Cricket: Three teams chase two remaining slots: Kenya in must-win clash with Scotland

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Wednesday, December 6th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Cricket
Batsman Cricket Kenya team Irfan Karim clear ball during the 4th Round of International Cricket Council World Cricket League Championship match against Hong Kong at Nairobi Gymkana on Sunday, Nov 20, 2016. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

There’s no time to blink as focus shifts to 2019 World Cup Qualifiers set for March 2018 in Zimbabwe.

There is all to play for as Kenya locks horns with Scotland in a must-win International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Championships (WCLC) match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the UAE today.

This will be Kenya’s last chance to make it for the 2019 World Cup Qualifiers set for March 2018 in Zimbabwe.

Currently fifth on the WCLC standings with 12 points, Kenya face an uphill task against the third-placed Scotsmen, who have one foot in the qualifier.

Kenya, Scotland (with 15 points) and Hong Kong, who are fourth with 14 points, have a chance to secure the remaining two slots and join the Netherlands and Papua New Guinea, who have already made the cut. All three countries will be in action today.

National team coach Thomas Odoyo said they go into the match knowing what is required of them.

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“We had time to train and arrived here early enough to acclamatise. We go into this match knowing that if we win both matches, we will qualify for the next round. We are all determined to make the best of it,” Odoyo said on phone from Dubai.

Odoyo added that they had improved in their training and he was confident his top batting order would be solid.

“We are all counting on our top order to give us a good start, remain focused and play smart cricket to score more runs in our innings. If they stay longer on the crease, then we can surely get the points we need.”

Having lost to Scotland in their last encounter, Kenya will have to be in their best form if they have any intentions of advancing. Kenya lost by three wickets in the ICC World Cup Qualifier 2014 match.

Kenya’s opening batsman Alex Obanda, who starred in that match with 89 runs, prays for a similar form today.