Sunday, July 16, 2006

Batsmen Dominate First Two Days Of Practice Match

It has been a good couple of days for Kenya's batsmen at the Ruaraka ground in Nairobi during the first two days of the practice match ahead of the tour to Canada. Despite overcast conditions, a very slow wicket has meant plenty of time in the middle for the batsmen, and lots of hard labour for the bowlers. There was little movement in the pitch for the seamers and virtually nothing for the spinners either, allowing those players who got their eye in to go on to big scores.
In the first innings, Brijal Patel and Collins Obuya both capitalised on the conditions to post centuries. Brijal finished on 105, and was only just outscored by Collins who made 109. I do not have details of any of the other scores although apparently most of the batsmen made starts. Some of these, such as the two centurions, went on to make decent scores, but others threw away their wickets. Tony Suji was one of the latter, managing less than 15 runs at (you guessed it) number three. I don't really think I need say more on this. Pick of the bowlers for the fielding team were Jimmy Kamande and Josephat Ababu who finished with three wickets apiece. Team 'A' (my nomenclature - they batted first) finished on 403 all out from 122 overs.
In reply, Team 'B' lost a couple of early wickets with Maurice Ouma again failing to make runs opening the batting. David Obuya made a start, but failed to live up to his brother's efforts. It was left to Jimmy Kamande, batting at 3, to bring some life back into the innings with the third and largest century of the match so far. His 131 will certainly have done his selection chances no harm at all, especially after his results with the ball. Thomas Odoyo is unbeaten on about 80, and there are still some of the all-rounders to go for team 'B' who finished day two some 120 runs behind on 280 (ish). The players had the weekend off training to spend time with their families but will be back in action again next week. This match will resume on the 20th and 21st, but I'm told at a different venue. Hopefully those players who have not yet batted will not be too disadvantaged by this.
Rumour has it that the team selection will be on the 22nd, so a crucial week for all those players on the fringes. Patel, Kamande and Collins Obuya will all no doubt be sleeping a little bit easier after their efforts of the last couple of days, though no one can afford to slack off. For the bowlers, there is still the next few days and then the rest of the match to make their claim.

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