Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bangladesh Runchase vs Kenya 4th ODI - running updates

No surprises there I guess. I am going to go and lick my wounds and try and make sense of this. Yes we were runs short, as I said earlier, I felt another 20 would have been safer. Still, I cannot understand the bowling changes. Mishra gets given the last over. Bashar finishes with a six. That sums up the whole of the last 20 overs for me. There are bowlers who were not bowled out who were either taking wickets, or keeping the run rate down. Why they were not used, and bowlers who were going for 8 or nine an over were has to be explained. If it can be. I was peeved enough at the batting line up, and yet that has nothing on this. I hope something gets sorted out when the team gets back, and before they take on Holland. Kenya are going to find the next few years hard enough without being our own worst enemy.
My apologies. I was so caught up in Kenya's ridiculous choice of bowlers that I missed a very important part of this match - Saleh reaching his century. A great effort, and will surely go down as the man of the match performance.
3 off Kamande, at least he is tighter now. Suji concedes 10 runs. Bloody hell. Kenya have really sold ourselves short this match. We were only about 20 runs short batting, but could have done so much better in defending this total. My mind boggles that
Will someone who understands this please explain why Suji (5 overs, no wickets, 47 runs) is still being bowled, while Ongondo (6 overs, 1 maiden, 1 wicket and 20 runs) still has overs left. #$%%&^%Q!@!!!! Even Luseno who at least has a wicket and has 3 overs left would make more sense. One very unhappy Kenyan here.

Only one off that last over by Kamande. Too late though. Only a miracle will prevent Bangladesh from winning by 7 wickets now.

We used to have a queue at school outside the headmasters office where naughty boys would line up for the cane. It is a bit like that out theerre for Kenya now. Suji was expensive in hid first three overs, and his fourth is little better. 8 off it. i', normally a fan of Tikolo's captaincy, but I canno tunderstand why Ongondo is not being allowed to finish his overs unless he is injured!

I'm not sure why, but Jimmy Kamande continues to bowl. He has no wickets, and is going for 6 an over. Why Tikolo does not come back to bowl, or bring on Ongondo is beyond me. It could be to give Kamande experience. I can think of no other reason. 5 off his over including a wide. Bangladesh bring up their 200 with the last ball of the over. Only a matter of time now unfortunately.

12 runs off his first over back, and I would say it is all but over now. Bashar moves to his half century courtesy of two runs off the last ball, but it was Saleh who really did the damage.

A strange decision considereing Obuya's last over. Kamande again fails to stem the runs, but it is too late for Kenya to be looking to keep the lid on. We now need to make a concerted effort to take wickets. There is no other way we can win this match. Kamande goes for 6, and Bangladesh move to 183.

A four and a two to start Luseno's 7th over bring Habibul Bashar to within touching distance of his half century. A single and a 3 mean that ten come off the over altogether. Surely Tikolo has to return himself to stem the flow or bring back Ongondo or Odoyo. It is all very well holding them back, but it may be too little too late by the time they return to bowl if he does.
Bangladesh very comfortable on 3-177 after 33. They only need a mere 3.3 an over now.

After a wide to start it off, Collins Obuya has come back with a much better second over. This is a good sign for Kenya. Hopefully that will restore his confidence a little. Bangladesh 3-168 after 32. Please someone get a wicket!

I was going to say Luseno seems to bowl better with an older ball than a ripe cherry. Then Bashar hits him for four. I still think this is something Kenya need to look at. His second spell has so far only conceded 7 runs off 2 overs. interesting. We shall see how it continues to pan out. Bangladesh in cruise control on 3-162 after 31. Current partnership is now 103. Less than 4 an over and with wickets in hand. Not looking good for Kenya at all.

It might have been Luseno last over. Still not quite sure. Steve Tikolo has brought on Collins Obuya to replace Jimmy Kamande. Hopefully, he can get some turn and bounce out of the pitch. Bashar and Saleh get a single each off the first two balls. The rest of the over continues the same way. No dot balls at all, so doesn't look like he is posing too much of a problem.
Bangladesh looking strong on 3-156 with 20overs still to go. For the first time, the run rate required dips below 4 an over. Not good.

I'm not sure who bowled, but it only gave away a wide and a single. Better stuff from the Kenyans, let's hope they can keep up the pressure.

With Bangladesh taking an easy 5 runs from Jimmy Kamande, I wonder whether Tikolo will risk giving an over to Collins Obuya. He went for 8 off his only over last match, and that he has not yet bowled shows that the Kenyans are still not convinced he will get his old form back. Maybe it is time to take a bit of a risk, and see if he can get some turn to trouble the batsmen.

The current partnership is 81 runs, and is looking like being the one that may decide the match. Required run rate is still just above 4, but it is gradually dipping away.

9 runs came off the 26th over including a four bye. Steve Tikolo who is working so hard down the other end must be tearing his hair out. His problem id that with 25 overs remaining, only himself, Thomas Odoyo and Peter Ongondo have been economical. They have only 13 overs left between them leaving him 11 to fill with the more expensive bowlers. This game could well slip away unless Kenya can find a way to tie up Bangladesh or take a couple of wickets.

Another good over from the Kenyan captain, only going for 2. With him at one end, it might be an idea to bring one of the strike bowlers on at the other end to try for a wicket. Bangladesh 3-125 at the half way mark of their innings. At this stage, the money would definitely be on Bangladesh to successfully chase the target.

Again, Kamande gets hit for six runs as Rajin Saleh cruises to 51 with yet another boundary. His 50 has come off 66 balls, and includes 9 fours. Great batting, but time for Kenya to bring it to an end. If they don't this match could slip away all too quickly. Bangladesh 3-123 after 24.

Steve Tikolo leads by example: This is what I want guys. Great bowling, and just what Kenya need: . . . . . . !!!

Peter Ongondo had him for a duck last match, and Habibul Bashar seems to be intent on revenge off Kamande's bowling. Consecutive fours in the middle of the over take Bangladesh onto 117 off 23 overs. Kenya really need to put the screws on somehow here.

Only four singles from Steve Tikolo's last over. Better than boundaries, but with the required run rate only 4.3, every dot ball is to be treasured now.

Bangladesh seem good at leaving it to the last couple of balls. This time it was a two thenm a four, though this time, it is Bashar, the captain who makes the runs.

Steve Tikolo, as expected brings himself into the attack, but Saleh manages to get the last ball of the over away for a boundary for Bangladesh to take 6 off the over. 3-98 after 19. Kenya needing a wicket as Bangladesh near 100.

Again, it took leg byes to get him away initially. Peter Ongondo was unlucky to go for 4 that last over. Hopefully if he gets some more support down the other end, Kenya will get another wicket or two. I feel the only way we can win this match will ne to bowl out Bangladesh. 3-96 after 18.

Tony Suji was brutal with the bat easrlier on, but is feeling the effects of the same treatment as ghis third over goes for 13 including 3 fours. Rajin Saleh really enjoyed that piece of bowling, it is time that Suji got a break and someone else got brought in. Possibly either Tikolo himself, or Jimmy Kamande to try some spin. Bangladesh looking dangerous on 3-88 after 17.

A great over from Peter Ongondo. Only a leg bye off the second ball prevents it from being a maiden. Tony Suji need to follow suit and keep the pressure on the batsmen. Bangladesh are 3-75 after 16 overs. Run rate is 4.69, current required run rate is now 4.44. Close stuff at the moment if Kenya can keep a lid on it.

Bangladesh opener Rajin Saleh continues to plunder the bowling tokeep Bangladesh hopes very much alive. THis time, he takes two fours of Tony Suji's second over. It is not a good start for Kenya's fourth bowler. Hopefully Ongondo can add further to his tally at the other end.

Just as ordered a wicket from the ever reliable Peter Ongondo. Asraful, who was beginning to look dangerous departs caught Luseno for 10, and Bangladesh are 3-66 after 14 having scored 4 runs off the rest of the over.

Tony Suji's introduction as proved expensive going for 9 runs off his first over. Kenya desperately need a wicket to put the clamps on this chase.

Only a 2nd ball wide prevented Peter Ongondo registering a maiden in his second over. A good comeback after his first over. Peter has struck every match this year so far, if he can keep it tight and do that again tonight, he will really make an impact on the match. Bangladesh now 2-53 after 12.

A much better over from Thomas Odoyo to keep the pressure on Bangladesh. He needs to get rid of the no-balls, already he has almost given away an extra over, but on the whole is bowling very well. Always a man who gives his all for Kenya, tonight is no difference.

Kenya's first change bowler, Alfred Luseno continues to leak runs as Bangladesh maintain their scoring despite the loss of wickets. Asraful, the new batsman hit a 4 and a two off the last two balls to take Bangladesh to 2-50 after 10 overs. They are ahead on runrate, but may be concerned by the loss of wickets. Hopefully, Kenya can strike again.

Thomas Odoyo gave away a single off his second ball to give dangerman Aftab Ahmed the strike. Aftab hit it straight back to the bowler who took the catch. A huge wicket for Kenya. Dot balls the rest of the over mean that Bangladesh are wobbling a bit on 2-43 after 9.

After four balls, it was looking like a good over. dot, leg bye, dot dot. Unfortunately, the last two were sent racing to the boundary. 9 off the over. Bangladesh race to 1-42 after 8. That over certainly helped ease the run rate. Kenya in need of another wicket to keep the pressure on.

Other than a no-ball, this was a better one from Thomas Odoyo in that it did not concede a boundary. 4 came from it including the no-ball, the other three singles. Saleh moves to 9 and Ahmed to 1. Bangladesh 1-33 after 7. Run rate continues to hold at about that required.

The third ball of Luseno's third over made it look like Groundhog Day. After watching two, Nafees calmly despatched him the the boundary for 4. Then something new happened. Luseno took a wicket. Nafees, who has been the main aggressor is out caught Tikolo, and the youngster has his first ever ODI wicket. It has been a while coming, but let's hope it is the first of many. Luseno has been talked up as having great potential. This is the first time he has actually delivered anything. Bangladesh 1-29 after 6. Run rate is currently 4.8 - just above the asking rate. Aftab Ahmed is the next batsman in, and faces two dot balls to end the over.

They seem to be waiting for the bad ball, and punishing it. Odoyo gave away a wide off the first ball. Extras is something Kenya must keep to a minimum to have any hopes in this match. 6 off the over, and Bangladesh move to 0-25 after 5 overs. A very different start from the Kenyan innings!

I have said it before that I don't mind a bowler giving away a few runs if he takes wickets. Alfred Luseno needs to start taking wickets if this experiment of opening with him is to continue. His second over went for 8 runs including a 4 and 2 from Saleh who is opening with Nafees.

A four and a no ball spoilt an otherwise tight over by Thomas Odoyo. Bangladesh move on to 0-11 after 3 overs. Still below the asking run rate, but these are early days, and boundries before the batsmen get set is a bit of a worry. Hopefully Odoyo can repeat his efforts from the last match easrly overs and keep the Bangladesh openers tied up.

Bangladesh are off to a cautious start against Kenya. Odoyo opened the bowling, and only gave away one single from his first over. Luseno was chosen as the second opener, and has conceded 5 runs including a boundary off his first.
After 2 overs, Bangladesh are 0-6, and the run rate required is now 4.7.

Revised Score

Sorry for the confusion, Apparently the score reached was actually 9-232. something must have gone wrong with the live feed that I was revieving. I feel very happy to be wrong however.

Tikolo Shines as Kenya set 225

A magnificent 81 off 85 including 9 fours and a six from Captain Steve Tikolo helped Kenya set Bangladesh a target of 226 to win. It was a seesaw first innings which started tortuosly for the Kenyans as Bangladesh prevented either Maurice Ouma or David Obuya from really troubling the scorers. After this start, it was again left to Hitesh Modi and Steve Tikolo to right the ship, and they did just that with a 95 run partnership. Despite Tikolo and Modi setting the platform, Kenya were unable to capitalise, and some tight bowling by Bnagladesh, especially in the last two overs kept the target to less than 5 an over. While Tikolo deserves most of the credit for Kenya's total, Collins Obuya also did fantastically well to score an unbeaten 45 off 47 deliveries, and Tony Suji blasted a quickfire 30 off 25. To my mind Kenya put the foot down a little too late, especially as they finished with 3 wickets still in hand, but they can be proud of what they did achieve. More than anything, these last two matches have shown that the batsmen are starting to find form with the bat. Excellent news with less than a week to go before the Intercontinental Cup match against Holland. Is 225 defendable with our attack? Unlikely, but we have shown before that we have the ability to defend small targets, so we shall see. Our bowlers will have to be especially tight, and hope to knock over some early wickets.

Running Updates on Kenya vs Bangladesh 4th ODI

It is indeed Mortaza who bowls the final over. He only allows two to come from it, and Kenya can finish feeling that they have missed a really good chance fo post a serious total. As it is, they finish with 7-225. It is defendable if the bowlers can make some early breakthroughs, and can keep it tight, but will be a huge ask. Bangladesh only need 4.5 on over however, and going on the last three matches should not be too concerned. Let's hope that the Kenyan bowlers are on song today.
Painful to write, but Syed Rasel shows why his captain held him back to the end with a fantastic over under the circumstances. He only conceded a single off it, and Kenya now need something really special off the last over.
7-223. Likely Mortaza will be asked to bowl the last six balls.
Mashrafe Mortaza is bowling the 48th over. His first ball to Suji is put away, but doesn't quite reach the boundary. The batsmen run three. Next ball to Obuya is put away for 4. Next ball adds two more to the score. Exciting stuff in these lst few overs. Suji is on 30 off 24 balls, Obuya who is facing has made his way to 42 off 45. Great effort from both batsmen, just a little bit too late for my liking. Next ball, Mortaza strikes back. SUJI is out. Ongondo is the next man in. He goes to 3 straight away off his first ball. Obuya retains strike for the penultimate over with a single. 13 runs and a wicket off that over. Kenya are now 7-222 with just 12 balls remaining. Every run counts from now on in. At the moment, we are probably about 20 runs short of a winning total goinf on last match. Come on Pete and Collins!!!
At least there is that mini-milestone out of the way. A much better over from both batsmen. Suji single off the first ball, then two twos and a three from Obuya before Suji does what we have been waiting for the last half hour and belts Syed Rasel for six before retaining strike with a single. 15 off the over, and Kenya march on to 6-209. Three overs left, lets hope they can do the same with these as that last one!
Well if I was him I would be. He showed last match how these overs against Bangladesh need to be treated, but Obuya and Suji only manage 4 from the over. #$%*&(^#@!!!!! is all I have to say. Not Happy!
6 singles were all Kenya could manage off the final spell from Abdur Razzak. He finishes with 10 overs, 2 wickets for 51 runs. unfortunately, those two wickets came at a really bad time for Kenya, just as they were hoping to accelerate.
6-190 with 5 overs left.
A better over for Kenya, scoring a run off every ball. Obuya gets a single then Suji his first 4, then a leg bye and singles to complete the over. 6-184 after 44. Need to really get a wriggle on now.
Only two singles from the first five balls, then at least Obuya was able to get a 3 to give Kenya 5 from the over. They are now 6-175 after 43.
It took him three balls to get off strike, but when he did with a single, Obuya was able to take advantage and score his second boundary followed by a single to return Suji to strike. No more runs from the over, Kenya move to 6-170.
Obuya gets two off the second ball, then a single off the third to rotate strike. all well and good. Thomas Odoyo is caught next ball by Mashrafe Mortaza to give Razzak his first wicket. A dot ball later, Mishra follows him back to the pavilion for a duck, caught by Syed Rasel. Two wickets for Razzak from the over, and Bangladesh must be rejoicing. One has to feel for Mishra. He has been made to wait in the pavilion watching lesser batsmen frustrate him with their inability to score. I would put money on the fact that if he had come in instead of Collins Obuya, things would be a lot different at the moment. Kenya are now in a spot of bother, 6 down for only 164. There are still nine overs remaining, so some hope yet. I can't help but feel that Kenya's strange selection choices continue to make life harder than it should be.
Obuya gets a single off the first ball of Rafique's 8th over, and Odoyo followed suite to get off strike. The rest of the over only produced one run. Mishra and Ongondo must be almost chewing through their pads in frustration!
Kenya 4-161 after 40.
Only 10 overs left, and with 6 wickets in hand, Kenya need to open the shoulders and start having a real go. If you are not able to score freely, get out swinging. There is no point Kenya finishing with wickets in hand if the total is not high enough to defend.
Abdur Razzak keeps the pressure on Collins Obuya with four consecutive dot balls then a wide. Collins is finally able to squeeze a run out of the penultimate ball to give Odoyo his first look at the bowling. I feel for Mishra again being left to languish down the order. Hopefully, he will be given a chance to open against Holland. for a team struggling, Kenya do not seem to be trying enough different options for my liking.
4-158 after 39. Come ON boys. Time to swing the shoulders.
It is not hard to see why so many Bangladeshi supporters rate Mohammad Rafique as their best bowler. He caused Kenya all sorts of difficulties last match, and has now produced four dot balls to lure Steve Tikolo into belting him for six of the fifth. Unfortunately, it all came unstuck for the skipper next ball as he was given out LBW for a much needed 81 off 85. A great captain's knock, just a shame that it was ended just when he seemed to be in full flight. Hopefully, Kenya can bounce back from this and still go on to a big total. Congratulations Steve - good to see you are back in form again.
Kenya 4-156 after 38.
Bangladesh have brought Mashrafe Mortaza back into the attack in an effort to get more wickets. His first ball is a single, then he follows up with consecutive wides. Thanks very much say Kenya, but are only able to take 3 more singles off the rest of the over. 6 from it, and Kenya are now 3-150 with 13 overs remaining. Time to start on the launch towards a big score. Tikolo is on 75, and needs to go on to make his century and more for Kenya now.
Rana only gave away four runs off his fourth over for Kenya to take the score to 3-144 after 36. Kenya need to try to find the boundary regularly as the innings gets into its latter stages.
After removing Modi, Rafique was probably feeling pretty happy with himself. Tikolo however took 2 off his first ball, then 3 off his second to give Obuya the strike. Rafique replied with a dot ball before Collins found the boundary for the first time followed by a 2, then a single to retain strike. Great over from Kenya.
3-140 after 35. This could potentially be a very good score for Kenya if they can keep that up.
Collins Obuya managed to get off the mark straight away with a single, then he and Tikolo rotated the strike taking a total of Rana's third over.
Steve Tikolo and Hitesh Modi put on a valuable 95 runs off exactly 20 overs intheir partnership, a run rate of 4.75. While Tikolo was the main aggressor, Modi did his support job well, and so long as the batsmen to come can play their part, Kenya should still be able to finish with a decent total.
As Rafique continues to Tikolo (dot, then two), thoughts turn to Kenya's next batsman in. The three likely options are Thomas Odoyo, Tanmay Mishra and Peter Ongondo. After last match, it might be worth Ongondo coming in, then Mishra. Peter has shown the ability to belt the Bangladeshi's around, and Mishra has been consistent. It might be in Kenya's best interests for these two to come in nest should either Tikolo or Modi fall. Rafique's third ball is a dot, then Tikolo gets a single. Well, now we shall see my question answered. Modi goes for a patient 35 caught Rajin Saleh off Rafique's bowling. Collins Obuya is the next man in. Dot off the last ball. This seems a very strange choice to me when both Mishra and Ongondo are still to come.
Kenya 3-123 off 33
Taking a leaf from Rafique, Rana bowled much better in his second over restricting the Kenyans to only 2 runs from it. They need to avoid getting bogged down here. Rather it is the stage of the innings where the run rate has to be steadily increased towards the last ten overs. As long as we still have wickets inhand at that stage, we can launch towards a better target for our bowlers to defend.
Kenya 2-120 after 32. Tikolo 60 off 68, Modi 35 off 57.
A tighter over by Mohammed Rafique conceeding only four, keeps the shackles on Kenya. 2-118 after 31.
It has been a long time since the last one, but Hitesh Modi must have been feeling inspired after watching Steve reach his half Century. He hit a four off Manjural Islam Rana's second ball, then rotated singles with his captain for Kenya to take 8 off the over. Two consecutive good overs for Kenya, much more like it!
2-114 off 30
Steve Tikolo shows his true class. He took a single off the first ball to take him to 56, then when Hitesh Modi put him back on strike with the third ball, he was all set. Rafique would have been feeling confident as the fourth ball was a dot, then Tikolo opened his shoulders and blazed consecutive fours off the last two balls. 10 off the over, and Kenya move past 100 runs as well to 2-106 at the end of the 29th over. A great innings so far from Tikolo, his 54 have come from just 61 balls at a strike rate of 88. He has hit 9 boundaries along the way, and is showing why Kenya rate him so highly. Lets hope he can keep it up!
Abdur Razzak continues to bowl, but this time Kenya are not able to cash in, only scoring 4 singles off his sixth over. Tikolo is now only 4 off his fifty. Lets hope he can get past that milestone and continue on. Kenya needs him to stay at the crease to build a competetive target.
2-96 after 28.
A bowling change by Bangladesh bringing on their best bowler, and man of the match from game three. The first three balls are dots, then Modi and Tikolo take singles off the next three. Kenya will be wary of Rafique after his match winning efforts last match.
Kenya 2-92 after 27.
I'm surprised Bangladesh haven't made a bowling change yet. Modi and Tikolo scored singles off the first 3 balls of Razzak's 5th over, before Tikolo cashed in with his 7th boundary. Two more singles of the last two balls give Kenya 9 off the over - the best yet.
It is now 2-89, tikolo is on 42 off 53, and Modi goes past 20, he is now 22 off 36. Tikolo has done well to keep the majority of the strike in this partnership.
Hitesh Modi managed a single off the first ball, but that was the only run Kenya managed to get off Hossain's 7th over. At the half way stage, Kenya are 2-80 and still have a huge amount of work to do if they are to get to a defendable total.
It looked like it was going to be a tough battle between Razzak and Modi this over: Dot, two, dot, dot. Then Modi got him away for a single giving Tikolo one ball from the over to face. As he dealt with Shahadat's last, ball, Tikolo hits it for 4. Seven off the over, and that brings up the 50 run partnership. A good fightback by Kenya, but still a long way to go. The current partnership has lasted for 11.1overs and has been at a run rate of 4.4
Kenya 2-79 off 24 overs.
Both batsmen get a single off the first balls they face, then Shahadat keeps Tikolo pinned down for three before the Kenyan Captain clobbers him to the boundary to relieve the pressure somewhat. 6 runs off the over. Tikolo moves to 32, Kenya are 2-72 after 23.
A good comeback by the bowler after his last over. Modi gets a single off the first ball, but Tikolo os kept pinned down. He finally manages to get one away off the last ball. Only 2 off the over, not a good one for Kenya that.
2-66 off 22. Richie would love saying that one!
This is what the openers needed to do. Good bowling meant boundaries were not an option, but four singles in the over keep the scoreboard ticking over, and stop the pressure building up. I hope Obuya and Ouma are taking note in the pavilion.
Kenya 2-64 off 21.
Modi gets Razzak away for a single off the first ball, then Tikolo hits the third one for 4, his 4th boundary. 2 off the 5th ball, then a single to retain strike move the Kenyan captain onto 24, and Kenya on to 2 - 60 after the 20th over. 8 runs came off that over, easily Kenya's best so far. Lets hope they can continue to build.
Thank the lord for Mr Extras. Shahadat gifts Kenya another wide off his first ball. They need every one they can get. Three runs come off the rest of the over, all singles. Tikolo moves to 17, Modi finally into double figures is now on 11 from 23. Kenya are 2- 52 after 19.
Just to prove me wrong, Bangladesh give Rasel a break, and bring Abdur Razzak into the attack with his slow left armers. First ball is a dot, then Modi gets a single. Next ball is dealt with by Tikolo to give him his 3rd boundary. He moves to 16. Razzak keeps it tight the rest of the over, and no more runs come from it.
Kenya now 2-49 after 18.
Current partnership is now 21 runs at 4 an over. Not great, but a hell of a load better than the openers managed!
Extras move to 2 as the first ball goes for a wide. Shahadat rallies, and the next six are dot balls. I hope Tikolo does not get frustrated and do something silly. If it had not been for the wide, that would have been Bangladesh's 5th Maiden!
Tikolo waited for the bad ball, then despatched it to the boundary, as well as adding a single of the last ball of the over. He moves to 12 off 13. Bangladesh look like they intend to bowl out Rasel, and why not - he has so far only conceeded 21 runs off 8 overs including 3 maidens. Worth noting though that 11 of those runs have come since Tikolo came to the crease.
Kenya 2-42 after 16.
Three dot balls to start his second over before Modi manages to get him away for a single. Tikolo does better, one dot ball, then a single off the last ball to keep the strike. Hossain has so far bowled 2 overs for 1 wicket and 7 runs.
Kenya 2-37 after the first 15 overs. If we keep this up, we might scrape to 120 - whehey!
Syed Rasel continues, and initially keeps Tikolo pinned down. The captain manages to get a single off the third ball, then Modi a single off the fifth. Tikolo hits his first boundary off the last ball of the over. Lets hope he can have a long innings today! Kenya 2-35 after 14. Current partnership is 9 runs.
LBW to Shahadat. Again, I am not surprised. He has been totally dominated by the bowlers so far, but to be fair, at least his 16 runs amount to more than Kennedy acieved in his three innings. Tikolo comes to the crease, and promptly gets it away for a single. If ever Kenya need him to come up with a captain's innings it is today. Kenya 2 - 29 after 13 overs.
Mortaza is replaced by shahadat Hossain. Not a bowler Kenya have had the opportunity to see much of. Two dot balls, then Ouma finally gets it away to the boundary for his first 4 of the match. Shahadat replies with a dot ball. Roger Harper should make the entire top order sit down and write lines:
"I will learn how to rotate the strike." Over and over until they have it memorised.
Well at least Modi looks like he means business. First ball of Rasel's 6th over goes to the boundary. Its followed by, you guessed it, a dot ball. Then a string of 4 more to complete the over. I think I need a beer!
Not surprising really considering the pressure that the bowlers have been exerting. David Obuya finally capitulates to Mortaza with the first ball of his 6th over, adjudged LBW for 6 runs off 26 deliveries. Oh dear, what a dismal start for the visitors. He is replaced at the crease by Hitesh Modi who manages a run off the penultimate ball to open his scoring.
W . . . 1 .
They just can't seem to get him away at all. Another maiden. A very slow start from Kenya. A run rate of less than 2 on over so far! This has really got to change. It will be putting a lot of unneccessary pressure on the batsmen to follow.
. . . . . .
Ouma takes two twos and a single off the last three balls from Mortaza's 5th over to retain the strike. Kenya now 0-19 after 9 overs. A better over from the Kenyan opener who moves on to 12 from 27 balls faced.
Mortaza's over . . . 2 2 1
Another maiden by Rasel, and only 1 conceeded by Mortaza. Kenya's players need to learn how to take the qick singles and 2s to keep the scoreboard ticking along. Kenya 0-14 after 8 overs.
A maided over for each of Rasel and Mortaza. Not what Kenya need, but at least no wickets yet. Pressure will start to mount though unless they can make some runs.
Ouma moves to 7 off 11, while Obuya adds 1 run from the 3 he faced. It is still very early days, but the current run rate sits at 3.25. Mortaza has conceeded 7, Rasel, 6. there has been one extra.
Kenya have won the toss at Fatullah and decided to bat. Kennedy Otieno, who has so far had a nightmare tour with the bat has been relegated to sub as Kenya open with his brother David Obuya and Maurrice Ouma. After two overs, Ouma is on 2 off 2, while Obuya is 5 off 10. Mashrafe Mortaza ans Syed Rasel as expected open the bowling for Bangladesh and have each conceeded 4 off their first overs.

Your Votes for best player in Game 1

Well, voting has now closed for your selection of Best player against Bangladesh in game 1. The results were pretty emphatic, with Tanmay Mishra scooping a whopping 60% of the votes. The second and third places were harder fought with Tony Suji 12% just edging out Thomas Odoyo for second best performance as voted by you. Other players to receive votes were Martin Suji 8%, Steve Tikolo 6%, Peter Ongondo 2%, Hitesh Modi and Alfred Luseno 1%.
This means that primary points toward the awards table are awarded as follows:
3 Points: Tanmay Mishra, 2 Points: Tony Suji, 1 point: Thomas Odoyo.
Thanks to all who voted.

Nation Article Worth Reading.

Regular visitors to the site will know my feelings on the deposed Kenya Cricket Association, and their 'running' of cricket in Kenya. For those who would like to see the other side of the coin, there is a very interesting article in today's Nation entitled How Kenyan Cricket can return to the Glory days written by Sulubu Tuva. I have linked to the sports page, as you need to have registered to actually read the article, but it is worthwhile doing so. There are some good points made, but I can't agree with the portrayal of Ghai as a hero figure at all. Here is my reply, which I also emailed to the author. I would welcome your thoughts, and if I get a reply from the Nation, I will post on that as well:

An interesting article, especially since you paint Ghai as the hero of Kenyan Cricket. I wonder why no mention was made of the mismanagement in the last few years of his tenure. The reason Kenya is not winning in Bangladesh is twofold. One: we have hardly played any international cricket since the World Cup. Two: the KCA failed in its commitment to bringing through the youth players.
Yes it was greed that brought down Kenyan cricket, but I think you need to take a closer look at who the greedy parties were, and ask Ghai why sponsors deserted what could have been Kenya's leading team sport. We had a great platform to build on after the success of 2003. Blame for failing to build on that should lie squarely on the shoulders of those running cricket at the time. Cricket Kenya have achieved more in the last three months that the KCA did in their last three years. I don't think we should look to the people who nearly brought Kenyan cricket to its knees as an example of how to take the game forward.
Progress lies in building the grassroots support of the game - both the player base and supporter base, and in playing more international matches. So far, a lot of work has been done, but there is still a long way to go. It will take time for Kenya to make up the ground it lost, but I believe we will do it. Cricket Kenya should be commended for their efforts so far, and the media would serve cricket and Kenya better by encouraging people to support the game rather than dwelling in what might have been. Previews of the two matches against Holland, and reports on the domestic game would be a really good place to start.
If you really want to help the game, encourage people to watch it and play it. I have never seen a country with so much latent talent. How great a feeling will it be to look back in ten years when Kenya are winning Test matches and say 'I played my part in making this happen.'? You write very well and have the forum for people to listen. I urge you to use these gifts and help take the game forward. I look forward to reading more of your writing, and would be keen to correspond on any matters cricket...
Watch this space.

Kenya 'A' team for Holland Announced

Kenya's 'A' team to take on Holland on Sunday has been realeased. Seven of the Nairobi Clubs are represented, but sadly no players from the coast. This is surprising as both Amit Bhudia and Rashmi Ghami were included in the original 30 man Kenya squad at the beginning of the year. I believe that it would have given a great boost to players at the coast had one or two of them been given a chance. If Kenyan cricket is to have a serious future, we must bring on the talent from centres other than Nairobi. Both the above players have plenty of skill, and Amit certainly has proved his quality in the two matches he has played for Kenya. It will be in everyone's interests for him to be given a proper chance.
Of those players selected, there is still a huge amount of potential. Moses Otienio looks to be a bowler capable of taking wickets, and Hafeez Manji has shown his quality in the domestic league as well. As I have said before, with the senior team not performing to its full potential, Sunday will be a great chance for aspirants to the national side to show what they can do against International opposition. All the best to the youngsters playing, and to those reading this in Nairobi - go and give them your support. Many of these players are the future of Kenyan cricket; this is a great chance to watch them make their mark. In five years time when they are setting the World alight, you will be able to say "I was there when he took his maiden First class wicket, or scored his maiden century".
Kenya 'A' Team Squad:
  1. Brijal Patel (Aga Khan Sports Centre) CAPTAIN
  2. Alex Obanda (Kongonis)
  3. Shashank Maheshari [Sir Ali Muslim Club]
  4. Malhar Patel (Kanbis)
  5. Ashish Karia (Aga Khan Sports Centre)
  6. Abdul [Sir Ali Muslim Club]
  7. Prashanth Srinivas (Nairobi Gymkhana)
  8. Nehemiah Odhiambo (Swamibapa)
  9. Rajesh Bhudia (Kanbis)
  10. Hafeez Manji (Aga Khan Sports Centre)
  11. Moses Otieno (Kongonis)
  12. Timothy Muange (Swamibapa)
  13. Shiraz Ali [Sir Ali Muslim Club]

Friday, March 24, 2006

Mixed Results For Kenya's Associate Rivals.

It is increasingly looking as though rain will decide the eighth place in the Intercontinental Cup, with the first day's play between Namibia and Nepal washed out in Windhoek. If the match goes ahead, then the team earning most bonus points will go through unless there is an outright winner. If it is rained out, then Namibia will qualify as the highest ranked of the two sides. Not an ideal start to the competition.
Elsewhere, Kenya's other Associate rivals are having mixed results in their warm up games. Scotland have just completed a tour of the West Indies, and though they did manage to register one win over Barbados, lost five out of their six matches. For Scotland though, this is an out of season tour, and will be used largely to gain experience and an understanding of the rigours of touring. By the time they come to play Kenya at the beginning of next year, they will have also played nine matches in the English domestic league, and will be a much more polished outfit.
Holland, Kenya's next opponents arrive in Nairobi to play an One Day match against Kenya 'A' on Sunday, and then the four day Intercontinental Cup match starting on Wednesday 29th. The Dutch arrive fresh from a partially successful tour of South Africa where they did manage to secure two 5 wicket wins against provincial sides, though also suffered some heavy losses. Like Kenya, Holland seem to revolve around their bowling, and have had troubles with the top order failing. It will be very interesting to see how they perform against Kenya 'A', and with the recent performances of the senior side, some of the Kenyan players in that match will be out to impress the selectors as well. Kenya badly needs to find a strong player to bolster it's top order, as well as another bowler or two, and Sunday is the perfect opportunity for the youngsters to show what they can do.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kenya Regain Respectability Despite Loss

In the end, the ICC rankings and record books will simply record it as the win that clinched Bangladesh the series, and a place in the Champions Trophy. For Kenya, I think it was much more than that. I hope history proves me right when I say it was the turning of the corner for us. For the first time this series, the Kenyan bowlers actually got to the opposition batsmen. Not only that, they bowled them out for 231 with overs still remaining.
Peter Ongondo did exactly as asked, and took wickets while keeping the runs conceded against him to less than 6 an over. Peter now has 17 wickets from 7 outings this year, and one would put money on him adding to this haul on Saturday. He is one of the players that seems to improve every time he picks up the ball, and surely it will not be that long before he takes 5 in an innings. Thomas Odoyo again bowled his heart out, and was this time rewarded with 2 wickets, including the early breakthrough that Kenya have so desperately needed. Kenya's back up bowlers also showed great improvement. Steve Tikolo finished with 3 wickets for 31 off his nine overs, and Jimmy Kamande finished with a tidy 1 for 40 off ten. Not so good were Collins Obuya and Kalpesh Patel who both went for 8 an over, but on the whole, this was a vastly improved performance from Kenya with the ball. While everyone chipped in, the Pick of the bowling had to be Peter Ongondo's 3 wickets to remove the middle order. I don't know how fit Peter is, but if he were up to it, he would be a good choice to bowl right through when he is taking wickets. He only bowled 8 overs this match, and had he completed his ten could well have finished up with more scalps. Well done the bowlers - a great effort, especially considering the last match.
231 should have been a chaseable score, and thanks to the lusty hitting of Peter Ongondo towards the end, it nearly turned out to be within Kenya's grasp. As it was, we were again let down by our top order. Kennedy Otieno's bad run continued as Mashrafe Mortaza dismissed both him and his brother David lbw to have Kenya reeling at 2-27. Tikolo and Modi steadied the ship briefly, but disaster struck when Razzak caught Tikolo off his own bowling. Modi followed shortly after, and then Odoyo to bring the score to 5 - 85. It was not looking good for Kenya, but out of the blue Collins Obuya and Tanmay Mishra set about rebuilding the innings. They built a partnership of 71 before Collins was adjudged lbw to Mohammad Rafique for 45. Kenya still had a mountain to climb in terms of run rate, but with Mishra solid at one end, Peter Ongondo came in and set about trying to win the match. As long as he was at the crease, one felt Kenya were in with a chance. In the end it was not to be, and he was uprooted by Rafique, but he had got Kenya to within sniffing distance. 7 -207, and a couple of quick boundaries would have seen Kenya in with a chance, but Bangladesh proved they are no longer chokers as they finished off the tail. Mishra again short of his fifty, this time by only two runs. He may be only 19, but he needs to stand up in the team meeting and demand to be moved up the order. His talent is too great to waste batting at 7. Had he been at 3, he probably would have 2 fifties for the series, and Kenya would have got a lot closer to winning tonight. As it was, we got within 20 runs before running out of wickets and overs in that order, but only just. Like the bowling, there are both bright points and worries with this batting performance. Bright points are, in my order of preference: Peter Ongondo's heroic effort to try and win us the match. Tanmay Mishra's continued improvement. Collins Obuya making up for his lack of bowling penetration. Hitesh Modi should probably get a mention too for helping steady the innings. A gutsy effort from the team, but let down by the experienced players who should be leading the way. Let's hope for everyone's sake that Tikolo, Otieno and Odoyo find their form for Saturday.
All in all, I felt that today Kenya were able to leave the field with their heads held high, despite the loss. Again it is difficult to allocate the points, but at least this time because there were several worthy performers. My points are as follows: 3 points: Peter Ongondo for his great spell to dismiss the Bangladeshi dangermen, and for his fighting 27 off 17. He is rapidly developing into one of Kenya's key players.
2 points: Tanmay Mishra for again being Kenya's highest scoring batsman. I nearly gave these points to Tikolo for his bowling, and considered Collins Obuya for his batting. In the end, I decided that they were let down by the discipline they were picked for, so 1 point each instead. Don't forget to put in your vote ON THE RED POLL.

Scorecard (cricinfo)

Intercontinental Cup 2006 Starts Today

While Kenya are trying to regain some respectability on the International stage today, two of the other Associates, Namibia and Nepal do battle in Windhoek to determine who takes the eighth spot in the Intercontinental Cup competition proper.

Kenya are due to host Holland in the first pool match when they return from Bangladesh. This year's format has the length of the games increased to four days rather than three, and the pools are no longer based on region, but on seeding.
Take a look at the ICC article for a full story.

Coverage Kenya vs. Bangladesh 3rd ODI 23/03/06

A reminder of the sites to look at for those looking for live feed. I will again be at work during the match, so will not be able to comment on it until after it is all over.

Suggested sites for those looking for live feed are:
Bangladesh Live
Tiger Cricket
Bangla Cricket

What Chance Of A Kenyan Revival in 3rd ODI?

For any fan of Kenyan cricket, the last two matches have been painful to watch. In the first one, we lost the toss, and seemed incapable to stop the flow of runs as Bangladesh romped their way to their first ever score of 300. In reply, we were bundled out for a mere 170. Gutsy batting by Tony Suji and Tanmay Mishra avoided more serious embarrassment. In game 2, we won the toss, and made the right decision to bat going on the pitch. Trouble was, with half the team affected by the flu, and our talisman and captain missing, our batsmen were unable to make the most of the conditions. Three players did manage to get to 30 odd, Mishra (again), Modi and David Obuya. None however managed to go on to turn their start into the big innings Kenya so badly need. In return, Bangladesh took less than half the overs, and only one wicket to knock off the runs. Not once in the series so far, have we put Bangladesh under any sort of pressure. Not only are our batsmen failing to make runs, our bowlers are failing to take wickets. In two matches, we have picked up a total of eight wickets, and three of those have been run outs. For Kenya to stand any chance of winning a match against any of the Full members bar Zimbabwe, if they retain the status, there has to be a dramatic change. Will it happen this tour? I believe that I am one of the biggest optimists around concerning Kenyan Cricket, and I would say it looks extremely unlikely.

So far, the only bowlers to have even remotely troubled the opposition have been Thomas Odoyo, who could perhaps consider himself unfortunate not to have more than one wicket, and Peter Ongondo. Ongondo is definitely an improving bowler. So far this year, he has managed to take a wicket in every match Kenya have played - twice when all the other bowlers have failed to do so. To be really effective though, he needs to learn how to stifle the runs as well. Wickets are great, but going for 7 an over is not. If Odoyo starts to take wickets and Ongondo to restrict runs, both of which are not too far away, we will have our opening bowlers. A big problem is who comes in as the back up. Martin Suji looked a long way off his best last match, but was one of those who were ill, so deserves a second chance to defend his place. Of the others, Kalpesh Patel looks the most likely to be of use. He only bowled two overs - one for a maiden, and the second conceding 10 runs. Not great, but a glimpse of potential, and enough surely to earn him a place. Luseno is the other option, but has been expensive without taking wickets, and as much as I would like to see him succeed, maybe it is time for Patel to get a decent run instead. As for the spinners, we just have to hope that Tikolo is well enough to play, and bowl his ten overs. Collins Obuya's return to International cricket was not what he would have hoped for, going for ten an over, and Jimmy Kamande was not much better. Unless one of the spinners gets things together today, Kenya's selectors are going to have to look very seriously at a way to get Sheikh back into the side, whatever it takes, or bring in one of the youngsters.

On to the batsmen. This is the discipline in which Kenya have really let themselves down so far. We are a much better batting line up than the 160 and 170 scores would suggest. Both Kennedy Otieno and Steve Tikolo are capable of scoring centuries, and both are due to get runs. Tanmay Mishra has been the find of the year so far, but needs to step up and turn his starts into a big score. Twice recently he has fallen within sight of his fifty, and once he gets that monkey off his back he will go on to great things. Ideally, he should bat higher up the order so that he has one of the more experienced players with him to calm his nerves and get him past this milestone. Thomas Odoyo and Hitesh Modi are both capable players, and again are just a step away from showing what they can do. Toni Suji has proved himself a battler, and should be able to prop up the tail with Jimmy Kamande and Kalpesh Patel should things again go pear shaped for the top order. These three are useful all rounders, and should be used as such. To my mind, the team has so far fallen between 100 and 120 runs short of what they are capable of. If they can rise to their potential, there is no reason that we cannot be at least competitive against Bangladesh today. A lot of Ifs need to become realities for it to happen, but there is still a chance for Kenya to redeem themselves. All the best to the boys in their efforts to achieve this.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Nakuru - Showing Hope For The Future

Thanks to those of you who have emailed me with questions on cricket in Nakuru. I put them to Shailesh who was able to inform me of the following:

1. The mean age of most teams is approximately 25, though there are one or two teams where the mean age is around 19.
2. The standards of cricket in Nakuru are approximately those of upper second division/lower first division teams in Nairobi or Mombasa. This is partly the case as games are played on matting wickets and not turf.
3. Yes there are indigenous players around - you may have noticed Marvin who top scored for Akshar B in the first game. There are many that come to practice, and when they mature we slot them in.

It is with regret that we note that when Nakuru had started the Youth Indigenous school development program, approximately 2 years back, the previous regime didn't encourage the program for reasons best known to themselves. We are confident now that with the senior's league running smoothly, we will be able to again kick-start the youth development with the help of the national body.

We have some genuine match winners in Rift Valley who can really turn on the game, as well as a couple of great all-rounders in Western Kenya.
In future, once we have completed the provincial set up, we will be able to push the best players to Nairobi to play in the Main League. We already have a couple of fast bowlers who can trouble even the best players in the Nairobi.

Cricket Set To Resume At The Coast

Kenya's Coast cricketers are due back in action this Sunday when the Mulji Devraj & Bros sponsored Twebty-20 tournament gets underway. While I am not entirely clear on the details of the pools, and the current standings (I suspect that some games may already have been played), it is great to see cricket being played again at the coast, and a sponsor getting on board. Mulji Devraj & Bros are a prominent building construction company in Mombasa, and all credit to them for supporting the cricket.
Three matches are scheduled for this weekend with the matches due to start at 2:00pm on Sunday:
Jaffery Sports Club host a Coast Development side.
Burhani Sports Club visit Mombasa Sports Club.
Coast Gymkhana take on a Coast Cricket Association Select team at home.
No being up to date on the current strengths of the sides, it is hard to make a prediction, but based on the traditional strengths of the sides, I would pick Jaffery and MSC to win their matches. No idea at all on the third one.
There are two more weekends of preliminary matches before the semi finals on Sunday April 9th, and then the finals on Saturday 22nd.
It is great to see cricket being played in all three major centres at the moment.
All we need now is for a National league to be put in place, for both the long and short versions of the game. With the long version of the game (3 or 4 days), I would like to see combined sides from each province make up a league similar to the Australian state system. On current strengths, I see Nairobi fielding four teams, Mombasa two, and Rift Valley/Nakuru one. These could be reassesed as other provinces grow in strength. My suggestion, going off the NPCA Main League final standings would be that Nairobi's teams be picked from the best players in each of 4 pools:
Pool 'A': Kanbis, Premier Club, Ruaraka, Parklands.
Pool 'B': Swamibapa, Kongonis, Nbi Institute, Nbi Nookers, Golden XI.
Pool 'C': Nbi Jaffery, Sir Ali, Ngara, Stray Lions, Krishna.
Pool 'D': Aga Khan, Nbi Gymkhana, SCLYL, Quitbis, Simba Union.
Coast teams, I would pool as follows:
Pool 'E': Msa Jaffery, Cst Development, Cst Gynkhana, Siri Guru Singh Sabha.
Pool 'F': Msa Sports Club, Burhani S.C, SCL, CCA Select.
With Rift Valley fielding their best side, this should lead to a fairly competetive tournament, and give the players more exposure to the longer form of the game.
Each squad should have 15 players, and matches would be played on a home and away basis. Cricket Kenya would however have to help Nakuru put in a turf wicket for them to host matches.
I think the National One Day League should remain club based on the whole, with several divisions operating on a promotion/relegation system. It would probably make sense for some teams to combine for strength. Assuming 8 teams to a league, I would split them up as follows:
Division 1:
Top 5 from Nairobi, Top 2 from Mombasa, Nakuru 'A' (combination team).
Div 2:
Next 5 Nbi, Next 2 Msa, Nakuru 'B', and so on.
The exact make up could be worked out more accurately, but it wouldn't take long before the leagues shook themselves out in terms of good teams rising to the top. I would have the bottom team from a division automatically relegated, and the top team of the next division automatically promoted, but the second botton team play off against the second placed team from the division below, with the winner joining/staying in the higher division.
If this is too expensive for the clubs to manage, then the alternative would be to use the same set up as the longer version, but with each pool putting forward two teams. Again, the league should be played on a home and away basis.
These are only my ideas - I'm sure the think tank at Cricket Kenya wil be able to come up with plenty of others, but the sooner a National competition can be set up, the sooner we will see players from different areas step up to strengthen the national team. At the moment, there may be several who are good enough, but because they are not playing against the other provinces regularly, they are not getting the chance to prove it. it is easy at the moment for example to dismiss the better players from the coast with the argument that the competition there is not as strong as Nairobi. If however the coast players are playing the Nairobi players frequently, and doing well, it will be much harder for them to be overlooked. Standards will also improve nationally as the best players get to play each other, especially in the 3 day or 4 day format. I look forward to the announcement by Cricket Kenya that a national competition has been arranged, a sponsor has been found for it, and it is all systems go.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Kenya Now Have An Official Ranking

Well the good news is that Kenya are now officially ranked in the LG ICC One Day Championship. After the two recent defeats in Bangladesh, we are currently ranked 11th with 18 points. To avoid dropping points, We need to win at least one of the next two matches against Bangladesh, and to qualify for the last place in the Champions Trophy, we would need to win both. The likelihood of this happening, is at the moment somewhere between Buckley's and none, but as Terry Pratchett points out so often in his Discworld series, often the million to one chance is the most likely to come about. I just hope that the odds are not 999 99:1 instead!

Realistically, Kenya should not be worrying about the Champions Trophy. What we need to concentrate on are the baby steps. Our batsmen need to find their timing, and someone needs to record a big score or two in the last couple of matches. Our bowlers need to find their line and length, and a way to restrict Bangladesh's free scoring. Someone other than Ongondo needs to take wickets, and several of them. Above all, Harper and Tikolo (if he is well enough) need to resurrect some self-belief in the side. We used to be known for our fighting spirit, something I feel has been in short supply this tour. I know it is there - it just needs to be coaxed out. If not, I am worried not just about the next two ODIs, but the Intercontinental match against Holland as well. Come on lads - we all know you can play better. Prove us right!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Flu and Bangladesh hit Kenya for six

It was not what we needed after the belting we got in the first match. From a squad of fourteen, five players were hit by a viral infection in the lead up to today's game. Worst affected was Captain Steve Tikolo, who was unable even to make it to the ground to watch the carnage. Instead he had to remain in his hotel room under the eye of a local doctor. Other players who were affected were Thomas Odoyo, Martin Suji, Hitesh Modi and Kalpesh Patel. Even with all of our players in top health, this match was going to be tough. With almost half the team incapacitated to varying extents, the nightmare that unfolded was not entirely unexpected.
Those players who took to the field did their best, but were outclassed by a Bangladesh squad who are gaining in confidence every time they pick up a bat or ball. Syed Rasel again decemated the top order before a brief fightback by Modi and David Obuya, who both scored 30. It did not last long however, and again it was Tanmay Mishra's resistance that saved Kenya worse embarrasment. When he perished, run out for 33, it was about all over for Kenya.
161 was never going to be even close to a competetive target on what was actually a decent pitch for batting, and Bangladesh knocked off the runs with the loss of only one wicket; Shahriar Nafees caught by collins Obuya off the bowling of Peter Ongondo. Again Thomas Odoyo laboured hard, and kept his bowling tight, but Kenya needed much more firepower in the armoury than was available. An easy stroll to victory for Bangladesh.
Last match, I managed to salvage a couple of bright moments to give Kenya hope. This match, it is a bit harder, but there are still a couple of positives. One is Tanmay Mishra. He has top scored for Kenya in both matches, and is one of the few players who looks to be improving every time he plays. I can't help but feel that if he were used further up the order, he would go a long way to solving one of Kenya's main problems. I also think that should he be promoted in the order, his first big score is only just around the corner. Thomas Odoyo again bowled well - by far the least expensive of the bowlers, and Hitesh Modi at least made a decent start. Both were affected by the virus, so can be judged to have battled well in the circumstances. Peter Ongondo again got a wicket - he has done so in every match Kenya have played this year.
Not a lot to go on, but at this stage I think that everything positive helps. It is hard to award points for players in this match, but to keep things positive, Modi and Mishra get 2 points, Odoyo and David Obuya 1 each.
Kenya now have two days in which to work out how to regain some respectability. Hopefully, the ill players will get well soon, and Roger Harper will be able to come up with something to stop the rot. Maybe Amit Bhudia could be flown out for the next two matches to strengthen the batting. From here on, this tour can only get better.

Coverage of Kenya vs Bangladesh 2nd ODI

As I will again be at work during the match, I will not be able to comment on it as it unfolds.

Suggested sites for those looking for live feed are:

Bangladesh Live - had live video feed of the first ODI
Tiger Cricket - should also have live feed.
ECB - I couldn't access this from work, but could from home.
BBC - This is what I used at work last match (Not allowed video unfortunately) Updated every couple of overs.
Cricinfo - A last resort. They don't seem to be too fussed about this series.
Bangla Cricket - will also have a match thread running.

Happy viewing - lets hope for a better result this time from Kenya!

Kenyan born Dalrymple impresses for England 'A'

Jamie Dalrymple was born in Nairobi in 1981. I don't know a lot about him, and was only alerted to his existence by Horotashi from Big Cricket. It looks however that he is a class act. A shame that he has been selected for England 'A' - even if he did want to play for Kenya in the future, he may not be allowed to, although I confess I do not know the details of this rule. If he can, and wants to, Dalrymple could be a huge boost for Kenya in the next few years. He is only 25, so has plenty left in the tank. He is a quality batsmen with First class centuries and double centuries, and has taken 5 wickets in an innings. He would be a very useful addition to our side. Then there is the fact that he is a mzungu. Now one of the things I am exceedingly proud about is the racial make up of Kenya's team. In the past ten years or so, we have fielded players with backgrounds from both India and Pakistan as well as African players. If we could field a caucasian player as well, we could give the South Africans the bird along with the line "so who is the real rainbow nation". Kenya is a country of several races, and sport I believe is a great way to promote harmony within a nation. Cricket is already a great example of this, and I look forward to it continuing to lead the way.
Back to Dalrymple. He has performed well with England 'A' in the West Indies. Coincidentally, Joyce, Ireland's best player is also playing for the side. One would think that England are able to produce enough of their own quality players without continuing to skim the cream off the Associates. Both these players are probably now unavailable to the Associate sides, but I wonder how many other undiscovered talents Kenya could have out there? Let's hope we can find them before England does!

Eldoret Defend Low Score To Win In Nakuru

Eldoret yesterday defended a small total to win the second match of the Akshar League in Nakuru. Winning the toss, Eldoret decided to bat on a damp wicket, and may have initially regretted their decision as the swing of Kakul and Raju tore through their batting line up, both ending up with 4 wickets. Only 2 batsmen made it to double figures, Swapnesh who made 26, and Tajesh (23). Diamond will be ruing the 26 extras given away which took Eldoret's final total to 106 all out.
Diamond Team may have thought that they would overhaul the total with ease, but again the bowlers soon put paid to any thoughts of a decent score. Tajesh especially showed no mercy as he sent batsman after batsman back to the pavilion to take 6 wickets. Again, Extras was top scorer with 31 as Diamond crumbled to 74 all out, despite a spirited resistance from Vimal who finished on 17 not out.
Eldoret Innings:
Ritesh……………………………..Bowled Kakul……....03
Tejash……………………………..Ct Vimal B Kakul….23
Vishaal…………………………….Run Out…………...…05
Chetan…………………………….Bowled Vimal……....03
Swapnesh…………………………Ct Indra B Raju……26
Dev…………………………………LBW Kakul………......00
Snehal……………………………..Bowled Kakul……....02
Jogesh…………………………….Bowled Raju………...02
Bhavin……………………………..Bowled Raju………..01
Ravi………………………………..Ct Amit B Raju……..10
Nikuj……………………………….Not out…………….....05

Diamond Team Innings:
Kakul………………………………LBW Snehal…..……..03
Amit B……………………………..Tejash………………...00
Singh………………………………Ct Jogesh B Tejash..02
Ghanshyam……………………….B Tejash……………..06
Minesh……………………………..Run Out……………...02
Raju………………………………...Ct Dev B Snehal…...01
Bakul……………………………….B Bhavin……………...03
Vimal……………………………….Not out………………..17
Bhavesh…………………………Ct Bhavin B Tejash....09
Indravadan…………………………Ct & B Tejash…….00
Jiggar……………………………….LBW Tejash………...00

Points from the Match:
Eldoret: Batting: 1point, Bowling: 4 points, Win: 12 points, Total: 17 points
Diamond Team: Batting 0 points, Bowling: 4 points. Total: 4 points.

Standings after two matches:


Kenya Look To Improve In 2nd ODI

Thomas Odoyo summed it up perfectly when he said: "The first result was frustrating. It was not the real Kenya. We are hoping to perform better in the second."

Well today is their chance. On what will likely be a batting wicket in Kulna, the toss will no doubt play a part, and after 5 straight wins, it is about time that Habibul Bashar loses one. I feel Kenya's best chance will be to bat first, and set a defendable target. There has no doubt been some hard work done in the nets over the last two days, and hopefully timing should have improved for today's match.

It will be interesting to see what changes have been made to the line up for the match. Otieno's opening partner is still a problem. David Obuya earned some pretty harsh criticism from various sources after last match's effort, so maybe either Ouma or Mishra will get a chance to show what they can do with the position against this sort of attack. Tikolo will hopefully revert to 4. He is much more dangerous there, and is comfortable with the spot.

Surely Kalpesh Patel will get his long awaited start. We need to strengthen both our batting and bowling, and he has the potential to do both. He can hardly do worse than the players selected before him last match. I still have not heard why Collins Obuya was subbed out after only one over last match. Presumably, as he was brought on tour, he has found enough form to play. If this is so, he should be given his chance to prove it.

My line up for the second ODI:

  1. Kennedy Otieno - time to perform.
  2. Maurice Ouma - please, please, please show your talent and fill this spot!
  3. Tanmay Mishra - should get the chance to make this place his own.
  4. Steve Tikolo - needs to reassert himself with the bat.
  5. Thomas Odoyo - nearly there last match: bowled well for 8 overs, and almost got it together batting. Let's hope he does today.
  6. Kalpesh Patel - MUST be given a fair go!
  7. Tony Suji - gave respectability to Kenya last match. Could have been used with the ball as well maybe?
  8. Jimmy Kamande - his last couple of overs ruined otherwise respectable figures. Needs to keep it tight today.
  9. Collins Obuya - Back in form? Let's see!
  10. Martin Suji - Kenya needs him to find his miserly side again. Should open with Odoyo.
  11. Peter Ongondo. Chipped in with 2 wickets last game, but again, needs to find that line and length to keep down the runs.

Sub: Hitesh Modi - Possibly could get a run instead of Ouma, but will have to post a big score if he wants to cement his place in the side.

The players to miss out: David Obuya - looked tortured last match. Needs to work on technique if he is to turn domestic success into something competitive at International level.
Alfred Luseno - for some reason, not getting it right at this level either. He has great potential so should get another go, but maybe after a bit more work.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Heavy Loss For Kenya in First ODI

Friday's match against Bangladesh turned out to be something of a lesson for Kenya. It showed two things. One how much Bangladesh have improved since we last played them. Two, how far we need to improve if we are going to compete against other teams at this level.

Bangladesh looked in control right from the start, and it illustrates how much Kenya need to improve that 3 of the 7 wickets taken by Kenya were run outs, and none really served to stem the flow of runs. A score over 300 was always going to be daunting for the Kenyans, and by the early removal of Kenya's two best batsmen for only 29 it was pretty much all over. Almost all of the high points of the match came from Bangladesh, four especially showing their class in the first innings. Shahriar Nafees may not have reached his Century, but his 91 set the platform for Bangladesh's score, and earned him Man Of The Match. Aftab Ahmed's almost run-a-ball 62 compounded the damage, but for my mind it was the explosive batting of Mohamed Rafique (39 off 25), and then Mashrafe Mortaza (44* off 16) that really took the game away from Kenya. While it was hard to find positives from a Kenyan point of view, Thomas Odoyo's first spell was excellent. He went for only 2.6 runs an over from his first eight, and deserved more than the one wicket he ended up with. Unfortunately, he was one of the victims of the final onslaught, so his figures do not do full justice to his effort. If someone else had managed to step up to his level, things would have looked a lot brighter for Kenya. Peter Ongondo added another couple of wickets to his haul, but he needs to be a lot less expensive (he went for 7 an over) if he is going to make an impact against the stronger teams. On the whole, Bangladesh's innings was disappointing for us - why Collins Obuya was subbed off for Luseno after only one over also mystified me. For him to have been in the starting line up at all, they must have felt his form was on the way back, so why sub him off without even trying him, unless it was for an injury. As it was, Luseno was one of the trouble spots, conceding 22 runs off his only 3 overs, though why he opened and not the more experienced Martin Suji, again confuses me.

If Bangladesh's innings was tough for the Kenyans, our own was even worse. All hope of the match went with the wickets of Otieno and Tikolo for only 29 runs. Obuya's poor run as opening partner for Otieno continued. He looked tortured for the hour he was at the crease, and managed only 14 runs before becoming Syed Rasel's third victim. This position is becoming a real worry for Kenya, and needs to be addressed quickly if we are going to become more competitive. Again, the talent of Tanmay Mishra was wasted down the order. He was the pick of Kenya's batting making 43, even if it was a trifle slow. Surely, it is time he is given a chance to open. At worst, he can not be any weaker than the others tried in this position, and he may well be able to give Otieno the solid partner he needs at the top of the innings. Number 3 is also a worry. Tikolo should never have moved from 4 - it is a position he does well in, and to expose him at first drop seems crazy, especially if it is Otieno who is the opener out. Tony Suji was the second best of Kenya's batsmen, at lest bringing some respectability to the score by taking us into triple figures. At least he wasn't batting at three, but I would rather see him used at 6. Modi's cheap dismissal will also be a worry for the selectors. He was brought in to strengthen the batting, but showed little timing. If he can find his form, I would think him a better option at 3, and if not, maybe it Ouma has to be given a chance to redeem himself after his trip to Zimbabwe.

One player who must surely get a run next match is Kalpesh Patel. He can both bat and bowl, and it does not take a genius to see that we need to strengthen both these disciplines. He was taken to Zimbabwe, and inexplicably not used. Lets hope this crime is not repeated a second time. All together, a disappointing result for Kenya, but we are resilient if nothing else, and few of the players achieved their real potential on Friday. If even some of them can, we will be competitive. If all of them can, we could yet win. Let's hope that fighting spirit that is normally so strong in the Kenyan camp comes to the fore. For what it is worth, my scoring for the match for Kenya's players was: 3 points Tanmay Mishra. 43 well needed runs. Again falling shy of a fifty, and a tad slow, but compared to the others, a really gutsy effort. 2 points: Thomas Odoyo - basically for his first spell. Where others around him were going for 6 or seven an over, he held it together. Only the last 2 overs spoilt this otherwise fine effort. 1 point: Tony Suji for helping Kenya reach triple figures. Don't forget to put in your votes to the poll. It will close Sunday 26th.