Stray Lions, Swamibapa set up clash of the titans after sailing into NPCA T20 final

©Kanbis Sports Club Facebook.

CRICKET Stray Lions, Swamibapa set up clash of the titans after sailing into NPCA T20 final

Joel Omotto 11:48 - 04.03.2024

Stray Lions and Swamibapa are set for an epic showdown after qualifying for the final of the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association Twenty20 Super Division.

Stray Lions and defending champions Swamibapa will clash in the final of this year's Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Twenty20 Super Division following brilliant displays in the qualifiers last weekend.

The Tanzeel Sheikh-led Lions cruised through to the final following a seven-run advantage over Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj (SCLPS YL A) at Nairobi Gymkhana grounds on Saturday.

Swamibapa, meanwhile, stunned Kanbis A by 24 runs in the Eliminator on Saturday before decimating SCLPS YL A by 59 runs in Sunday's Qualifier 2 to book a ticket to the finals.

Swamibapa A had a false start to the T20 season, losing a match in the initial stage, but the Rushabh Patel-led outfit rediscovered the form that saw them demolish Sikh Union to lift this coveted T20 title last year at Cutchi Leva ground in Nairobi West.

The Swamis also struggled through the 50 overs league season in which they failed to produce their signature resilience on the crease.

"Yes, we did have a poor run of form in the initial part of the season, however, we have played very good and hard cricket after that to bring ourselves back into the tournament and hopefully progress to the finals,” said Patel.

"In terms of Saturday's win against Kanbis, I think the entire team really worked well together in all aspects which allowed us to have the edge over Kanbis again. So, very pleased to see this attacking brand of cricket and looking to have the boys continue that until the end of the tournament,” he added.

In the first qualifier, Stray Lions opener Irfan Karim scored 27 runs to set the mood for his team against hard-fighting Cutchi Leva.

Aman Gandhi, Bhagath Varma, Francis Mutua and Gerald Mwendwa made valuable contributions for the victors, scoring 19, 12, 18 and 16 runs respectively.

The match, which was played at Gymkhana, saw Stray Lions win the toss and opt to bat first but they were bowled out for 118 in 19.4 overs.

In reply, the much-revamped Cutchi Leva could only manage 111 for eight in 20 overs, hence the loss.

The Kenyan version of T20 is being played in a format similar to the Indian Premier League (IPL) where the winner of Qualifier 1 (top two teams in the league segment) moves on to the final while the loser gets a second chance in Qualifier 2 against the winner of the eliminator.

Teams that finished third and fourth compete with one another in an Eliminator match, with the winner going on to meet the loser of Qualifier 1 in Qualifier 2.

Follow Pulse Sports WhatsApp channel for more news.