Come Sunday, in Mombasa, Kenya’s national team will start the first of several cricket matches against their Irish counterparts that contribute to, among other things, qualification to the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia/New Zealand. How many of you knew that? Anyway, the matches include 1 Intercontinental Cup ‘Test’ match starting Sunday thru to Wednesday, 2 One Day matches, who’s results contribute to determining 2 of the 4 world cup slots allocated to Associates, and 3 Twenty20 matches. At the moment Ireland top both the Intercontinental ‘Test’ and One day leagues so Kenya need wins here to get back into contention to win both competitions, while the Twenty20 matches serve as the last warm up opportunity for both teams ahead of the qualifiers for that format’s world cup later this year in Sri Lanka. So how are Kenya looking going into this massively important assignment? Reasonably better than they have in a while is my opinion. Kenya spent the back end of 2011 and the begining of 2012 in Andhra Pradesh, India playing that province’s Ranji League team and from the results, it looks like Mike Hesson, the national team’s head coach head hunted from New Zealand’s, efforts are starting to bear fruit. Several batsmen showed scored hundreds in the One day matches, whilst in the Twenty20s, one Ragheb Aga showed a destructiveness with the bat that Kenya have missed in this format for a while. It wasn’t just him in fine touch, there was David Obuya, the young Duncan Allan, Tanmay Mishra, Rakep Patel, and off course the ever consistent captain Collins Obuya. Will their fine form translate to big scores in the more sedate, but more demanding (stamina wise) 4 day game starting Sunday? The bowling on the other hand showed some steel defending some relatively low totals in the twenty20 format though, they did fail to defend a 300 total twice in their India warm ups. Can they put enough pressure on an Ireland batting lineup, that I reckon is the most balanced outside test nations, to bowl them out consistently? That will come down to the tone Nehemiah Odhiambo, and Hiren Varaiya (the most experienced pace and bowlers in the squad) for the rest of the bowling attack. All in a successful outing against Ireland would prove the ideal platform to kickstart a recovery from the debacle of the 2011 World Cup, whilst failure would put this team in real jeopardy of fading into becoming a lost generation.