Having won one match and lost one match Kenya return from Sharjah back at the top of the Intercontinental Cup log and unless some wheeling and dealing from Cricket Kenya does otherwise will not be playing any International level matches until they set of to Europe and the UK where they will face their biggest rivals for the tag ‘best cricketing nation without test status’ on their turf i.e. The Netherlands and Scotland. As the individual match reviews for the Namibia game are available here, and for the UAE game here, this entry will be more or less a look at the overall tour than any one match in particular.
Gerry Snyman’s innings may have been a once in a lifetime miracle that invariably cannot be discounted however one looks at the match, that Kenya got shot out for 135 having had a whole day and half to negotiate a 237 run chase on an increasingly bowler friendly pitch and that in both matches there was only 100+ partnership, (the sixth wicket stand between James Kamande and Thomas Odoyo in the first innings against UAE) will leave more some worried about the bruttleness of Kenya’s batting order. That sid thee were some marvelous individual performances with Hiren Varaiya claiming his 50th first Class wicket in only his 12th match against Namibia and then going on to claim his fourth 5 wicket haul against the UAE. Peter Ongondo also had a strong showing with the ball claiming a total of 9 wickets in both matches while Thomas Odoyo’s century and James Kamande’s Half century gainst UAE were the biggest highlights with the bat.
Though it was unfortunate that the Namibia game that was originally set for Nairobi was moved to Sharjah for security reasons one would have still have thought Kenya would have too much firepower for Namibia, and that their win over UAE who despite their previous World cup experience should not have really have come with so much of a struggle will give their more illustrious opponents the Netherlands and former tournament winners Scotland hope when they host Kenya later on in the year as it has to be noted that when Ireland, did last play UAE in the Intercontinental Cup, soon after their disappointing World Cricket League, it was all one way traffic.
On the other hand Ireland, the current defending champions have to travel to Namibia (whose extra first class experience could well get them another upset win) though and in all
likelihood the UAE will not fold so meekly this time when the two teams meet again in March.
Nonetheless it will be crucial in the months leading up to these crucial potentially tournament defining matches that Kenya do something about strengthening the resolve of the top order so they do not find themselves 5 or six wickets down with barely anything on the scorecard and fighting to stay in the match against Scotland or the Netherlands come their matches in August this year.