Kenya's second chance in ICC World Cup qualifiers

Tuesday October 10 2017

Kenya’s Collins Obuya (right) bats as wicketkeeper Inayat Saeed of Saudi Arabia looks on during their Four-Nation ODI Quadrangular Series final at the Nairobi Jaffery’s on September 24, 2016. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

Kenya’s Collins Obuya (right) bats as wicketkeeper Inayat Saeed of Saudi Arabia looks on during their Four-Nation ODI Quadrangular Series final at the Nairobi Jaffery’s on September 24, 2016. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RICHARD MWANGI
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After a false start in their ICC World Cricket League Championship matches against the Netherlands at Buffalo Park, East London in South Africa, Kenya clawed their way back with a crucial win over the Dutch at the weekend.

Kenya shared points with the Dutch, two apiece, but it is the tourists who left with a bigger chance of making the final phase of the qualifiers set for next year.

Even though the two points enabled Kenya to move from fifth to fourth positions on the table with 12 points, that does not guarantee Thomas Odoyo’s charges a place in next year’s 2019 World Cup qualifier.

Kenya is just a single point ahead of Hong Kong while the Dutch lead the table with 18 points, edging them closer to a spot in the qualifiers.

The Netherlands, Papua New Guinea (16), Scotland (15) Kenya, Hong Kong, Nepal (8), Namibia (6), UAE (6) are fighting for the four slots reserved for the group in the qualifiers.

Kenya’s performance against the Dutch showed much improvement even though the opening pair of Irfan Karim and Alex Obanda failed to put on a meaningful partnership.

Karim failed completely to play Dutch’s opening bowler, Vivian Kingma who trapped him leg before wicket in both innings.

In the first game, Kingma dismissed Karim for three and in the second match, the same bowler dismissed the in the same manner for 6. As for Obanda, he scored five runs in the first game and 19 in the second.

Former skipper Collins Obuya, who was batting at number five, blasted half centuries in the two matches. In the first innings, Obuya scored 72 and in the second, he was unbeaten on 56. Dhiren Gondaria, batting one down, was the other player who did well with the bat. He scored 53 and 63 runs respectively.

As for bowling, Shem Ngoche was outstanding as he took four wickets for 33 in the second game that Kenya won by two wickets. Obuya (2/25) and Rakep Patel (2/37) were the other bowlers who took wickets.

Kenya will play their last game of the Championship in Dubai against Scotland on December 6 and 8, which will determine their fate in the World Cup qualifiers.

The team was set to returned home Tuesday evening from South Africa.