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T20 Championship enters crucial stage with Kanbis

Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association Super Division T20 top four qualifiers are set for a bruising battle when they meet to determine the ultimate finalists this Sunday.

Table topping Kanbis have a date with destiny as they face rivals Swamibapa in an epic clash of former champions at Gymkhana Grounds. Kanbis are still unbeaten while Swamibapa have lost once incidentally to the former.

This elimination match up, therefore, offers an opportunity to 2017 champions Swamibapa to seek revenge against the division’s most consistent team.

Both have 32 points but Kanbis enjoy a superior run rate across the nine matches played in the championship. However, this titanic clash holds a different bearing as the winner will qualify directly to the finals and stand a strong chance of securing another trophy.

In their last fixture last weekend, Kanbis beat Swamibapa by a solid 35 runs after an all round display. Their cause should therefore be helped by the live wire trio of Dhiren Gondaria, Rajesh Bhudia and Nehemiah Odhiambo.

However, Swami will not be pushovers as they have also been electric this season especially with the bat led by openers Irfan Karim and Alex Obanda supported by experienced Maurice Ouma. The match can therefore effectively be decided on the discipline on the pitch in the technical approaches deployed by each side.

In the elimination contest, vastly-improved Nairobi Gymkhana, who concluded the tournament at third place, face underdogs Ngara Sports Club at a venue yet to be determined.

Both are tied on 20 points and could well be the rank outsiders to clinch a maiden T20 gong. Seeing as the loser of the first qualifier meets with the winner of the elimination contest, the exciting prospect should be a puller for the two nondescript sides in the Championship.

Ngara have been the new darling of Nairobi Cricket especially after beating previous bigwigs Stray Lions early last month and have in other competitions proven equally capable against established sides.

The Lions on their part have endured what has been arguably one of their worst campaigns in recent times. It is the first time in almost a decade that the Peponi School-based side have failed to enter the penultimate stages of the competition after a seventh place in the Super Division Championship with only 12 points.

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