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Friday, August 18, 2017

Gymkhana, Lions chase final berth

Abraham Vadada (L) of Nairobi Gymkhana Sports Club
Abraham Vadada (L) of Nairobi Gymkhana Sports Club

Stray Lions and Nairobi Gymkhana will be eyeing a place in the Nairobi Province Cricket Association Twenty20 final when they battle in the second qualifier today at Sikh Union, Nairobi.

In their most recent outing – in the first of the playoff matches – Stray Lions came up short against the defending champions in a one sided match that saw their long unbeaten run brought to an end at Sikh Union on Sunday.

It is also the second consecutive qualifier ‘two’ match for Stray Lions. Having lost qualifier ‘one’ to the Swamis, they went on to surrender the second to Kanbis.

This time round they will be looking into advancing the final and win book a place with a Gymkhana side that has not done well against them.

On Sunday, Stray Lions were without Shem Obado, Charles Waiswa, Roger Mukasa and Collins Obuya.

It’s doubtful that Stray Lions will underrate their opponents.

“We want to give the match our best. We can’t afford to err again. By playing in the second qualifier, it shows that we have taken the longest route to the final after ending the preliminary matches unbeaten. With that we can’t afford to take the match easy. We will go all the way to make sure we qualify,” said Stray Lions wicket keeper Abraham Vadada.

Gymkhana qualified for today’s match without bowling a ball after their ‘eliminator’ match opponents Kanbis failed to show up.

The former champions failed to honour the match claiming they did not have enough players as most were away with the national team in Nepal.

Gymkhana have not had a good record against Stray Lions and it will be interesting to see how their youthful side will handle the wounded Lions, who are yearning for their first T20 title.

Skipper Karan Kaul has in many occasions been the architect of Nairobi Gymkhana’s performance that saw them finish fourth in the league stages.

A lot will once again be expected from him as the other players including two national team players Lucas Oluoch and Rushab Patel have failed to sparkle.

With the final less than 48 hours after their meeting, the two teams will work hard in capitalizing on their chances early so that whoever will win will reserve enough energy ahead of the final at the same venue.

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