Taking the cue from my counterparts I will be be posting brief summaries of the games as Kenya looks to qualify for thr 2011 cricket World Cup.
For those of you who do not know Kenya are in group B with The Dutch, UAE, Bermuda, Denmark and Afghanistan. The top four who qualify for the Super 8 where ther business of ends up where is finaally settled.
So into the action
Game 1 v. Holland
With the mercurial Alex Obanda missing the first game Morris Ouma was pushed up the order to fill his position batting at three. Kenya opt for the extra bowler in thye shape of veteran Lameck Onyango. Giving the team the option of four pace bowlers (Odoyo, Ongondo, Odhiambo, Onyango) as well as the spin option of Tikolo, Varaiya and Kamande.
Having won the toss Steve Tikolo opted to bat first, But Kenya soon had both openers back in the pavilion for single figures as the Dutch bowlers made good use of the new ball and by the 17th over Kenya were 4 wickets down with only 61 runs scored with an implosion looking likely. However with Thomas Odoyo(36 off 73 balls) Collins Obuya (24 off 58 balls) digging in to carry Kenya into triple digits, the worst was avoided and when Jimmy Kamande came on an pile to score a heavily adrenaline charged 58 runs off 50 deliveries, allied to some lusty hitting from Nemi Odhiambo (29 off 17 with 2 sixes), Kenya were able to battle their way to a failry competitive 247/8 off their allocated 50 overs.
The Dutch beging their chase fairly slowly Ongondo and Odoyo, doing well to keep them from making much use of their first two powerplays. The change of bowling brought early reward for Kenya with the introduction of Lameck Onyango and Nemi Odhiambo sparkimg a mini-collapse. But just as it looked like Kenya were about to land a killer blow, The Dutch struck back through Bas Ziuderent and Ryan Ten Doeschate hitting 13 of Varaiya’s first over and then a further 14 of Odhiambo’s 6th to put themselves right back in the game and with rain looming the advantage through Duckworth-Lewis ( the score being128/3). From then on it was just a matter of keeping the scorecard ticking over which they managed despite the best efforts of Kenya’s spinners to stem the scoring. What could have been a hard fought chase then gradually became a procession as Both Zuiderant and Ten Doeschate (distinctly a class above anyone else on the field) raised their 50s as The Dutch crossed 200 hundred with 10 overs to spare, before Ten doeschate confirmed his class by crossing 100 with only few runs left to get to guide the Dutch across the line to an easy 7 wicket win.
Though Netherlands are a long way the most difficult opposition Kenya will face in this group, the likelybility that the Dutch will go on and steamroll everybody else in the group means that if bothe go through as is likelythe Dutch will have the extra two points in the pocket right from the off (as will Ireland from their victory over Scotland if scotland go through). Which with the higher quality opposition anticipated in the super 8 stage means Kenya will need to raise their standards a level or two by then.