Monday, March 30, 2009

Tight win in last warm up game

Sure it was a warm up game and this meant that the batting and bowling line ups could be tinkered with to an extent during the game (Hiren Varaiya bowled but did not bat for example), but it was also a win over Scotland, one of the co-favourites to win the WC qualifiers.

A full scorecard can be found on Cricket Europe, but in summary, Kenya batted first and despite losing both openers (Waters and K Obuya)early were for once able to build partnerships through the middle order. Though there was once again the irritating habit of batsmen getting starts and then getting out, Ouma (35), Tikolo (46) and C Obuya (45) did enough to set up a solid platform for Kenya.

Nehemiah Odhiambo then chipped in with a lusty unbeaten 27 off 17 to take Kenya to 243/9, a total that proved just enough to defend. Scotland also built partnerships, but perhaps the difference was that when Kenya got wickets, they tended to come in pairs. Odoyo only bowled 5 overs, but his figures of 1/9 put the pressure on as usual Peter Ongondo (10-1-37-1) provided a useful counter at the beginning of the innings.

Hiren Varaiya again picked up the most wickets, taking 3/28 while Lameck Onyango (9-0-44-1) and Odhiambo (7-1-43-2) also did their bit, though Odhiambo continues to be expensive. In the end, Scotland were bowled out for 236 with Wright stranded on 47. A good win for Kenya, but we really need batsmen to go on to big scores once they are in rather than getting out in the 30s and 40s.

Despite the wickets, the 3rd and 4th seamer spots are a concern. Onyango looks to have done enough to be preferred first change, but both Bhudia (4-0-24-0) and Odhiambo again went for 6 an over, which is too expensive for those vital overs.

2 players missed this match who I believe should start - Alex Obanda (at 3 - is he injured?) and Elijah Otieno (4th seamer), other wise this looked like a good Kenya side. With this win, confidence should be high before the tournament propoer starts on Wednesday with what should be Kenya's toughest group match against The Netherlands and the dangerous Ryan ten Doeschate. They have been in great form recently, probably the best of the Associates going into the tournament and will be a tough task first up. With Odoyo bowling 10 overs however, Kenya should have the firepower to keep them under control. Here's hoping!


Onyango said...

Good confidence booster for Kenya. I am also glad that ICC is more vigilent and is keeping an eye on associate and affiliate countries fielding "imported" players - Afghanistan.

When its all said and done it will be The Netherlands, Kenya, Ireland and Scotland qualifying. I also hope Ugands finishes in the top eight so they can get the ICC funds that comes with it.

Chemosit said...

I don't think it is that clear cut - certainly Namibia are more than capable of mixing with any of the above as they proved in the Intercontinental Cup. Should be a great tournament!