Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Last Roll of the Dice

Tomorrow Kenya take on Ireland in what is a huge match for cricket in the country. With the Super 8 campaign stuttering at best and catastrophic at worst, we now need a win against the best team in the competition to ensure qualification for the World Cup.

So far in the super 8s, Kenya has lost heavily to Canada, scraped past a poor Scotland (who are themselves in danger of not only missing out on the WC, but also of losing ODI status)and then been utterly thrashed by Namibia - a team the other contenders for WC spots have had little difficulty with.

The final fixtures are such that Kenya could still qualify even if we lose, but it would take other results to go our way - not a route any Kenyan fan wants to go down.
Sitting on 6 points, Kenya are still just 3rd on Net Run Rate ahead of Netherlands and the UAE. What is a concern is that if both of these teams win their final games and Kenya lose, we will miss out on the World Cup. If all 3 teams lose, then NRR could not only determine the WC spots, but ODI status as well.

For Kenya, there could still be a happy ending. A win, however unlikely given yesterday's capitulation, could still potentially place us second and facing Ireland in the final. It would need The result of the Canada-Netherlands game to be a tight win to the Netherlands and our own win to be big, but it is possible. Worst case scenario if we lose is to miss out on the World Cup and possibly even finish outside the top 6 on NRR, though this would need an unlikely combination of results. Should the latter eventuate, we may as well bid adieu to the game in Kenya. It is that serious a predicament.

In short, very much all to play for and Kenya's top order who have so far failed to impress at this stage of the tournament will need to really step up to prove they deserve their places. After tomorrow, there will be no more chances. No more opportunities at redemption.

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