Thursday, March 30, 2006

Modi Out With Broken Finger

On a day that was probably Holland's after Ryan ten Doeschate's impressive 158, the last thing that Kenyan fans wanted to hear is that one of our most experienced players, and most capable batsmen, will most likely not take any further part in the match. Attempting to catch de Leede, Modi left the field with what was initially thought a dislocated finger. Most recent reports say that his finger is not just dislocated, but fractured as well. Bad news for Hitesh who looked to be finding some sort of form in Bangladesh, and worse news for Kenya, who may now really rue the abscence of Kennedy Otieno.
It may be that Modi's abscence will be the catalyst that promotes Tanmay Mishra up the batting order, so there may yet be some good in it, but Kenya are going to face a real uphill battle unless they can snare three quick wickets today to keep the Dutch under 350.
With the new ball allowed after 80 overs, it was strange, not to say exceedingly frustrating to see Steve Tikolo persist in bowling the spin bowlers, when the results almost all came from the seamers. It was not taken until the 92nd over, but brought almost immediate results when Ongondo bowled Reekers. The opportunity to attack a new batsman with a new ball should not have been missed, and Reekers made Kenya pay to the tune of 17 runs. With one batsman short, these could be crucial. It is fine persisting with an old ball when it is giving results for the spinners, but if it is not, it should be changed at the first opportunity.
For the good of Kenya's future, youngsters like Karia and Bhudia must be given a better go. They only bowled 11 overs between them for combined figures of 11 overs, 44 runs and 3 wickets. Tikolo bowled 24 overs for 75 runs and no wickets. He may have had a lower run rate against him, but at the end of the day what Kenya needed were wickets. With a better rotation of the seamers, Kenya should have had the Dutch bowled out by the close of play. It is a captain's perogative to choose how he marshalls his bowlers, and we should wait the final result before getting too worked up, but some of his choices, as in the last game against Bangladesh, do seem questionable.
Hopefully Kenya's bowlers will come out firing on Day 2 and get the remaining three wickets quickly. It will then be up to the batsmen to build decent innings, and maintain concentration. For Kenya to take first innings points, or even stay in the match, it will need a big innings from one, if not two batsmen. It will also need the other batsmen to play sensible supporting roles, and make sure no wicket is given away. Holland will be bouyed by their performance yesterday, and will no doubt come out firing on all cylinders. It should be a very interesting day's cricket.

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