Swamibapa, Sir Ali clash in tourney final in Nairobi

Wednesday March 18 2020

Giant-killers Sir Ali Muslim Club are ready to devour the star-studded Swamibapa for the inaugural Nairobi Invitational Cricket League (NICL) title in the final match on Sunday at Nairobi Gymkhana.

Sir Ali Muslim Club skipper, Gurdeep Singh, on Friday told Nation Sport his team mates are under no pressure heading to Sunday’s final.

Gurdeep indicated that Sir Ali Muslim Club’s underdog status should work in favour of his young side.

The invitational tournament that has been going on for three months will end with Sunday’s final.

Under pressure

“It’s Swamibapa who have something to prove in the final and that eases pressure on my side,” Gurdeep said after his team’s training session on Friday.

Gurdeep has every right to be positive about his team’s prospects in the match because the Parkroad-based side was not among the favourites to qualify to for the play-offs, leave alone reaching the final.

Sir Ali stunned Stray Lions in the first elimination match before shocking Kanbis in the second, beating them by two wickets last Sunday to book a place in Sunday’s final.

With the performance of the two sides in the event so far, the match is expected to be an edge-seater.

Swamibapa is the only team in the tournament to have reached the play-offs unbeaten.

Given Swamibapa’s earlier performances against Sir Ali, they are firm favourites in the finals.

Bowling performance

It’s the bowling performances of Lameck Onyango and Jadavji Bhimji that holds the key to Swamibapa’s title chances should rain play no part in the match.

With the current rains being experienced in the city, the Nairobi Gymkhana’s wicket is expected to be damp, and a low-scoring match is expected. Naman Patel will lead their batting assault, while Onyango and Bhimji will call the shots with the ball.

Naman’s form has seen him get a maiden call-up to the national cricket team alongside Jadavji and Onyango who are making a return to the team.

Sandip Adole, who is leading the bowling charts, is expected to be the key man for Sir Ali Muslim Club and is likely to get a good hand from Abdul Rehman, who has proved that he has what it takes to take on the big boys.