Thursday, August 03, 2006
It is always painful disecting lost matches, especially when they are ones that could and should have been won. The Intercontinental Cup match against Canada was such a loss, but pain of losing aside, it did have some bright spots for Kenya.
Canada ended the day on top thanks to 91* from Qaiser Ali and a top order collapse from Kenya. Bright spot for us were Peter Ongondo taking 4/49 and both of the debutants - Variaya and Odhiambo also getting wickets. Not so bright spots were the way we failed to mop up the tail effectively. their last three batsmen each scored 13 runs, and provided valuable support for Ali. a couple of quicker wickets and we could have been chasing a much lower total. Dark spot - our top order's capitulation. Both Kennedy Obuya and Brijal Patel out for ducks really highlighted Kenya's opening blues. Suji and Tikolo both out cheaply compounded things.
A good fightback by Kenya. Tanmay Mishra's innings was a definite plus from this match as it gives him his best ever score for the national side and shows that he can live up to potential. Support acts from Collins Obuya with 43 and Nehemiah Odhiambo with 38 also heartening as all are young and have years ahead of them playing for Kenya. What was disappointing was our inability to get those extra 5 runs we needed for a first inning's lead. Put this down to inexperience, but you can't help but feel that had we got their tail out sooner, or even a few runs from the top order, things would have been very different.
Again Canada's day, and more specifically Geoff Barnett's. His century really gave Canada a good target to defend, and at one stage they looked like running away with it. Enter Nehemiah Odhiambo who not only removed Barnett, but ended up taking 5 for the innings as Kenya did what they failed to do in the first innings: mop up the tail. Hiren Variaya chipped in with a confidence boosting 3/27 that also augers well for the future. All in all, I would say that our bowlers pretty much did their job. 235 and 286 are not fantastic scores, and should have been well within the grasp of our batsmen. It would have been nice to see Collins Obuya have a couple of overs at some stage unless he is going to focus entirely on his batting in the future. Again the day ended with the Kenyan openers letting us down. Kennedy Obuya was reinstated for this tour at the last minute - a move many, including myself, thought would strengthen the batting. How wrong we proved to be. He made a pair, and with Brijal Patel only managing 9, this leaves us with a real worry as to who will open for the two ODIs.
A day we could and should have won but didn't. Steve Tikolo looked like he was set for a match winning innings, but fell on 50. Hitesh Modi chipped in with a valuable 41 and Toni Suji added 33. Collins Obuya provided the best innings for Kenya with 89, a personal best in First Class cricket. He is rapidly developing into a very handy middle order batsman indeed for Kenya. Unfortunately, no one could quite manage that extra step up that Barnett could, and in the end, that was the difference. That and Umar Bhatti's six wickets. Kenya need to find some way of coping with him before Saturday. Take nothing away from Canada, they deserved the victory, but it was close, oh so close and is all the more difficult to swallow because of it.
Posted by Chemosit at 12:18 pm