In-form Sharma wants more centuries in NPCA League
Ruaraka Sports Club’s batsman Pushkar Sharma has credited his impressive performance in the ongoing Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 Overs League to “being mentally strong”, vowing to help the team finish at the top.
The Indian-born Kenyan cricketer has been ruthless with the bat, slamming four centuries in the 13 matches that Ruaraka have thus far played.
As a result, he is at the top of the league’s scorer’s chart with 715 runs - a whopping 240 runs above second-placed Krishna Katukala of leaders Stray Lions Cricket Club.
“Before the season started, I was mentally prepared for this league because last year there was no competition due to Covid-19 pandemic. I decided to cover my runs this year,” said Sharma on Friday.
He slammed his latest century last Sunday, when his 109 runs helped Ruaraka A beat SCLPS Club A by 66 runs. He had earlier bagged another century against SCLPS in the first leg, while the rest came in their clash with Ngara and defending champions Swamibapa.
Now with only one century remaining before the former Mumbai Under-16 captain clocks his target of five centuries this season, he has set another ambitious target – to hit at least three more, with one being a double.
“Before the league started, I promised the club that I will give them five centuries. One is remaining and I will try to stay at the top in the league. I am thinking of two or three more centuries if my team will be in a good position. Definitely, I will go for 200 runs,” said Sharma who will celebrate his 21st birthday on Tuesday.
He moved to Kenya in 2018 after securing a job with the Hiarani Telecommunication where he is currently the Marketing Manager.
Last year, he landed a five-year sponsorship deal with the IndiaFist Life Insurance and his dream is to represent Kenya at an international event.
In the round of 14 matches planned for Sunday, Ruaraka will welcome Sikh Union at their turf, and Sharma has tipped the team to stretch their winning streak to four matches.
In the fixture’s first leg encounter, Ruaraka who are fourth with 30 points, beat Sikh Union by four wickets.
"I have urged my teammates not to lose focus. We are here to win this league, so we are trying to move to number two on the log. It does not matter who we are facing," said Sharma.
Stray Lions, who top the 10-team league on 48 points, will visit seventh-placed Nairobi Gymkhana Club while Swamibapa - who are second on 36 points - will welcome eighth-placed SCLPS.
Fixtures (All matches start at 9.30am)
Nairobi Gymkhana v Stray Lions Cricket Club
Swamibapa Sports Club v SCPLS
Kanbis Sports Club v Ngara Sports Club
Ruaraka v Sikh Union
Obuya Academy v Sir Ali Muslim Club