Monday, March 20, 2006

Flu and Bangladesh hit Kenya for six

It was not what we needed after the belting we got in the first match. From a squad of fourteen, five players were hit by a viral infection in the lead up to today's game. Worst affected was Captain Steve Tikolo, who was unable even to make it to the ground to watch the carnage. Instead he had to remain in his hotel room under the eye of a local doctor. Other players who were affected were Thomas Odoyo, Martin Suji, Hitesh Modi and Kalpesh Patel. Even with all of our players in top health, this match was going to be tough. With almost half the team incapacitated to varying extents, the nightmare that unfolded was not entirely unexpected.
Those players who took to the field did their best, but were outclassed by a Bangladesh squad who are gaining in confidence every time they pick up a bat or ball. Syed Rasel again decemated the top order before a brief fightback by Modi and David Obuya, who both scored 30. It did not last long however, and again it was Tanmay Mishra's resistance that saved Kenya worse embarrasment. When he perished, run out for 33, it was about all over for Kenya.
161 was never going to be even close to a competetive target on what was actually a decent pitch for batting, and Bangladesh knocked off the runs with the loss of only one wicket; Shahriar Nafees caught by collins Obuya off the bowling of Peter Ongondo. Again Thomas Odoyo laboured hard, and kept his bowling tight, but Kenya needed much more firepower in the armoury than was available. An easy stroll to victory for Bangladesh.
Last match, I managed to salvage a couple of bright moments to give Kenya hope. This match, it is a bit harder, but there are still a couple of positives. One is Tanmay Mishra. He has top scored for Kenya in both matches, and is one of the few players who looks to be improving every time he plays. I can't help but feel that if he were used further up the order, he would go a long way to solving one of Kenya's main problems. I also think that should he be promoted in the order, his first big score is only just around the corner. Thomas Odoyo again bowled well - by far the least expensive of the bowlers, and Hitesh Modi at least made a decent start. Both were affected by the virus, so can be judged to have battled well in the circumstances. Peter Ongondo again got a wicket - he has done so in every match Kenya have played this year.
Not a lot to go on, but at this stage I think that everything positive helps. It is hard to award points for players in this match, but to keep things positive, Modi and Mishra get 2 points, Odoyo and David Obuya 1 each.
Kenya now have two days in which to work out how to regain some respectability. Hopefully, the ill players will get well soon, and Roger Harper will be able to come up with something to stop the rot. Maybe Amit Bhudia could be flown out for the next two matches to strengthen the batting. From here on, this tour can only get better.

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