Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mishra Regains Some Respectability For Kenya A

A fine 72 not out from Tanmay Mishra helped Kenya A to a much needed win against Denmark's Under 23 side yesterday. Mishra's effort came after a much improved spell in the field for the Kenyan youngsters who restricted the Danes to 159 all out having been 5/143. Jadavji Bhimji was the pick of the bowlers for Kenya picking up 3 for 30 with his spin.
In reply, Timothy Muange and Maurice Ouma shared a 55 run partnership, which is a glimmer of hope for Kenyan fans. The first wicket however, triggered a mini collapse from Kenya who lost 5 batsmen in the space of 19 runs. For once however, a player stood up and took the load on his shoulders. No surprises I suppose that it was Tanmay Mishra, but it is great to see that he was able to put the disappointment of the previous couple of matches behind and take Kenya home. His unbeaten 72 included one over of 18, and may well have done him enough to keep his place in the national team for the series against Bangladesh.
Congratulations to the boys on this win. I have not been easy on them this tour, and there is a lot of ground to be made up by most of the team, but this was a good way to end the trip. Results not withstanding, this tour will have been a great learning experience for the youngsters, and they now need to build on this to take their game forward. It is imperative that the batsmen realise the need to build innings and partnerships and they need to be given the conditions to do this. On the whole, the bowlers did not do too badly, and a couple may feel they will be knocking on the door of the national team before too long. However, they still need to learn how to manufacture wickets and to increase consistency, so there is still plenty of work to do.
It would be hard to call this tour a success based on the results of the matches.
Against Danish club sides, Kenya A played 4, won 2 and lost 2. Against Denmark's national side, we played 2, lost 2. Against their Under 23 side, we played 1, won 1. Overall, Kenya A played 7, won 3, lost 4.
In terms of players putting themselves forward for national selection, it was also a bit of a worry. Of the batsmen, only Tanmay Mishra may just have done enough, especially considering his efforts against Bangladesh last time round. Malhar Patel initially looked good, but fell short when really needed. Of the bowlers, it is difficult to say as complete results are hard to come by. Nehemiah Odhiambo seemed to do well overall and was at least able to get a couple of runs on the board with the bat too. Alfred Luseno started superbly, then did not seem to carry it through, while Jadavji Bhimji ended well. Difficult to say if any will be given a chance based on these performances. Certainly any that do will really need to raise the level of their game.

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