Stray Lions hold on to NPCA T20 cricket league lead

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By RICHARD MWANGI
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Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association Super league champions, Stray Lions, have maintained comfortable lead in the ongoing Twenty20 league.

On Saturday, Stray Lions beat Sikh Union ‘B’ by nine runs but their match against Swamibapa was washed out on Sunday.

The Lions top the standings with 49 points, eight ahead of second-placed Swamibapa, who tie on points 41 points with Kanbis but enjoy a superior net run rate. Nairobi Gymkhana are distant fourth with 22 points. Any of the top four teams has a chance of winning the trophy.

The top two teams will meet in the play-offs, with the winner qualifying for the final.  The loser will have one more chance of playing in the final as they will face winners of the elimination game between third and fourth-placed teams. The triumphant team will fight for a place in the final against losers of the match between the top-placed team and the second.

Harilal Shah Memorial Trophy champions Sikh Union ‘A’, who have become giant killers in the league, blew up their chances of finishing among the top four when their players went on strike a week ago. Sikh Union fielded their team ‘B’ players, losing to Stray Lions on Saturday.

Sikh Union ‘A’ captain Gagandeep Singh on Tuesday said: “The boys were unhappy with the manner in which the club hired bouncers to throw our coach Nadeem Ahmed out of the room he was living in at the club. The management also refused to pay him his dues.”

“He has done a lot for us and we were ready to raise money to renew his work permit if management was not willing to do so.”

“The club management has also threatened us that they will make sure none of us will ever don national colours, if we do not play for the club. There are many outstanding issues club management has refused to resolve.”

“The B side boys are made to play in the morning and in the afternoon. According to the rules of the game, no more than four players from the B side can join the A team at a time. I do not understand why NPCA has allowed this to happen.”

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