Swamibapa and Stray Lions renew rivalry at Nairobi Jafferys

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Mar 10, 2016
  • Stray Lions have another crack at Swamibapa who beat them twice in their three meetings. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Defending champions Swamibapa and Stray Lions will renew their newly developed rivalry this weekend when they face off in the NPCA 40 Overs Knockout tournament.

In other matches lined up in the action-packed weekend will see last year’s losing finalists Kanbis locking horns with Sir Ali Muslim Club at Eastleigh with Kongonis hosting Cutchi Leva. The last match on the card will be at Nairobi Gymkhana where the home team Nairobi Gymkhana will battle it out with Ruaraka.

But most eyes will be on the tie at Nairobi Jafferys where defending champions Swamibapa and Stray Lions play for the first time since their ill-tempered match at Nairobi Gymkhana last month.

The last time the two sides met was in the Eliminator One match of the NPCA Twenty20 where Swamibapa carried the day by 19 runs despite Stray Lions having hired fans to support them.  

“We can't wait to play Stray Lions once again. As a team we are enjoying playing them as the matches generate some atmosphere that has been missing in our domestic cricket for a while now,” Swamibapa assistant coach Peter Ongondo said.

Confidence is high among Swamibapa's ranks after recent convincing T20 win. Ongondo said they would not be taking their foot off the gas. "Whether we play Premier, Kongonis, Kanbis or Stray Lions and wherever we are playing, we have to continue our good form and we expect to do that again on Sunday," Ongondo told Sports News Arena.

Obanda: Swamis not holding back

Swamibapa’s opener Alex Obanda also quashed any suggestion that the team would be holding back against their rivals. "When I go into field I go to play cricket with bat and ball. Playing with Stray Lions is not different. It's competitive and as it has been the case, Stray Lions have proved to be a strong team," Obanda observed.

Stray Lions have lost to Swamis twice in three meetings. With a couple of former and current national team players in their ranks and other experienced players like Praveen Kumar, Stray Lions should give Swamibapa a run for their money.

In the last two meetings, Stray Lions have been dominant but for their middle order. It will be interesting to see how their middle order which has Jimmy Kamande, Bilal Habib and Harrison Ambani perform against a strong bowling line up of Swamibapa.

After missing out on the T20 matches, Sir Ali are making a comeback and will be up against a wounded Kanbis. After missing out on the T20 title to Swamibapa, Kanbis will be going for nothing short of a win that will leave them with only two wins to the title.

At Nairobi Gymkhana, the home side welcomes Ruaraka and at  Nairobi Club, Cutchi Leva hope to end Kongonis dominance on the.

Fixtures: Sunday 13 March: Swamibapa v Stray Lions (Nairobi Jafferys), Kanbis v Sir Ali (Eastleigh High School), Kongonis vs Cutchi Leva (Nairobi Club) Nairobi Gymkhana v Ruaraka Sports Club (Gymkhana). All matches start at 9:30 a.m.