Having lost their opening match of the NPCA 50 over tournament, Stray Lions will have to pull up their socks and perform as a team when they take on a confident Simba Union at Peponi School on Sunday. The 60 runs defeat to Nairobi Gymkhana in their previous game has put the favourites in a tricky position. With the bulk of seasoned and national team players, Lions can't afford to lose anymore matches and they will require approaching the next two games with a must-win attitude if they harbour hopes of qualifying for the semi final.
A well-rounded and resourceful team with a good sprinkling of stars makes the side look unbeatable on paper. Performance however is what matters and that is something that the Lions technical bench will have to drive into their beleaguered boys. Except for David Obuya who made 52 against Gymkhana, the rest of the batsmen failed to live to the expectation. The top order was an absolute failure with Maurice Ouma and Peter Kituku doing so little. Making 120 in their pursuit of 180 reflects their batting woes.
On the other hand, Simba have gained confidence from their victory over Kongonis two weeks ago. With the likes of Nadeem Ahmed, Maurice Odumbe, Hamid, Gurmanjot and Tarandeep in its rank, Simba has got a power-packed batting line up, which can raise alarm bells in any opposition camp. With 18 points from one match, the visitors would be looking to score their second win and strengthen their chances of qualifying for the last four.
In Group A, favourites Kanbis will taking on Sir Ali Muslim Club at Eastleigh High School and last week centurion Rakep Patel says he expects his side to continue its winning ways against their visitors. Kanbis scored a crushing 8-wicket win against Swamibapa last week. "The confidence from winning the opening match will motivate us to do well," Patel said. "We hope to continue with our good start and get the momentum going for the rest of the tournament." Patel scored 101 not out as Kanbis reached required 163 in 26 overs.
The other Group A match will pit Swamibapa against Nookers at Ngara Sports Club with Nairobi Gymkhana hosting Kongonis in Group B.
NAIROBI PROVINCIAL CRICKET ASSOCIATION 50-OVER TOURNAMENT (SUNDAY 3RD FEBRUARY, 2013) SUPER LEAGUE
Kanbis A v Sir Ali A (Eastleigh High School 9:30am)
Swamibapa A v Nairobi Nookers A (Ngara Sports Club 9:30am)
Stray Lions A v Simba Union A (Peponi School 9:30am)
Nairobi Gymkhana A v Kongonis A (Nairobi Gymkhana 9:30am)
Swamibapa B v Ngara (Lenana School 9:30am)
Aryans v Nairobi Gymkhana B (Nairobi School 9:30am)
Stray Lions B v Kanbis B (Ruaraka Sports Club 9:30am)
Goan Institute A v Nairobi Jaffery (Goan Institute 9:30am)
Simba Union B v Thika Dunes (Simba Union Club 9:30am)
Kongonis B v Ruaraka (Nairobi Club 9:30am)
Cutchi Leva v Aga Khan (Cutchi Leva 9:30am)
Nairobi Nookers B v Anadil Jamaly (Nairobi School 9:30am)
Premier B v Kenya Ladies (Premier 9:30am)
Sir Ali B v Peponi School (Sir Ali Club 9:30am)