Stray Lions march to second NPCA League title

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Dec 04, 2017
  • Stray Lions won their second NPCA Super League on Sunday. (Photo Courtesy)

The absence of three key players didn’t deter Stray Lions from securing their second straight league title with a match to play on Sunday.

Playing away to middle placed Nairobi Gymkhana, the Peponi-based side had to source for players from their second team to ensure that the league title remained in their cabinet.

The three players who were drafted to take over from Shem Obado, Collins Obuya and Nehemiah Odhiambo rose to the occasion to steer their side to a five wicket win and thus retain the league title.

Chasing 213 for a win, Stray Lions overhauled the target with 14.2 overs to spare to thanks to a combined effort by the batsmen and bowlers.

The defending champions who needed only five points from the possible 40 to retain the league had to get services Himanshu Dixit, Nadeem Ahmed and club secretary Thota Srinivas for their crucial match.

And when the umpires called play, the three mostly Nadeem and Dixit didn’t disappoint. Nadeem put on an all round show in the match while Dixit scored the winning runs.

Openers Nadeem (43) and Prashant Srinivas (47) set the platform for the win with their 64-run partnership while Abraham Vadada steered the side to victory with a crucial knock of 40 off 53 balls.

Fluent century

The performance by Stray Lions batsmen left Veer Dave’s fluent century came to a naught. Dave, batting at one down had placed the home team at a comfortable 212 for nine in 50 overs with his 107-run innings but he lacked support from his partners with the other batsmen scoring 66 runs.

Stray Lions had a good start in the chase with Nadeem-playing his first match for the first team leading the way with some fluent batting.

The former Sikh Union all-rounder hit two sixes and six fours before he was fell by Raj Savala with the board on 64. Srinivas and Jay Mehta got the scores to 107 before Bhavya Thakkar who claimed 3 for 58 ended his stay.

Mehta was dismissed immediately on 11 to pave way to Vadada-SH Srinivas stand that yielded 40 runs.

But even with the dismissal of the three, Stray Lions were still ahead on run rate. Even the loss of three more wickets of SH Srinivas (22), Manoj Sai (27) did little in stopping the visitors.

Himanshu Dixit gave Vadada the winning stand with an unbeaten 24. Sai and SH Srinivas all fell to Thakkar. Earlier SH Srinivas and Nadeem bagged two wickets each as the home team fell from 95 for 2 to 212 for 9.

Thota Srinivas was a happy man after the last ball saying it all came through hard work from the players and the management.

“It might look easy that we have retained the title but what we have put in to have this results is a lot. A lot has been done by the players and the management.

Maiden ton

Elsewhere, Krishna Babu scored his maiden ton in the league as Swamibapa easily walloped poor Sir Ali by 208 runs at Nairobi Jafferys Babu’s 101 runs from 97 balls was key in leading Swamibapa to 292 all out before the bowlers led by Jadavji Bhimji completed the rout by bowling the visitors out for 84 runs in 25 overs.

Swamibapa had the best stand they would have wished for after winning the toss when openers Nicholas Oluoch and Naman Patel put on 76 for the first wicket.

After the dismissal of Oluoch on 27 to Alfred Luseno, Patel linked up with Babu and the two picked up boundaries and singles with so much easy getting the scores to 207.

The stand which lasted 23 overs was brought to an end when Patel was trapped lbw on 83 runs by Zahid Abbas. His knock included two sixes and six boundaries.

Babu’s long stay in the middle was brought to an end by Parth Patel after a having put up a 53 run stand for the third wicket with Maurice Ouma.

Before being dismissed, Babu had hit five boundaries and only two sixes. Ouma could only score 17 before he became the fourth wicket to fall with the board on 267.

Thereafter, none of the remaining batsmen were able to get into double digits as they fell from 267 for 3 to 292 all out. Abbas was the chief destroyer of the home team with 5 for 42 from 7.2 overs.

In reply, Abbas with 34 and Ken Owino with 22 were the only batsmen who seemed capable to stand Swamibapa bowlers as the rest fell cheaply. Apart from Jadavji who bagged 3 for 18, Lameck Onyango and Babu bagged two wickets each.

The third match of the day between Kanbis and Sikh Union failed to bowl off at Eastleigh High after Sikh Union failed to turn up.

Results

Nairobi Gymkhana (212 for 9) lost Stray Lion (213 for 5) by five wickets

Swamibapa (292 all out) beat Sir Ali (84 all out) by 208 runs.

Kanbis received walkover against Sikh Union