Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sweet, sweet victory!

What a great way to start 2007 for the national team!
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For those that missed my report on Cricket Europe, and the articles in the rest of the press, Kenya belted Scotland by a massive 190 runs yesterday to win the first match in the Mombasa tri-series. Everything went pretty much right for Kenya from the toss onwards. We won it and elected to bat, scoring at between 5 and 6 an over for the first 40 odd overs, then accelerating in the last ten. In reply, Scotland were never in the hunt from the first over (a Thomas Odoyo maiden) and wickets fell at regular intervals to give Kenya an easy victory.
A look at how the players fared individually:
David Obuya top scored and looks as though he has sown up one opener's spot with his personal best of 73 (off 74).
Ravindu Shah is BACK - a fine half century from him (54 off 53); a really great effort after so long out of competetive cricket.
Tanmay Mishra makes his second half century in 3 games, also a personal best as his 66 (off 60) just passes his 64* against Bermuda.
Collins Obuya also records his first half-century in emphatic form with 64* off 62. He also took a wicket - the first in a long time, though it is doubtful he would have bowled had Kenya not been in such a commanding situation.
Thomas Odoyo produced yet another fantastic all-round performance. 46* off 26 with the bat followed by 6 overs, 2 maidens 0/11 with the ball. Only spoiled by not taking a wicket, but his pressure enabled Peter Ongondo to cash in with 3/30 off 7. This is beginning to develop into a powerful partnership for Kenya.
Nehemiah Odhiambo completed a good day for the seamers taking 3/25 off 7 - again a personal best in ODIs. Great effort from him, especially as one was clean bowled, the other 2 slip catches - all good fast bowler wickets in other words.
Hiren Varaiya showed he has character as well as talent. After going for 22 from his first 2 overs, he came back to only concede another 11 from the next 6 and weighed in with 2 wickets to take his tally so far to 14 from 7 matches.
Jimmy Kamande missed out on the opportunity to bat, but made up for it with his bowling: 1/13 off 5.2 (he took the final wicket of the day) as well as a catch early in the innings.
Only Steve Tikolo and Maurice Ouma will be dissapointed with their personal performances. Tikolo however has credit to burn and made up for his failure with the bat with three catches. He also held himself back from bowling allowing the younger players to build up experience. Good captaincy, and the fact that Kenya put up such a score without him contributing must be giving some of the other teams nightmares.
Maurice Ouma took a catch behind the stumps, but failed again with the bat. He will really be hoping to get some runs under his belt soon. So far, he averages only 15 from as many matches and needs to fulfil the potential he so clearly has soon if he is to be a long term option for Kenya.
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All in all, this was a dominating performance by Kenya and sends out the message loud and clear to the other teams that they are the force to be reckoned with in Associate cricket. Certainly at ODI level. Canada take on the Scots today and the Kenyans will no doubt be watching closely before concentrating on the weekend's matches. Those of you in Mombasa need to get yourselves down to the MSC this weekend. If yesterday was anything to go by, there should be some great cricket going on.

2 comments:

Ram said...

Nick,

Congrats on an amazing performance by Kenya in "decimating" supposedly superior opponents Scotland in the first ODI of the Mombasa triseries despite the failure of their captain and star batsman Steve Tikolo! What makes this win highly impressive is that Scotland have been in full match fitness in the leadup to this tournament while the Kenyans had to be content with the workout in the Nairobi camp...My usual questions to you about this win would be: How many fans could be spotted at the ground?...Is the entry free?...Is their live TV coverage in Kenya?

Coming to this win, I think it should spur the team to greater success that has been associated with Kenyan cricket over the last decade...Despite facing internal strife over the last 3 years or so, if Kenya can field a cricket team capable of thrashing an opponent like Scotland on their day, it only speaks volumes about the depth of the system...Historically, not too many Associates can and have been known to successfully recover from troughs...so if Cricket Kenya can do that, they would've achieved something really good...

Chemosit said...

Ram,

small crowd for this as it was a midweek game. the cancelled match against Canada was expected to draw a big crowd including 16 schools. big blow not to have that game.
No live TV coverage - where would the money for it come from?

It is indeed great that Kenya can come out of the trough strong. Hopefully as development kicks in over the next couple of years, this will only get better!