59 to pave way for a 50 – run 3rd wicket partnership between the skipper and Muhammad Kalyan (22), Sudhir Kumar Yadav also adding 22 runs in the middle.
Left arm sensation Vraj Patel scalped 2/33 while Amit Shukla picked 2/30 form his 6 overs, getting rid of both opening batters.
On how to move on from their 9th place position, Sukhdeep advocates for a mental reset. “I think it’s more about the mental aspect now. We’ve been training hard but after this loss, we need to prepare ourselves mentally and just think ahead. We are looking to get the two wins against Ruaraka Sports Club ‘A’ and Obuya Cricket Academy because I’m sure if we could beat Kanbis (Sports Club ‘A’), we can beat Ruaraka with a good show in the field,” he muses to kenya –cricket.com.