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Stray Lions lock horns with champs Swamibapa in NPCA T20 final

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The Poster for the NCPA final
  • Swamibapa are the defending champions
  • The final will be played on Sunday afternoon
  • The finals will be played at the Nairobi Gymkhana

Stray Lions will take on defending champions Swamibapa in the final of the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Super Division Twenty20 Championship on Sunday.

Stray Lions have savored good form in the NPCA T20 season and only lost one match to SCLPS A who went on to top the league segment of the championship.

In as much as the Lions are the favorites to win the Cup, the resurgence of Swamibapa cannot be wished away.

Rightly so, the game will be decided by the side which bats better.

Swamibapa Captain Rushabh Patel candidly admits their false start to the shorter version of the NPCA season which saw them rediscover their winning touch as the T20 championship wore on.

Rushabh says; “Yes, we did have a poor run of form in the initial part of the season. Nevertheless, we’ve played very good and hard cricket after that to bring ourselves back into the tournament and progressed to the finals”.

Rushabh is also happy with the team’s resilience and gusto in their quest for back-to-back T20 titles. The captain is leading from the front and is topping the batting charts for this year’s T20 with 390 runs in 9 innings at an average of 48.75.

“The entire team has really worked well us in all aspects which has allowed us to have the edge over our match adversaries,” Rushabh said, adding:

Please with attacking cricket in NPCA


Action in a past NCPA match

“So, we’re very pleased to see this attacking brand of cricket and looking to have the boys continue that till the end of the tournament.”

Rushabh, Dhwanil Patel (who is also the team’s wicket keeper) and Prashang Hirani are expected to start in the top order for the Swamis whilst veteran Morris Ouma, Harendra Kerai and Mitesh

Sanghani are likely to fill the middle order. Their bowling attack was the weak link at the start of the tournament but the likes of Vraj Patel and James Ngoche have stepped up to assist the young spinners in the team.

Stray Lions will peg their NPCA title hopes on the likes of Irfan Karim, Shubham Jadhav Aman Gandhi in the top order and Neil Mugabe, Bhagath Varma and skipper Tanzeel Sheikh in the middle order.

Irfan Karim is the leading run scorer for stray lions so far with 302 runs in 8 innings at an average of 50.33.

This is the first tournament for Tanzeel as captain with Stray Lions and he is doing very well considering the team’s insatiable appetite for success.

Francis Mutua and Gerald Mwendwa are also expected to make valuable contributions for the Lions should they get the chance to bat.

Thota Sreenivas of Stray Lions says his players hope to continue with the same hunger and performance for the finals as well.

Sreenivas: “It’s a great feeling to see the team doing well and reaching the finals particularly with the young team they are, fighting till the last ball and winning the games not giving up.”

Cutchi Leva who were eliminated in the first qualifier have been the dark horses of the T20 League after topping the league’s log.

Played excellent cricket through NPCA season


Swamibapa skipper Rushabh Patel poses with the T20 title after his team’s victory over Sikh Union last year

The Nairobi West outfit have played excellent cricket throughout this NPCA tournament but Stray Lions were the only team beat them twice.

Lions cruised through to the NPCA final following a 7-run advantage over Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj (SCLPS YL A) in Qualifier 1 at Nairobi Gymkhana grounds last Saturday.

Swamibapa, on the other hand, stunned Kanbis A by 24 runs in the Eliminator last Saturday before beating SCLPS YL A by 59 runs in Sunday’s Qualifier 2 to book a ticket to the finals.

Division One finals are also slated for this Sunday 9:30 am onwards at Nairobi Gymkhana. Stray Lions B team has already qualified for the finals after defeating Kanbis B comprehensively last weekend by 6 wickets. Kanbis B on the other hand will be hoping to get to the finals when they face Kongonis A on Saturday afternoon from 2:30 p.m. at Nairobi Gymkhana.

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