Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Uganda Prove Point in Atul Shah Tournament

Due to an unforseen glitch, that I hope has now been ironed out, I was unable to keep as close an eye on this tournament as I would have liked. Rather than going through an exhaustive commentary of what happened in each match, I will do a very brief summary, and then post the scorecards separately.
Day 1, 07/06/06:
Kenya A 10/142 (B.Patel 60, Jadavji Jasani 25, Frank Njunuga 3/20, Davis Arinaitwe 3/27) lost to Uganda 6/143 (Benjamin Musoke 54*, Akbar Baig 26, Laxman Jadavji 2/27, Rajesh Bhudia 2/28) by 4 wickets.
A poor start by Kenya A - lucky that the selectors ignores calls for Patel to be left out, It would have been dismal indeed without his effort.
CCA 10/159 (Bharat Halai 32, Zahir Abbas 26, Hamisi Abdulla 3/31, Hussein Shani 2/27) beat Tanzania 10/106 (Abhik Patwa 24, Stewart Kayne 5/38, Pradeep Patel 3/24) by 52 runs.
A solid start by CCA. Great bowling from Kayne to help CCA defend a modest target.
Day 2, 08/06/06:
Tanzania 10/114 (Abhik Patwa 35, Hiren Variayi 3/26, Rajesh Bhudia 2/16) Lost to Kenya A 2/115 (B.Patel 45*, Timothy Muange 32) by 8 Wickets.
A good bounce back by Kenya A, albeit against a much weaker team than Uganda. Good to see Muange getting amongst the runs. A good tight performance by Kenya's bowlers as well.
Uganda 9/201 (Joel Olwenyi 68, Hamzah Saleh 37, Lawrence Sematimba 25, Rashmi Gami 3/22, Stewart Kayne 2/40) Beat CCA 10/130 (Mohammed Fazal 41, Bharat Halai 23, Jimmy Okello 2/18, Kenneth Kamyuka 2/20, Frank Njunuga 2/30) by 71 runs.
Uganda show their superiority. They were well drilled and this was the only time in the event a team made it past 200. Kayne and Gami did well with the ball, but CCA fell way too short with the bat.
Day 3, 10/06/06:
Tanzania 5/119 (Athmani Kakonzi 50*, Kenneth Kamyuka 2/18, Davis Arinaitwe 2/20) Lost to Uganda 4/120 (Joel Olwenyi 60*, Hamza Saleh OR Kenneth Kamyuka 27, Athmani Kakonzi 2/32) by 6 wickets.
Joel Olwenyi shows himself the class batsman of the tournament with his second half century. Kakonzi also reached the milestone, but Tanzania batted too slowly to really trouble the Ugandans.
CCA 10/53 (Nehemiah Odhiambo 4/18, Laxman Jadavji 3/3, Hiren Variayi 2/9) Lost to Kenya A 7/54 (Rashmi Gami 3/14, Stewart Kayne 3/39) by 3 wickets.
Oh dear. The less said about the batting, the better. The bowlers will be pleased with their figures, but it is worrying that no one was even able to get to 15 with the bat.
Third Place Playoff 11/06/06
Tanzania 8/154 (Hamisi Abdulla 39*, Abulkadir Dossaji 35, Athmani Kakonzi 29, Rashmi Gami 3/28, Stewart Kayne 2/37) Beat CCA 10/132 (Stewart Kayne 37, Mohammed Fazal 36, Pradeep Patel 23, Athmani Kakonzi 3/21, Hussein Shani 2/11, Khalil Rehemtulla 2/32) by 22 runs.
Once again, Tanzania batted too slowly, but it was of little consequence in the end as CCA suffered a middle order batting collapse to finish last. A shame considering their two bowlers Kayne and Gami were among the best in the tournament. A moral boosting victory for Tanzania.
Final 11/06/06:
Uganda 9/185 (Hamzah Saleh 39, Frank Njunuga 39, Akbar Baig 34, Benjamin Musoke 24, Rajesh Bhudia 3/30, Ashet Karri 2/20, Laxman Jadavji 2/30) Beat Kenya A 10/138 (Timothy Muange 37, Tannoy Mishear 26, Akbar Baig 4/32) by 47 runs.
Uganda remains undefeated and return home having proved a point. A disappointing effort from Kenya A. They had Uganda on the ropes early, but then let the middle order and tail get runs. Muange again had the beginnings of a decent innings, but it was annoying not to see Mishear get more runs. He showed against Bangladesh he was a class act, but did not drive it home this tournament.
On the whole, a dissatisfying effort from the two Kenya teams this tournament. Kenya A will have to go back to the drawing board and work hard on the basics before the Denmark tour. The selectors may also want to rethink the composition of the squad being sent. A big worry is that despite 8 matches being played, only one innings reached 200 (and that only just). This suggests there is a lot of work to be done on the pitches to bring them up to scratch. However much talent we have in Kenya, it needs to be given the best conditions possible to thrive. Sub 200 pitches are never going to produce batsmen capable of building big innings - they will simply never learn the patience.
On an organisational side, credit does need to go to Cricket Kenya and the officials that were involved in this. It was arranged at fairly short notice, and they did well to keep the World informed through the tournament website. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

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