Saturday, April 01, 2006

Letter To The Nation

More blowing of my own trumpet, but my letter to the Nation about the state of cricket in Kenya has been published in today's Sports box. For those who missed it when I posted it here, it was in response to a very one sided, and to my mind incomplete article about the last cricket administration in Kenya. Anyone who needs to know my feelings on those I believe set our game back ten years need only strap a couple of sticks of dynamite to their back and jump into a volcano. That will give you the same response as suggesting any of the old KCA officials be shown even the crack of light under the door, let alone be allowed anywhere near cricket again.

Holland Take First Innings Points

As expected, Kenya have conceded the first innings lead to Holland in Nairobi, finally being bowled out for 367. Holland will thus take 6 points from the match, Kenya none - unless by some miracle a result is achieved by the end of the day's play. While this is dissapointing, it is not unexpected after the first two and a half day's play, and is way better than Kenya could have hoped for at the end of day 2.
Good news from the morning's play is that Steve Tikolo not only carried his bat as expected, but also passed his double century scoring a phenominal 212 runs. Imagine what he could have gone on to achieve had someone other than Peter Ongondo been able to offer him decent support. Holland will go into their inning's in one of two ways. They will either look for quick runs, then a declaration in order to try for the victory, or will use what is left of the match as batting practice. If they go for the win, there is the faintest of possibilities that Kenya could still sneak in the back door if the bowlers can get stuck into them. Either way, Kenya must continue to stick to their guns, and play the best they can, at the very least it will be crucial match practice.

Sri Lankan Prodigy To Play For Kenya

Exciting news for Kenya Cricket fans, one of Sri Lanka's best young players is going to jump ship, and play for the country he grew up in. An off spinner like Murali, he has topped both the bowling figures in the Sri Lankan league with 68 wickets at an average of 13, and a strike rate of 9.89. Also more than capable with the bat, he comes in at three for his club side and averages 47.24 with a strike rate of 87.3! A great find for Kenya who need both a wicket taker and batsman. Exploiting a loophole in the ICC regulations, an insider from Kenya tells me he will be able to play for Kenya as early as next month. Lifo Pilora grew up in Kenya, and went to school at Kenton College in Nairobi. Yeah baby!

Kenya Still Just Alive At Stumps on Day 3

For those who missed yesterday's action, and the heroics of the last couple of sessions, a brief recap:
There was controversy early in the day due to a wet patch that caused play to be suspended while things got sorted out. When Tikolo and Odoyo resumed in the afternoon, Odoyo fell to ten Doeschate with the Kenyan score still on 185 - a long way short of the 325 needed to avoid the follow on. Ashish Karia, the next man in hung around just long enough for Tikolo to add 6 runs, before trying a rash shot and getting caught. Kenya really in a jam at 7-185.
Then came the 8th wicket stand between Peter Ongondo and Steve Tikolo. Ongondo is in the team as a bowler, and though he has scored a few runs in ODIs, he is one of those explosive tailenders who generally only manage to hang around a couple of overs. He may get a duck, or he may get twenty off 10, but he would not be an ideal choice to hole up one end in a match saving stand. In a real effort of concentration, Ongondo managed to remain at the crease for two and a half hours, and kept out 156 balls, scoring 30 along the way. Overall, the partnership added 123 runs, a record for the competition that took Kenya to within reach of the follow on target. Unfortunately, 11 runs short, Ongondo was tempted to drive one that he probably shouldn't, and he was out. Unlike Karia, who should have kept his patience, Ongondo can hardly be blamed. He performed well above expectations with the bat, and provided the foil for Tikolo's steady progress at the other end. A great effort in a tough situation.
Rajesh Bhudia came in next, but was run out when he tried to return strike to Tikolo but was sent back. A costly mistake due to inexperience, but the Dutch must have thought they had it sown up. Now it was Hitesh Modi's turn, and with 10 runs still needed he strode to the crease, bandaged hand and all. Holland must have been licking their lips in anticipation of a quick final wicket, then another go at Kenya's openers. Playing one handed, Modi had other ideas. Despite the pain, he managed to keep his wicket intact long enough for Tikolo to turn it on with 3 overs to go of the day's play, and take Kenya safely past 325 with a four followed by his first six of the innings. Two fantastic efforts. Tikolo has shown once again he is a player of true class, and for Modi to bat at all is pure selflessness. Kenya reached the close of play with both batsmen still in, and on 332 runs. We are still 132 short of the Dutch first innings total, but the efforts of the players in the afternoon has restored Kenya's pride. Congratulations to those involved, and here's hoping Steve and Hitesh can bat for as long as possible this morning.

Tikolo Smashes Six To Avoid Follow On

My God, but the man has STYLE. He has gritted it out for so long in the middle, then at the most important moment so far, lets fly. Awaiting the bad balls, and keeping out the good, he has now reached 183, but more importantly he has guided Kenya past the follow on figure. This means Holland will now have to bat again, and if they want to win the match will have to look for a declaration. They are still very much in the driving seat, but Tikolo is doing a great impression of little Johnny annoying mum by raising hell in the back of the car.
Kenya 9-329, and that is all for me tonight (it is nearly 2am here, and I have a party with the inlaws tomorrow).

Injured Modi Forced To Bat

Hitesh Modi has been forced to risk further injury to his broken fingure by batting in a last ditch effort to stave off the follow on. He is brought to the crease by the run out of Rajesh Bhudia. I don't know the reasons behind the run out, but it seems criminal after the last fighting stand. Let's hope Tikolo is able to farm as much of the strike as possible and keep Modi from suffering any more damage. Kenya 9-316 still need another 9 runs to reach 325 and make Holland bat a second time.

Ongondo Out

Peter Ongondo is out with Kenya still needing another 11 runs to be safe from the follow on. A fantastic effort by the number 9 when you consider that he has shared a 123 run partnership with his captain. A great shame he could not continue on, but he has shown true grit, and not for the first time when Kenya are in a crisis. Whether we have to bat again, or by how much we lose this match, Peter Ongondo can yet again hold his head high in the knowledge he did his best. His innings lasted 156 minutes and brought 37 valuable runs for Kenya. Batting for two and a half hours is a great effort by a batsman so low in the order, and should illustrate to some of those who came and went before him what was required. Kenya in trouble still, but at least we are now going down fighting, not with a wimper.

Kenya Reach 300

Kenya's stubborn 8th wicket stand continues as Tikolo and Ongondo guide the hosts past 300. Still about 20 runs needed to make Holland bat again. Tikolo is now the highest run scorer in the game with 166. Kenya 7-308 after 109 overs.

Tikolo passes 150

Congratulations Steve on a great effort under huge pressure. Still a long way to go however. His 150 came from roughly 250 balls, and has included 18 boundaries. Despite this effort, Kenya are still 183 runs in arrears, and need another 34 runs to avoid the follow on. Ongondo continues the support role on 30. Kenya 7-291 after 106 overs.

Want to post on this blog?

I have been getting some great feedback from various quarters in the form of both comments and emails. If you would like your 2 bits put up here as a post, email me an article as a word attachment, or in the body of an email (see profile for address). I think it would be good to get some other views up as more than just comments. While I reserve the right to edit, I will try to leave as much intact as possible. Include a title, and a bit of blurb about yourself (less than 150 words), and please keep any articles to less than 1000 words to start with.

Tikolo and Ongondo Hold Out

At the hundred over mark of the innings, Steve Tikolo and Peter Ongondo are keeping alive Kenya's slim chances of making the Dutch bat again. With 103 overs gone, Kenya are 7-286 with Tikolo on 149, and Ongondo on 30. There is still a long way to go for Kenya, but credit to the captain for his efforts thus far. Fingers crossed they can continue to hold on.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Tikolo's Lone Stand as Kenya Head Towards Follow On

Kenya captain, Steve Tikolo is the one person standing between Kenya and the enforced follow on. Thomas Odoyo, his batting partner when play finally resumed, is out bowled by Dutch hero Ryan ten Doeschate for 17. Odoyo lasted 75 balls with Tikolo to help the score to 185; a valuable 60 run partnership, but the next man in, debutant Ashish Karia only managed 15 balls before being caught by van Troost of the bowling of van Bunge for a duck. With only Ongondo and Bhudia to come, and maybe Modi if he can manage, it seems that despite Tikolo's resistance, Kenya are heading towards the follow on.
Several things have been frustrating about this Kenyan innings. Not only did Holland make it look so easy in their innings on exactly the same pitch, but several Kenyan batsmen have made starts, then got out. Patel, Mishra, Obuya and Odoyo all spent a an hour or so at the crease, and should have played themselves in by that time. Tikolo has needed someone to hole up at the other end if nothing more, and no one so far has managed it. If nothing else, this match highlights the pressing need for a domestic 4-day tournament to be set up, so that the Kenyan players can learn how to build an innings, and to look for wickets when bowling. On paper, Kenya should have won this match hands down. That we are being made to fight just to avoid the follow on is a sad indictment on how far the game has fallen behind our rivals in the past two years. Steve Tikolo stands alone as an example of what can be achieved on this pitch and against this bowling. He has reached his century, and is the sole reason this match is not already over. He may have made some questionable decisions regards bowling changes, but his class as a batsman remains undisputed. It will be a hell of a long time before Kenya can do without him.
This innings is admitedly not yet over, but with only two bowlers left to support the captain, plus the walking wounded, it may not be too long before Luuk van Troost is telling us to 'have another go chaps, and this time, make it a decent one"...

Wet Pitch Delays Cause Controversy

With umpires deciding that the pitch in Nairobi is too dangerous to play on due to a wet patch just short of a length, controversy is brewing in Nairobi. Holland are justifiably furious, but realistically, until the umpires decide the pitch is safe, there is really no choice. The wet patch was caused by seepage under the mat during the overnight rain, and is far more likely to be an accident than anything else. It caused the match to be delayed this morning, and then suspended after a short pitched ball came off it and nearly decapitated Odoyo. Adding fuel to the fire, Tikolo refused an offer by van Troost the Dutch skipper to take an early lunch, not that it would actually make much difference anyway, but Kenya - holland matches may in future have a bit more than just the result at stake. Cricket Europe will no doubt be carrying live coverage as and when it resumes.


Rod Lyall of Cricket Europe points out a couple of errors in my previous post:

"The draw points rule comes into effect when eight hours have been lost, not eight overs (there's quite a difference!). And actually, no overs have been lost as yet. Play was extended until 6.13 yesterday because of the break for rain, and with the change of innings the target for the day was 94 overs. Kenya had bowled 39, so the Dutch needed to bowl 55 in order to keep up with the required rate of 16 per hour. The half-hour extension rule still applied, light permitting. They managed 52 by 6.18, when the umpires took them off because of the light (actually more the setting sun causing problems than the light itself). So they're three short, but the rate is measured over the whole innings, and they therefore have the chance to catch up today."
Oops. Thanks Rod - note to self triple check facts before posting.

Kenya Face Follow On

Not only did Kenya experience a mauling at the hands of Holland's batsmen yesterday, they also crumbled to 5-135 in the final session leaving them needing another 190 runs to avoid the humiliation of being made to follow on. Holland have looked in complete control of this match almost since the word go. They struck either side of tea through Reekers to have Kenya wobbling at 2-50, then Tony Suji was clean bowled by Schiferli for 11 not offering a shot. Kenya in real trouble, and I won't even go into Suji's dismissal further...
Tanmay Mishra then made his way to the crease, but also fell cheaply for 16 when he edged to the slips. A shame for him as he had made a start, but at least his partnership with Tikolo added a further 35 runs to the Kenyan total, 4-85. Collins Obuya was the next batsman in, but was bowled by off spinner Muhammad Kashif for 9. His partnership with Tikolo, who is so far batting well, was worth 40 taking the total to 5-125. Tikolo, who is now batting with all-rounder Thomas Odoyo reached his 50 a couple of overs before stumps, a small bright spark, on an otherwise gloomy day for the hosts.
Tikolo and Odoyo will need to produce their very best for Kenya tomorrow, with the first target to reach 325 to avoid the follow on. With yesterday's performance by Holland, all hope of a Kenyan victory is now pretty much out the window, and the Dutch are all but confirmed as winning the first innings. This means Holland have already earned 6 points for the match and stand to gain another 14 if they win. There are no points for a draw, but Kenya can at least minimise the damage if they can somehow hold on and prevent the Dutch winning. So far, 5 overs have been lost to rain. Kenya's only hope for points at the moment is if another 3 are lost and they draw the match. This would then give both teams 3 points. With provisions to make up for lost time, this is unlikely, especially as the weather gods have not exactly shown a tendency to favour Kenya at all in the last couple of years.
All the best to Kenya today. I hope to have something happier to report on when I get back from work tonight. In the meantime, those wishing to follow the match will find a live scorecard at Cricket Europe.

Patel Out as Reekers Strikes Again

Kenya are in real trouble now. 2-49, and still more than 400 runs adrift of Holland's total. Steve Tikolo is the next man in, and he is going to have to play the innings of his life if Kenya are to avoid a heavy defeat. He has upset a few people today and yesterday by his bowling selections, and now is the time to atone. If he can bat Kenya out of disaster, he may well be forgiven, but it will take a superb effort. I hope he still has it in him. I don't. It is past midnight, so I'm taking my bat and ball and going to bed. I shall lull myself to sleep by repeating over and over: "Tomorrow is another day. It will all be all right" until my wife refuses to put up with it anymore and relegates me to the couch.
Tomorrow is anoth....

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Reekers Strikes To Give Holland Early Breakthrough

Maurice Ouma is the first Kenyan batsman to go, caught Smits, bowled Reekers for 10 from the last over before tea. Just the start Kenya did not need, and only an over after he had hit his first boundary for I don't know how long. Kenya are now 1-28 after 8 overs, but effectively 2 down, as Modi will not really be able to bat, and batting reserves are not allowed. Kenya in a World of trouble. Patel is currently on 12. Ouma I feel needs to go back to practicing the basics. Allowing himself to be out justbefore a break is a major mistake in this form of the game. Kenya need to survive the last session today without any further loss of wickets, then bat through tomorrow to regain some pride. Holland will be bursting with confidence after their record breaking total, and early breakthrough. It is going to be a very tough ask for the Kenyan batsmen, and they will have to apply full concentration to stave off further disaster.

Patel and Ouma Open for Kenya

Not really surprising this after all that has gone on, and with Modi injured. Let's hope they are able to bat themselves into some sort of form. After 5 overs, Kenya are 19 for no loss, with Ouma on 6,and Patel on 9. Holland have opened the bowling with Schiferli and Reekers.

Your Votes For Best Player Vs Bangladesh 3rd ODI

While we wait for the innings to change over, voting has now closed for your best player in the 3rd ODI against Bangladesh. Tanmay Mishra, ever popular after his tour, again topped with 46%, Peter Ongondo came an easy second with 26%, and Collins Obuya (11%) just pipped Martin Suji (7%) for third. Other players who recieved votes were Kalpesh Patel, Steve Tikolo, 4% each, and Thomas Odoyo 2%.
This mean that Mishra scores 3 primary points, Ongondo 2, and Collins 1 towards the awards. Thanks again to all those who voted.

Holland Batting To Unassailable Position

Kenya's inability to take wickets in the morning of the second day of the Intercontinental Cup match against Holland mean the visitors have managed to put on a further 131 runs today for the loss of only 2 more wickets. Holland are now 9-452 with rain holding up proceedings at Nairobi Gymkhana. With 36 overs so far having been bowled toady, Ashish Karia was only bowled for one. Why bother picking a promising player, and then not giving him a fair go. He took 2 wickets yesterday from his 4 overs, better than any other bowler, and yet Tikolo persists in not bowling him. Kenya's 5 Seamers have bowled 74 overs between them, and conceded 236 runs. They have also taken 6 of the 9 wickets. Kenya's 3 spinners have bowled 58 overs and conceded 195 runs. They only have 2 wickets. Tikolo who has bowled the greates number of overs (30), has so far coceded 101 runs, and is yet to take a wicket. Surely it would make more sense to give more overs to the bowlers with the higher strike rates. The seamers are averaging a wicket every 12 overs, the spinners every 27. This match has already slipped a long way out of Kenya's grasp. Aggressive bowling with all of the seamers toward the end of yesterday may well have bowled the Dutch out. Instead, they have added 40 odd for the 8th wicket, and then 95 for the 9th. Even if Kenya get a wicket immediately on resumption, Holland look almost certain to take a first innings lead, and quite probably the match. Kenya are effectively already a wicket down with Modi incapacitated, and it will take a superhuman effort to get things back on track again. I am an optimist by nature, but I really don't know if this Kenyan batting lineup will be able to keep us in the game. Just before I post this, I note that we have finally bowled them out. Peter Ongondo deservedly takes the last wicket, that of Schiferli for 69. Holland all out for 474. A huge mountain for the Kenyan batsmen to climb.

Kenya Vs Netherlands Day 2 coverage

For those after coverage of the game, I will of course be doing my best after getting home from work - probably in the form of comments on significant events/milestones etc.

For over by over updates, this link should get you the Cricket Europe coverage.
If not, use the link under Cricket Europe in 'cricket links'.

Modi Out With Broken Finger

On a day that was probably Holland's after Ryan ten Doeschate's impressive 158, the last thing that Kenyan fans wanted to hear is that one of our most experienced players, and most capable batsmen, will most likely not take any further part in the match. Attempting to catch de Leede, Modi left the field with what was initially thought a dislocated finger. Most recent reports say that his finger is not just dislocated, but fractured as well. Bad news for Hitesh who looked to be finding some sort of form in Bangladesh, and worse news for Kenya, who may now really rue the abscence of Kennedy Otieno.
It may be that Modi's abscence will be the catalyst that promotes Tanmay Mishra up the batting order, so there may yet be some good in it, but Kenya are going to face a real uphill battle unless they can snare three quick wickets today to keep the Dutch under 350.
With the new ball allowed after 80 overs, it was strange, not to say exceedingly frustrating to see Steve Tikolo persist in bowling the spin bowlers, when the results almost all came from the seamers. It was not taken until the 92nd over, but brought almost immediate results when Ongondo bowled Reekers. The opportunity to attack a new batsman with a new ball should not have been missed, and Reekers made Kenya pay to the tune of 17 runs. With one batsman short, these could be crucial. It is fine persisting with an old ball when it is giving results for the spinners, but if it is not, it should be changed at the first opportunity.
For the good of Kenya's future, youngsters like Karia and Bhudia must be given a better go. They only bowled 11 overs between them for combined figures of 11 overs, 44 runs and 3 wickets. Tikolo bowled 24 overs for 75 runs and no wickets. He may have had a lower run rate against him, but at the end of the day what Kenya needed were wickets. With a better rotation of the seamers, Kenya should have had the Dutch bowled out by the close of play. It is a captain's perogative to choose how he marshalls his bowlers, and we should wait the final result before getting too worked up, but some of his choices, as in the last game against Bangladesh, do seem questionable.
Hopefully Kenya's bowlers will come out firing on Day 2 and get the remaining three wickets quickly. It will then be up to the batsmen to build decent innings, and maintain concentration. For Kenya to take first innings points, or even stay in the match, it will need a big innings from one, if not two batsmen. It will also need the other batsmen to play sensible supporting roles, and make sure no wicket is given away. Holland will be bouyed by their performance yesterday, and will no doubt come out firing on all cylinders. It should be a very interesting day's cricket.

Stumps on Day 1

Kenya have fought back well in the last session after tea at Nairobi Gymkhana to take 4 Dutch wickets. Ashish Karia made the initial breakthrough, begging the question as to why he was not bowled sooner. Ongondo clean bowled Reekers for the fourth wicket of the session after Kervezee was run out by the captain, Tikolo. It seems strange that despite the majority of the wickets coming from seamers, it took 70 odd overs for Karia to be brought into the attack, and that neither he nor Rajesh Bhudia who took the first wicket were given a second spell. To me this is a vast under utilisation of resources that could have seen the Dutch already bowled out. As it is, they go into day 2 on 7-326. All in all, Kenya will be happy with how things went after tea, when it looked like the visitors were going to walk away with the match. If the Kenyan bowlers can pick up the last three wickets cheaply tomorrow, the first inning's lead and the match is still very much to play for. If Holland can bat for another hour or so, it will be the Kenyans looking back on missed opportunities. From Holland's point of view, they will be very happy with ten Doeschate's 158, but will probably go into tonight ruing not having achieved more in the afternoon, when the game looked there for the taking. With the match fairly even going into the second day, it should be another riveting day's play at Nairobi Gymkhana tomorrow.

Ongondo Strikes

I have been saying it all along: Bowl the seamers. Peter Ongondo is back into the attack, and uproots Reekers for 17 in his first over. Only 4 more to go before stumps - hopefully still time for Kenya to continue the fightback! Holland 7-320 after Tikolo bowled himself one too many. I have great respect for him, but he needs to learn to have faith in what the other team members can do.

Holland Reach 300

Holland have passed another milestone in the last session of play. With 12 overs still to play, they have just passed the 300 mark. Kenya still persisting with the spinners. I would have thought a quick burst from each of the strike bowlers would do the trick. I don't know the rules for the new ball, but I would have thought it would be available after 80 overs? Holland 6-301. van Troost on 21, Reekers on 2.

Kervezee Run Out

Alex Kervezee has been run out, and this is turning into by far the best session of the day for Kenya. Tikolo continues to persist with the spinners despite 4 of the wickets having come from the seamers so far. This wicket now gives Kenya a sniff at the tail, and if they can keep van Troost quiet - no mean feat, he is racing along on 17 off 20 so far, today could still finish ok for us. There are currently 15 overs still left to play - ample time to bowl the Dutch out if we can get into the tail proper. Let's hope some of the seamers get a better go in these last few overs.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ashish Karia - you bloody legend!

Yes folks, he's done it again, and this time it is the big one! Ryan ten Doeschate is out, caught by Tikolo, and Karia finishes the over with figures of 3 overs, 9 runs and 2 wickets. A huge blow struck for Kenya who should now feel confident of making greater inroads into the Dutch line up before stumps on Day 1. Hollands new batsmen at the crease are AN Kervezee, who is currently on 5, and the captain van Troost who is yet to score. My apologies for sounding a little excited, the last few hours have been fairly tortured...

Karia Strikes

It is only his eigth ball of first class cricket, but Ashish Karia has already rewarded the selectors by taking the wicket of van Bunge caught behind for 32. Why, oh Why was he not bowled earlier. I am curdling my beer with tears of frustration at the moment. At last though, the breakthrough Kenya needed. Lets hope now that they can pressure the new batsman and maybe generate another couple of wickets before the close of play.

Ryan ten Doeschate past 150

Sorry - I missed this out last post. A great effort from him for not only his maiden Century, but also to get 150. NOW GET HIM OUT ALREADY!

Dutch Sail Past 250

Holland have dramatically upped the scoring rate to sail past the 250 mark in Nairobi. Having been on 238 an over or so ago, they have unleashed the shackles the last two overs against Tikolo and Obuya. Things are not looking good for Kenya at this stage. There are another 26 overs scheduled for today. Kenya must make at least some inroads in this time. Maybe time to give Karia (incidentally not a spinner as I wrongly mentioned earlier, but fast medium - thanks Shaneabbas!) a go - it is crazy that it has taken this long to get him into the attack, or even bring back Bhudia or Ongondo for a spell.

Holland In Strong position At Tea

Kenya will be hoping that the tea break can inject some inspiration into the bowlers for the last session. For the Dutch, Ryan ten Doeschate is still unbeaten on 127, and van Bunge is beginning to look dangerous on 25. Kenya's bowlers have toiled hard on a pitch offering no help to the pace bowlers, but have so far had little to show for it. Peter Ongondo has so far been economical, but is yet to get a wicket. Maybe he will be rewarded for the good efforts after tea.

ten Doeschate Leads Way For Holland After Early Loss

Rajesh Bhudia struck early in the innings to have Holland in a spot of bother at 1-10 having won the toss and opted to bat. Since then, Ryan ten Doeschate has looked in command, and has helped the Dutch to a strong 3-209 after 58 overs. He has made a fine Century along the way, and is currently on 120 not out. Holland's other wickets to fall were Bas Zuiderent, caught by Bhudia of Thomas Odoyo for 26 (2-70), and then Tim de Leede caught and bowled Brijal Patel for 23 (3-131). Holland's latest batsman at the crease is van Bunge who is chugging along nicely at 20 not out. Kenya badly need to take some wickets in this afternoon's sessions. So far, Steve Tikolo has bowled 7 bowlers, but to little avail.

Shameless Self-promotion

Kenyacricket has again being mentioned in Dispatches by afromusing (cross posted on global voices ) who have given me a glowing write up. I am now classed as an indispensable resource for cricket fans. Yeah baby!
Thanks for some of this must however go to those involved with cricket in Kenya who have been so good at keeping me up to date, especially Samir Inamdar from Cricket Kenya, and Shailesh from Nakuru. Now all I need is for the NPCA to get on the bandwagon, and CCA to correspond more regularly, and we will be there in terms of coverage.
It is also coming up to award time for Kenyan Bloggers as well, with nominations open for the Kaybees. I think I might be shameless enough to nominate myself for the Best New Blog, but haven't quite decided. Shame there is not a category for Sports Blog. Anyway, because no one else is likely to say this for me:
Vote for me! Vote for me! Vote for me!
Shameless enough for you? ...... Excellent!
Maybe I should run for parliament next elections too...

Kenya Vs. Holland Intercontinental Cup Preview

Namibia drew with Nepal to qualify for the league stage of the Intercontinental Cup last weekend, but the competition proper gets underway today when Kenya and Holland meet at Nairobi Gymkhana. On paper, Kenya are probably the favourites to take the match. They are at home, and have greater experience in the First Class arena. In Steve Tikolo, they also have arguably the most dangerous batsman in the competition. Tikolo averages over 50 with the bat in First Class, but Holland also have a star batsman in van Troost, and debutant Tim de Leede comes off the back of an ODI Century against Kenya 'A'.
For those wondering why there is a smell of roasting pork on the morning air, my predictions for the team didn't quite get there, and that comet that you thought you saw tracing across the sky was actually a pig going down in flames. Kenya are apparently going to go with the following as their starting line up:
S Tikolo (capt.), T Odoyo(v.c), M Ouma (wkt), B Patel, H Modi, A Suji, T Mishra, C Obuya, A Karia, P Ongondo, R Bhudia.
All the best to the boys, let's hope they repay the selectors with good performances, especially at the top of the order.
According to the selectors, this is the best team Kenya can put on the park. Holland unfortunately, will not be able to say the same. Injury and bereavement mean that they are going to be without a couple of key players, and that could make all the difference. Dutch coach, Peter Cantrell has accordingly delayed naming the final team until the last minute to make doubly sure who he has available.
Key battles that will decide the outcome will be between the Dutch bowlers, led by Edgar Schiferli who are probably a stronger unit than their Kenyan counterparts at the moment, and the likes of Tikolo, Modi and Mishra. In the absence of Otieno, these will be the players Kenya will be counting on to get the bulk of the runs. To my mind, Patel and Ouma are there to see off the opening bowlers. Any runs they get will be an unexpected bonus. In the Dutch innings, it will be up to Odoyo and Ongondo to make the break through. Of the Dutch top order, only de Leede and de Grooth worried Kenya 'A', but they did so in a match winning fashion. Holland's top order have struggled in South Africa, and it is up to Kenya's strike bowlers to make sure they do so again.
On current form, it is a difficult match to pick. I am going to go with my heart, and say Kenya. Partly because if I tried to type anything else, my hand would cramp up or go for my throat, and partly because if both teams play to full potential, we should win. There are 20 points up for grabs in the match: 6 for a first inning's lead, and 14 for winning the match. Here's hoping that Steve and the team come away with the lot.
For those after live coverage, the only site I can confirm that will be doing anything is Cricket Europe who through Rod Lyall will be doing an over by over update. I will do my best to post what I can allowing for work, and then the time difference.

Kenya Ring The Changes For Holland Match

Kenya's selectors have made three changes to the side that toured Bangladesh for the Intercontinental tie against Holland today. Out are prolific wicketkeeper batsman Kennedy Otieno after his nightmare tour of Bangladesh. He will be replaced as opener by Brijal Patel if this article on cricinfo is to be believed, and Maurice Ouma will take over duties with the gloves. Martin Suji makes way for Rajesh Bhudia, again after failing to impress on his return in Bangladesh. Finally, Jimmy Kamande is dropped in favour of young all rounder Ashish Karia.
Two of these changes do not bother me unduly. In fact I welcome the chance for Rajesh Bhudia and Ashish Karia to make their presence felt in the senior side. Both bowled well on Sunday against Holland, and while neither set the world alight, both did enough to warrant selection. With Martin Suji past his prime, Kenya desperately need to find another strike bowler. Ongondo is maturing into the role of wicket taker, but it seems he is prefered at first change. Luseno, the young speedster has been trialled opening with Odoyo, and so far has not had the desired effect. Giving Bhudia a chance simply makes sense, and shows the selectors have the future in mind as well as just this match. Similarly for Ashish Karia's inclusion into the side. He showed on Sunday that he can tie a batsman down, even when others are being punished, and has ability to take wickets as well. Kamande I think can feel a bit unlucky, as he has been far from Kenya's worst player on tour. He had an ok tour of Zimbabwe, but like many of the team did falter against Bangladesh a bit. I would say that the swaying factor between the two would be bowling.
If Kamande is unlucky, I really feel for Kennedy Otieno. Sure, he had a terrible time in Bangladesh, but he hit two half centuries against Zimbabwe on pitches much more similar to Nairobi, if Thomas Odoyo is to be believed anyhow. Replacing him with Brijal Patel seems a mystery, though again, it may be with one eye on the fact Patel can roll the arm over a bit if needed as well. comparing their statistics: Otieno has played 29 First class matches and has an average of 25, with a high score of 104. Patel has played 15 matches, has an average of 7 and a high score of 51. Should be no contest. Against Zimbabwe, Otieno scored 74,13,13 and 69. The two half centuries also came when Kenya were in trouble. Brijal Patel scored 0,2*,6,3. Most recently, Otieno has scored 6,1,1 against Bangladesh before being dropped for the fourth match. Patel who was not selected, scored 45 for Kenya 'A' against Holland. I can see why Kenya want Ouma to wicketkeep. He is only 23, so if he can be played into form, he will be with the Kenyan side for around the next 10 years or so. Patel is 29, so even if he does somehow perform as opener, it is not exactly going to be a long term choice. Otieno's experience, and potential to make big scores would I suggest have worried the Dutch far more than Brijal Patel. Still, what is done is done, so all the best to those selected. According to the Nation (see article beginning Otieno Dropped...), Otieno is now considering retirement. I would urge him to delay making that decision until at least after the World Cup.
Kenya Squad Steve Tikolo (capt), Thomas Odoyo, Maurice Ouma (wk), Brijal Patel, Hitesh Modi, Tony Suji, Tanmay Mishra, Collins Obuya, Ashish Karia, Peter Ongondo, Rajesh Bhudia, Kalpesh Patel, Alfred Luseno.
The Standard hints that the 11 to play are already decided, but if I had my way, the team to play would be as follows:
  1. Maurice Ouma. If he is going to continue as wicket keeper, he will need to make some runs soon. Great to invest in the younger players, but this can only continue if they are going to produce what is required. He has the talent do do so, it is about time we saw some results.
  2. Hitesh Modi. He had some experience against the new ball in Bangladesh when he had to come in at 3 after Kenya lost an early wicket. Experience, and good enough to be able to build an innings. More suited to the longer version, he could be a real force this match.
  3. Tanmay Mishra. I'm sounding like a broken record, but give him a chance where his talent can reach its full potential. Also capable of a big score.
  4. Steve Tikolo. Is best at 4, and will be a key player for Kenya over the next 4 days, both as batsman and with the ball. If he gets going, he can really punish the Dutch attack.
  5. Collins Obuya. Purely on the strength of his last two outings against Bangladesh. He will be in the team mainly as a batsman, but might get the odd over or two as well.
  6. Tony Suji. Again, a batsman more suited to this form of the game. Is also a possible bowling option if Tikolo is in need of a bit of a change.
  7. Thomas Odoyo. Coming in at 7 should take the pressure off him a bit. Has been out of form with the bat since the start of the Zim tour, but will be crucial for Kenya with the ball. Here's hoping for a big haul of wickets from the all rounder.
  8. Ashish Karia. Gives Tikolo the option of a spinning all rounder. If he plays, will be called upon to contain the batsmen as much as take wickets. If Kenya are serious about investing in youth, he should get a run.
  9. Rajesh Bhudia, just over Kalpesh Patel. Patel had an opportunity, even if slight, in Bangladesh. He missed it, and Bhudia should now be given his turn.
  10. Peter ongondo. Has taken a wicket every match he has played in this year - 18 so far. Four day cricket needs a different approach, but can only improve Ongondo as a bowler. Like odoyo, will be key to removing the Dutch top order.
  11. Alfred Luseno. Again a choice with one eye on the future. Those that have seen him, and coached him rate him highly as a potential wicket taker against top quality batting line ups. He has yet to prove this, after ordinary tours in zimbabwe and Bangladesh, but the four day game, where he has to go after the wicket, rather than waiting for it to happen, could make a huge difference to him as a bowler. I don't expect him to set the game on fire, but I do expect him to learn from the experience and start to take wickets.

12th man: Kalpesh Patel.

Well, there are only a few hours to go, and we shall see if the miracle of the selectors agreeing with a hack journalist actually occurs. I'm warming up my twin engine Bush Pig right now. Chocks awaaaaaay!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kenya vs Netherlands Previews

I intend to do one before the match if I have time. in the meantime, Rod Lyall's article in Cricket Europe gives a good evaluation of the two sides. There is also an article by Oscar Pilipili in the Standard.
My condensed view:
Kenya are stronger as a batting side if we can click. Bowling, the Netherlands probably have the edge although home ground advantage and the greater experience of the Kenya team may go some way towards countering this. Both teams will be hungry, but Kenya have more to prove. It is a must win for Steve and the boys, lets hope they get off to a good start tomorrow.

Kenya's ODI Batting Averages 2006 So Far

After looking at how Kenya's players had fared in the rankings last night, it got me wondering about what the stats said about the performance of our batsmen.
going on runs scored, the top achiever is, not unexpectedly, Steve Tikolo who has hit 231 runs so far. Mishra is next on 196, and Kennedy Otieno third with 177. Of those three, Tikolo has been the most dangerous when he has got started, twice going on to record big half centuries. Kennedy Otieno had a great tour of Zimbabe, but failed utterly in Bangladesh. Hopefully, he will bounce back to form against Holland. He certainly has the quality to do so. Tanmay Mishra has been Kenya's steadiest batsman so far over the two series. He has had a couple of failures, but for the most part has got himself off to a solid start. If he could go on to convert these, he could develope into a very dangerous batsman indeed for Kenya. Unfortunately for Mishra, he is consistently coming in down the order where in an ODI he often has not had the chance he deserves to really build an innings. Again, hopefully this changes soon. There are a couple more efforts I would like to draw attention to. First is Collins Obuya, who unfortunately only batted the last two matches against Bangladesh. He scored 90 runs from those outings to give him by far the strongest average, 45 at a strike rate of 78. his bowling may have slipped in the last couple of years, but his batting is certainly something to be optimistic about. Tikolo averages next highest with 33, but has the highest strike rate, at almost 90. If he can get himself settled, he is still Kenya's best attacking option. We look to big things from him against Holland. Toni Suji comes in third in terms of strike rate, but note that this is heavilt influenced by the last match against Bangladesh where he batted at 7. Batting higher up the order, he fared a lot worse. Something the selectors should take note of. Lastly, a note of congratulation to Alfred Luseno. No. 11s are often the victims of ridicule about their batting, and the ease with wich they give their wickets away. So far, from 4 outings, Alfred is yet to be dismissed, and has hit 17 runs at a strike rate of 94. Maybe some of the batsmen higher up the order should try to follow suit. So far, not one of the top or middle order batsmen has carried their bat - a major reason why Kenya is not getting the big scores it needed to win matches. Again, hopefully something that will change on Wednesday.
Here are the stats for Kenya's batsmen so far this year, I have highlighted in bold the top three in terms of runs, avg and strike rate:

Batsman..Inngs..Not out..Runs..Avg......Bls Fcd..Str Rte

Monday, March 27, 2006

Kenya Player Rankings After Bangladesh Series

Surprisingly, despite the 4-0 whitewash, Kenya's players in the top 100 in the rankings have fared not too badly in the reshuffle after the Bangladesh series.
Steve Tikolo still heads Kenya's Batsmen, rising 22 points to 423 on the back of his efforts in the last match. This puts him up 7 places to 76th despite only troubling the scorers in one match. Kennedy Otieno loses one place to fall to 98th after a nightmare tour which aslo sees him drop to 342 points from 369. Hitesh Modi replaces Thomas Odoyo in 99th= moving onto 338 points. Odoyo who was on 374 points falls out of the top 100.
Kenya's bowlers are the big winners from the tour, especially Peter Ongondo who picked up at least one wicket every match, just as he did in Zimbabwe. Peter moves onto 425 from 387, previously his best ever, and rises 15 places to 64th, overtaking Collins Obuya who remains at 66th on 417 points despite not having really bowled this year. Odoyo still heads the Kenyan bowlers in 56th spot on 462 points, up from 448, but Ongondo will be hot on his heels if he can continue to take wickets as regularly as he has done so far. Steve Tikolo also improves his ranking by 10 places moving up to 82nd on 382 points from the 340 he had after the tour to Zimbabwe. Martin Suji rounds out the Kenyan bowlers in 89th position with 358 points.
All in all, this is a surprising result for the Kenyans - I had expected most to drop, especially the batsmen. If Hitesh Modi has made it to the top 100, Tanmay Mishra is probably only a half century from getting up there as well. It is a while now until Kenya's next ODI, so the boys will no doubt slip again, but good to see Kenya still represented.

Namibia Through After Windhoek Draw

Namibia have qualified for the League stage of the Intercontinental Cup after effectively batting Nepal out of any chance of a surprise victory in Windoek yesterday. Taking an already substantial lead of 129 into the second innings, Namibia used most of the fourth and last day as batting practice before finally declaring on 6-239. Nepal had 24 overs in which to hit 368 runs if they wanted to win, something that was never going to happen. Play closed with them on 3-70, still 298 runs adrift of Namibia's total. While I can see why Namibia opted to shut out the game rather than go for the outright victory, it is a shame to see them choose this option rather than go for the win. Had they declared with a lead of 250, Nepal were still going to struggle to get close after being bowled out for 143 in the first innings, and Namibia would have had a real chance to repeat the feat and win the match. After their first innings, it never looked in doubt that they would qualify, but the manner in which they did so would probably be welcomed by at least two of their future opponents in the Intercontinental Cup. They will now face the UAE, Ireland and Scotland in one side of the main draw, and you can be assured that neither the Irish or Scots would have let their opponents escape with a draw in similar circumstances.
Cricket Europe has the full scorecard.
Kenya and Holland are next to face off in the Intercontinental Cup, when the two teams meet at Nairobi Gymkhana on Wednesday and the league stage of the competition gets underway. The other teams in Kenya's pool are Canada and Bermuda. Only one team from each pool goes through to contest the finals, so Kenya will be looking to make the most of home ground advantage against the Dutch. With Holland's top order finally hitting form against Kenya 'A' yesterday, and their bowlers on song, Kenya are going to have to really lift their game if they want to turn the season around with a win. All the best to Steve and the boys - we look forward to seeing the make up of the squad.

Your Best Player From 2nd ODI Vs. Bangladesh

Voting has closed for the best player in game two, and again it was fairly conclusive as to whom was your best player.
Tanmay Mishra polled best with 50% of the vote for his top scoring 33. The next couple of places were harder fought. Hitesh Modi just scraped in second with 15%, while David Obuya and Peter Ongondo came in equal third with 12% each. Martin Suji (9%) and Thomas Odoyo (2%) completed the list of players who recieved votes.
This means that the 3 primary points for the match go to Tanmay Mishra, 2 to Hitesh Modi, and 1 each to David and Peter. Thanks to all those who voted, and don't forget, voting for each match closes one week after stumps.

Kericho Go Top in Akshar League With Big Win

Shailesh Reports from Nakuru:
"After the heavy torrential rains that we recieved in Nakuru on Saturday evening, it looked impossible for us to have a game on water logged ground on Sunday.
The game had to start half an hour late to allow the pitch to be dried up, though the Lake Side End bowlers run up was still soaked and impossible to bowl from. In order to have any game at all, both captains agreed to bowl from one end only.
Naivasha won the toss and decided to field, and Kericho made a slow but cautious start. In the first 7 overs Naivasha they dropped 3 vital catches, which ultimately cost them the game. Kericho were 47 for no loss at one stage untill Shabaz struck and was on hatrick to peg back the Kericho team progress."
Kericho then rallied thanks to Dilpesh and Toxy before a couple of late wickets, and retirements left them on 8-232 at the end of their allotted overs. Any score over 200 can be considered very strong on Nakuru's pitch, and Naivasha will rue the 60 extras that they gave away. In reply, Naivasha never looked like being in the hunt, and a steady stream of batsmen trailed back to the pavilion as they crumbled to 72 all out. Jignesh and Akshay picking up 3 wickets a piece were the picks of the day's bowling for Kericho. Kericho pick up maximum points for the match which shoots them into top spot, while Naivasha only garner 3 points for their bowling. All credit to the captains for making sure this game went ahead, and congratulations to the men from the highlands on an emphatic victory!
Kericho Innings:
Rashmi........................Ct and B..... Shahbaz.....20
Nilesh..........................Ct Raj......... Shahbaz.....11
Dilpesh........................Ct Himanshu..Sharad....41
Dhiren.........................Ct and B.....Shahbaz......24
Vipul...........................Not out............................8
Total For 8 Wickets.........................................232

Naivasha's Innings:
Himanshu...............Run Out.............................01
Sharat......................Ct & B..............Jignesh.....10
Shailesh P...............Ht Wicket.......Jignesh......00
Indraj......................Ct & B..............Akshay......16
Raj...........................Not out..............................16
Akbar......................Not out..............................00
Jaimin....................Run Out.............................01
Jayesh p..................Retired Hurt....................00
Total All Out.....................................................72
NB: I suspsect one of the 'not outs'should read 'run out'

AKSHAR..B ....1...............0...........1............1.......2..........0...........3

Holland Record Big Win Over Lacklustre Kenya 'A'

I'm glad I went to bed when I did last night - when there was still time and wickets left for Kenya 'A' to make a decent fist of the reply. As it was, it continued to be a steady procession of wickets as the Dutch bowled themselves to a convincing 100 run victory. Brijal Patel was the highest scoring Kenyan Batsman with 45 off 82, but even that was pretty ordinary when compared with De Leeder's fantastic 123 off 113 earlier in the first innings. On a day when there had been a great opportunity for some of the youngsters to step up and claim a place in the senior side, they watched it slip through their fingers. Ashish Karia could warrant a call up after his bowling effort, and Rajesh Bhudia was also impressive with the new ball. Unfortunately, Kenya's search for a free scoring batsman continues. We can only hope that the top order manage to apply themselves with a lot more success on Wednesday. It has not been a good week for Kenyan cricket, but all credit to the Netherlands for their efforts. Tim De Leede set the scene with his hundred, ably assisted by De Grooth with 80, then the bowlers maintained good discipline to make sure Kenya were never in the match. Best figures went to DLS van Bunge with 4-18 off 3.5 overs, but Reekers, Stelling and Kashif all chipped in with wickets and were economical. Holland will take a lot of confidence into Wednesday's Intercontinental Cup match after yesterday's performance. Kenya will have to do some quick rebuilding after arriving home yesterday afternoon from a mauling in Bangladesh.
There is a good write up on the match by Rod Lyall on Cricket Europe, who also have a scorecard for the match.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Brijal Patel leads mini recovery

I really will go to bed in a minute, but just before I do, Kenya 'A' have progressed to 3-76 after 20. This still leaves another 191 runs to get from 180 balls, but at least the Kenyans are showing a bit of fight. Brijal Patel has been the main aggressor and is on 25. Kenya really do need to find someone to strengthen their batting. All together now in the Key of B major:
"Where Oh Where is Amit Bhudia...."
Or maybe we could see if Dalrymple would like to play for us instead of England 'A'.
Ok - must go rest my weary noggin.
lala salaama.

Holland in Control

D Reekers has struck twice in the last ten overs to have Kenya reeling on 3-50 after 15. S Maheshwari was the first to go, clean bowled, then the Dutchman hit again to remove Hafeez Manji caught by Kervezee for 9. Malhar Patel continues on 13, while he joined at the crease by his namesake Brijal. If Kenya 'A' are to have any hope of winning this match, one of these two is really going to have to come up with a superb innings. The required run rate has now crept over a run a ball. As it is midnight in Sydney, and I'm working tomorrow, I'm off to bed, but Cricket Europe is updating the score every 5 to 10 overs. I hope I wake up to better news than I expect tomorrow.

Namibia in Strong Position vs Nepal

Nepalese bowler BK Das took 6 wickets in Namibia's first innings, but was unable to stop the African's leading Nepal by 129 runs at the half way mark in Windhoek. Despite Das' heroics, Namibia reached 272 before being bowled out, largely due to a patient 94 from captain DB Kotze, and a slightly more aggressive 60 to back him up from G Snyman. In reply, Nepal struggled to come to terms with the Namibian bowlers, all six chipping in with wickets. Nepal's highest scorer was PP Lohani on 34. Namibia bowled their visitors out for only 143 to take what looks like an unassailable lead into their second innings. With only one day left to play as the first was lost to rain, Namibia are now looking almost certain to progress through to the main round of the competition.

Stelling get's Dutch Defense Off To A Good Start

Alex Obanda has gone for a duck, as Holland's opening bowler Billy Stelling gets Holland off to a dream start. Kenya's other opener, Shashank Maheshari has so far got all of the Kenyan runs off the bat and is on 16. Kenya's total after five overs is 1-18. Not a great start, but there is still a long way to go. Obanda's demise brings Kanbis' only representative in the team, Malhar Patel to the crease. Patel has shown that he is capable of good scores in the domestic game, let's hope he can turn it on for Kenya 'A' this afternoon.

Kenyan Umpire in Dubai For Seminar

Apparently Kenya's top umpire, Subash Modi has been in Dubai to learn from the best in the business. Take a look at the full story here on Coastweek. Anjum Asodia, Coastweek's cricket correspondant is one of the expert panel of journalists awarding points for the awards. It is good to see this interest in improvement by the Umpires Association, and also to see quality journalism on cricket. Keep up the good work on both counts!

Holland Set Strong Total

Kenya 'A' will have their work cut out for them this afternoon in Nairobi as they chase Holland's total of 266. Tim De Leede was the backbone of the Dutch innings finishing with a fantastic 123 before he was finally caught by off the bowling of Ashish Karia. Surprisingly, Karia who finished with 1 wicket, 1 maiden and only conceded 28 runs was only bowled for 9 overs. Kenya 'A' did take some late wickets to add some respectability to their bowling figures, but all of the other bowlers ended up conceding at more than 4 an over. Rajesh Bhudia was the pick, finishing with 1 maiden and 2 wickets, 46 runs off his 10 overs. Nehemiah Odhiambo who bowled well at the beginning of the innings to take Kenya's first wicket came in for some stick later on as the Dutch upped the run rate. A mixed results for the youngsters. Some such as Karia and Bhudia will be very happy with their performance so far, and will feel they have done enough to catch the selectors eye. Others such as Moses Otieno will not be so happy with the way things have gone.
There is still the run chase to come, and with a sizeable total on the board to chase, there is plenty of opportunity for the batsmen to state their case. The openers especially will feel the eyes of the selectors on them as they look for candidates to fill the positions for the national team. The players taken to Bangladesh have had their chance, now it it time for the youngsters to have a crack. Hopefully, they will show their seniors how it should be done.
266 is a decent total, especially considering that after 20 overs, the Dutch run rate was hovering around the 3-an-over mark. It will however need someone from the Kenyan team to stand up and show their quality as a batsman. If one or two of the Kenyans can do that, then 5.3 an over should be more than possible on a track that is good to batsmen. Holland however revolve around a strong bowling attack, so it should be a thrilling chase.

De Leede Sets The Pace For Holland

A cracking unbeaten Century from Dutch batsman Tim De Leede has Holland in a strong position going into the last 6 overs of the match against Kenya 'A'. Ably supported by De Grooth who was run out on 81, De Leede is showing the form that was lacking for Holland during their tour of South Africa. Kenya have also run out Reekers for two, but with wickets in hand, the Dutch could go on to pose a sizeable target from their fifty overs. Affter 44, they are on 4-220. Ashish Karia has bowled economically for Kenya only conceding 16 runs off his 7 overs, and Odhiambo has also kept it tight. Kenya's most expensive bowler so far is Rehman, who has had 23 runs taken off only 3 overs. Gymkhana is a good batting track, and Holland will be looking for a score of at least 260 odd to feel safe. Kenya's youngsters need to stick to their task in these last overs, and keep the total to something attainable.

Holland Bat first against Kenya 'A'

Holland are making a fightback after an initial wobble in their match against Kenya 'A' at Nairobi Gymkhana - the same venue as will be used for the Intercontinental match coming up on the 29th. Kenya 'A' struck early through Nehemiah Odhiambo who had Opener Bas Zuiderent caught by Malhar Patel for 14, and the Rajesh Bhudia who removed Van Bunge, caught Alex Obanda for a duck. At the twenty over mark, Holland were rebuilding on a slow but steady 2-66. Five overs later however, things have improved for the tourist who sit at 2-88. De Grooth and De Leede are the men at the crease for Holland. Pick of the bowling so far are Bhudi (6 ov, 1md, 1wk, 16rns) and Odhiambo (6ov,2md,1wk,17rns).

Kenya 'A' Take on Holland

Just a reminder to cricket fans in Nairobi: pop down to the Gymkhana ground and cheer on the youngsters as they take on Holland today. It will be a great chance for them, and they will be itching to show what they can do. A great chance to watch and learn about cricket. Enjoy!

No Word From Nairobi on NPCA Tourney.

According to the schedule sent to me a couple of months back, the finals of the NPCA limited over Tournament were due to be played today. As I have heard nothing so far, either from the NPCA, the clubs, or seen anything in the press about this, I can't confirm anything, or even tell you which sides are in the final. It may well be though that with all the international cricket going on, the tournament may have had some postponments. If the NPCA decide they are going to resume communications, I will post as soon as I know.

Naivasha Take On Kericho In Nakuru

With two games played so far, the Akshar league in Nakuru is still in the early stages. Today, both Naivasha and Kericho get their first outings in the tournament. A lot will depend on how much there has been in terms of rain in the region. If it has been wet, the Nakuru pitch can really favour the bowlers, but a bit of sun, and it is a batsman's paradise. In earler matches so far, VOC have downed Akshar 'B', while Eldoret last week accounted for Diamond Team. I will post on the result as soon as the ever reliable Shailesh from Nakuru lets me know.

Coast Results So Far

Just to put things a little into context regarding the Coast Twenty-20 tournament:
There are two pools.
Pool A:
Pool B:
Quite a few matches have been played so far, while some were postponed, hence the rather strange looking schedule I posted earlier. In Group 'A', Coast Ghymkhana have reigned supreme beating each of the other teams. Jaffery are currently in second place having beaten S.G.S.S. Matches still to play are Jaffery vs Coast Development, due to be played yesterday, and SGSS vs Coast Development which is scheduled for next Saturday.
Four matches have been played so far in Group 'B'. MSC are looking strong having beaten both Coast Gymkhana 'B' and SCL, while their main challenger for top spot in the pool will be BSC who have accounted for CCA Select and SCL.
Yesterday, there were two matches scheduled for Group B. Gymkhana 'B' were to host on CCA Select, while the top of the table clash between MSC and BSC was due to be played at MSC. Remaining matches are 1/4/6: BSC vs Gymkhana 'B', and SCL vs CCA Select, then MSC vs CCA Select and Gymkhana 'B' vs SCL on the 8th.
So far, it is looking as though the four semi finalists will be Gymkhana 'A' and Jaffery from Group A, and MSC and BSC from Group B. I will try to keep updated with the results as and when they come in. Thanks to Sohal from the CCA for the update.