Caravans’ cricketers face Punjabi Kings test in GP Gymkhana Shield las

21Sep 2019
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Caravans’ cricketers face Punjabi Kings test in GP Gymkhana Shield las

THIS SEASON’s GP Gymkhana Shield cricket competition’s defending champions, Caravans, will be out to boost their title retention bid as they come up against Punjabi Kings in the last eight clash in Dar es Salaam tomorrow.

Caravans’ cricketer, Kassim Nassor, bats against Surat Stars during this season’s GP Gymkhana Shield competition’s clash, which was played in Dar es Salaam recently.

The Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC)-organized tournament has General Petroleum and Premier Refinishes as main sponsors.

ASAR Limited, SBC Tanzania, Mgen Insurance, AFRO Turk, Cartridge World, PS Limited, I& M Bank and Jaykey Trading are the event's co-sponsors.

The DGC oval hosts all of the competition’s matches.

The mouth-watering tie is also this season’s competition’s last eight stage’s remaining game.

Caravans, one of strong favourites for silverware this season, sailed through to the knockout stage without conceding defeat.

The Dar es Salaam cricket big guns had been placed in Group D with Malabar Cricket Club, Sandy Super Strikers, Surat Stars and Ismaili Community and grabbed convincing wins over the rest of the contenders in the group.

Caravans opened their title retention bid in grand fashion, sinking Surat Stars.

Caravans then went on to register victories over Malabar Cricket Club, Ismaili Community and Sandy Super strikers respectively.

With the defending champions having talented players including Vipin Abraham, Kassim Nassor, Jitin Singh and Hamisi Abdallah, as well as experienced leader in skipper Sreejith Kumar, they are set to come out with all guns blazing with a view to taming Punjabi Kings.

Kumar, speaking shortly after Caravans had secured progression to the last eight, disclosed his squad is eager to defend its trophy but it is also wary of stiff challenge from other serious contenders including Punjabi Kings.

“That is our plan but you never know, it is cricket and we have to take each match seriously… Punjabi Kings are also one of strong sides. They have good players, so, let us take each match at a time and we’ll see,” he disclosed.

Punjabi Kings will miss the services of their talented skipper, Zafar Khan, in tomorrow’s tie but that is not expected to demoralize the squad.

Experienced players including spinner Tambwe Rashid and opener, Stewart Kaduma, are set to play a pivotal role in the team’s search for progression to the last four.

The Sunday’s last eight clash will be followed by the first semi-final match between Ismaili Community and Gujrat Lions.

Gujrat Lions have been a surprise package in this season’s competition as they put scintillating performances on their way to booking a place in the knockout stage.

The team, placed in Group A with Tamil Nadu Cricket Club, Lions Cricket Club, Kanbis and Young Muslims, as well made it to the knockout stage having enjoyed unbeaten spell in the groups’ stage.

Ismaili Community have become one of strong contenders for the top honour this season because of, among other qualities, the outfit’s depth in batting.

They had a successful spell in the groups’ stages thanks to scintillating performances by talented players including Jatin Dardji, Khalil Rehemtulla, Aahil Jessani, Harsheed Chohan, Arslaan Premji and Aaryan Premji. 

They, however, should not underrate Gujrat Lions, as the latter could turn out to be a hard nut to crack and ultimately frustrate the former’s efforts to close in on this season’s competition’s trophy.

The semi-finals’ remaining duel has been slated for September 28 and the final will be played the following day.