Kenya’s first match of the Super 8 stage and it was against a canada side that had won 4 out their 5 matches in their group. Kenya’s regular XI were restorted for this match in which a win against one of two other teams on 4 points at the start of the Super 8s would be a big step forward in securing a place in the finals. Even Nehemiah Odhiambo was beack having recovered from whetevr ailment kept him out of the win against Bermuda.
Kenya were sent in to bat and were soon in all sorts of turmoil as within 10 overs 5 batsmen had been dismissed for single figure scores and the entire innings was looking finished before it had even got started at 51 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. Ex-Ugandan Henry Osinde was the man doing the damage for Canada finishing with 4 wickets for 39 runs. Things would get worse before they got better as only 20 runs when Mautice Ouma, the only top order batsman to get his score past 10 suffered his customary head explosion and Kenya wer looking over the abyss with the score reading 71/6.
It was here that the two batsmen at the crease, Jimmy Kamande, and Hiren Varaiya, ostensibly in the XI for their ability to bowl finger-spin, began the firefighting exercise that dragged Kenya’s final total to a barely excusable 181 all out. Kamande was the top scorer hitting a valuable 61 off 86 balls. Other firefighters were Hiren Varaiya who held out for 41 deliveries to get to 13. and nehemiah Odhiambo who hit 3 fours and a six before he was left stranded on an unbeaten score of 34 of 45 deliveries.
Canada ere off to the races chasing down an relitely easy target of of 182 with one Riwaz Cheema, in partcularly explosive form, dealing exclusively in boundaries for his first 38 runs. Canada were running away with the game scoring an astronomical 60 runs off 6 overs mostly off the back of Cheema’s efforts. Kenya finally got the better of him when he lobbed a Nehemiah Odhiambo delivery to Alex Obanda to finish just one runs short of his 50. A second wicket with the Canadians on 83, slowed them further and even with Kamande’s spin picking up a further Kenya’s poor batting earlier proved their downfall.
Following 4 solid batting performances against fairly docile attacks Kenya have certainly been brought back to earth with an enourmous thump. Hopefully it will be a wake up call to the batsmen to raise their collective game ahead of matches against Scotland, Namibia and finally Ireland
EDIT: Fortunately for Kenya, the group leaders Ireland also lost their opening day match against Afghanistan meaning that though they (Kenya) slip out of the two finalist slots, The two teams at the top of the pool remain only two points ahead of Kenya with three matches to play.