Can Swamibapa turn tables on Stray Lions?

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Oct 13, 2017
  • Batting will be one of the key areas of concern when Stray Lions and Swamibapa face off in a NPCA league match. (SNA. File Photo)

Swamibapa host Stray Lions at Nairobi Jafferys in a top NPCA Super League match on Sunday.

Stray Lions outplayed Swamibapa in both their league meetings last year including the eight runs win in the second leg which secured them a maiden title .

The two teams are clashing at a time when their batting power has gone down compared to last time when it came out to the bowlers to determine the winner.

In the first round match played at Peponi School, it was the bowling show of Wilkin Mota that secured victory for the eventual league winners.

The script was the same in the second round when former national team captain Maurice Odumbe picked up four wickets to snatch victory away from the home team to secure the maiden title.

The drop in the bat from the two sides has denied them a number of batting points which in the end has opened the gap between them and leaders Kanbis.

Kanbis are firmly on top of the table with 174 points from eight matches, followed by Stray Lions who have 168 points. Swamibapa who lost to Kanbis the last time they were at home are third with 153 points.

While Kanbis has bagged 28 batting points, Stray Lions have earned 21. Swamibapa’s bats have only given them 20 points.

Bench strength

The two side will be particularly satisfied that their bench strength has been boosted by the return of the national team players thus giving them more options to choose from, for the key clash.

Stray Lions is the only team to have defeated Swamibapa twice last year.

For the Swamibapa batting to click against a strong bowling unit led by leading wicket taker Hiren Varaiya, their top order batting lineup that includes Maurice Ouma, Alex Obanda, Naman Patel and Irfan Karim should fire in unison.

If they can do that, then they can destroy any bowling line up in the league and Stray Lions will be no exception. Emmanuel Bundi and Mitesh Sangani are delivering when needed with both bat and ball.

Considering the Nairobi Jaffreys track will be batting friendly, it is expected to be another high-scoring affair-a condition that has eluded the visitors when they play at home.

Stray Lions have attributed their low score at Peponi School on a slow track and so it will be interesting to see how they will cope with the surface that has produced good scores.

Stray Lions would get back to their regular openers Abraham Vadada and Prashant Srinivas.

Change of batting order

The hosts could change their batting order as a result of the return of their batsmen Collins Obuya and Shem Obado.

Nikhil Date who has been impressive with both bat and ball is once again expected to play a key role in Stray Lions’ ranks against last year’s runners-up.

Their bowlers, who have been a bit mean with their runs will once again be expected to dictate the fate of the clash.

They are likely to open their attack with Date and skipper Hiren Varaiya. The two have been the architect of Stray Lions’ onslaught.

They would also hope that youngster Abhishek Chidambaran can work his magic with the ball in the middle overs.

Chidambaran has been their best middle over specialist and along with Obuya he will have to play a key role to restrict the Swamibapa line-up, which boasts of some big names.

Fixtures Sunday October 14

Swamibapa v Stray Lions (Nairobi Jaffery), Kanbis v Sir Ali (Eastleigh High School). Obuya Academy v Sikh Union (Sir Ali), Cutchi Leva v Nairobi Gymkhana (Samaj. School), Ruaraka v Kongonis (Ruaraka).