Swamibapa seeking redemption against unbeaten Ruaraka as NCPA title race gathers pace

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CRICKET Swamibapa seeking redemption against unbeaten Ruaraka as NCPA title race gathers pace

Joel Omotto 09:30 - 27.08.2023

The Swamis are out to turn the tables on Ruaraka for their first leg win as Nairobi Gymkhana lock horns with Kanbis in the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association

Having already lost in four outings, Swamibapa A will be seeking to turn the tables on Ruaraka A for their first leg win as the Rushab Patel-led troops host unbeaten leaders Ruaraka A in a grudge Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association match at Nairobi Jaffery’s ground on Sunday.

The Swamis suffered an eight-wicket loss to hosts Ruaraka A on July 9 but skipper Rushab Patel feels his team-mates would have a major point to prove at home against the runaway log leaders.

During the July match, Ruaraka pro Sachin Gill struck a cool 99 while his high-scoring teammate Pushkar Sharma smacked a cool century (103) much to Swamis' chagrin.

Sachin, Pushkar and Maxwell Swaminathan will again be the key players in Ruaraka’s batting order. Ruaraka’s frontline batsmen have led from the front and consistency is the reason for their success so far.

“Well, we've endured some shocking losses against Simba Union and Cutch Leva, however, as always, we will be looking to come back stronger," said Patel.

Injuries to some of their regular players has forced changes in the team in the last few weeks affecting the performances.

"We don't want to take any opposition lightly. The league is not yet over and anything can happen though this is the final phase of games,” added Patel.

“We take our approach as one game at a time, so that's exactly what we will be doing against Ruaraka. We are just looking to stick to our basics and focus more on executing our plans and roles a whole lot better than we have in the last few games.”

Ruaraka’s run machine Sachin Gill is incidentally the league’s leading run scorer at present with 468 runs to his credit against Dhiren Gondaria’s 436.

Ruaraka A savour an eight-point advantage over second-placed Stray Lions who play away at Lenana against Obuya Academy.

“Last weekend I took the lead from Dhiren. I would say my aim was not to topple him because the situation was such, we had lost two early wickets (Pushkar and Chandresh Hirani) and conditions were not easy to bat as it was about getting the team to a good score to defend," said Gill.

"This weekend, I expect everyone to chip in with good scores as we did last weekend in our 104-run victory over Obuya.”

In another Super Division fixture, Nairobi Gymkhana A heads to Eastleigh grounds to lock horns with Kanbis A. Kanbis skipper Dhiren Gondaria is optimistic his team will rise to the occasion.

“Last weekend I was impressed the way Harshil Varsani made his debut with a four-wicket haul, and no doubt about the senior Nelson Mandela Odhiambo for his second fifer, his effort with the injuries he is having is something very rare to be seen in cricket, he gave his 100 percent even though he is not 100 percent okay, really proud of him,” said Gondaria.

“With the bat, I honestly think we still need to work harder as the guys who got out last weekend gave out their wickets trying to chase the target in a hurry but such kind of mistakes can cost us points. I am glad that Emmanuel Bundi and Vinu (Vinod Rabadia) finished it for us and we will be banking on their form this weekend.”

Stray Lions A have roared back into title contention after shock loss on the opening weekend. The team, led by Hiren Varaiya, has really hit top form with impressive wins over Swamibapa A, Kanbis A to continue their pursuit of the coveted title.

Irfan Karim and Subham Jadhav have been leading the batting while the youngsters Francis Mutua and Gerrad have contributed significantly with the ball on their revival.