Kenya lock horns with Netherlands

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Friday, October 6th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Cricket
Keeper/Batsman Ankit Hirani of Team Kenya during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier at Nairobi Gymkana Grounds on Saturday, July 01, 2017. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

Kenya will today face off with Netherlands in a World Cricket League Championship match at Buffalo Park East London in Cape Town, South Africa.

At stake are slots to the 2019 World Cup global qualifiers to be staged at a yet-to-be-announced venue in March 2018. Kenya was set to host the match at Nairobi Gymkhana but the International Cricket Council (ICC) moved it to South Africa due to security concerns.

The top four teams in the World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) will secure their places to the final qualifier, enhancing their chances of qualifying for the World Cup. Led by former international Thomas Odoyo, the Kenyan men will face an uphill task as they seek to overpower Netherlands, who have been consistent in their campaign and are on the verge of snatching the first slot.

Currently fifth on the log with 10 points, the Kenyans will be seeking a whitewash against the Dutch, who already have one foot in the global qualifier.

Netherlands have been a most impressive side and are at the summit of the WCLC standings with 16 points from 10 matches. Papua New Guinea are second with 14 points, Scotland third with 13, while Hong Kong close the top four with 11.

However, despite Netherlands remarkable record, Odoyo is confident that his charges have what it takes to overcome their opponent. “I am not worried or even focusing on our opponents position on the log because it counts for nothing. Only the side that gets the basics right will triumph,” Odoyo said.

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He added that even though they never got to play friendly matches against stronger teams, his players were still fit.