Cricket: Kenyans out to stamp authority against Tanzania
Odumbe aims to make it three wins on the trot
After flooring Uganda and Rwanda in World Twenty20 Africa B qualifiers, Tanzania is next for the Kenyan boys.
Kenya will be seeking their third successive victory when they take on Tanzania today in their third match of the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 Africa B qualifiers at Gahanga Cricket Stadium, in Kigali.
For Kenya’s national team coach Maurice Odumbe, who is on his first international assignment, this will be the first time he leads his charges against a side not coached by a Kenyan.
His first two victories were against former teammates Steve Tikolo and Martin Suji for Uganda and Rwanda respectively.
And with the gods of cricket at Gahanga seemingly in favour of the batsmen, all eyes will be on favourites Kenya, as they take on a side that has never given them a challenge in the past.
The batsmen have been impressive at Gahanga, more so the Kenyans, who struggled with the bat in past assignments but have outdone themselves with high scores that have been unattainable before, even in a 50-overs match.
In their opening clash, Kenya put up a spirited fight in the chase of Uganda’s 240 to win the match by four wickets with three balls to spare as Dhiren Gondaria hit 90 runs off 46 balls.
Against hosts Rwanda, the Kenyans staged a thrilling performance to register a towering 270 for the loss of four wickets and bowled well to register a 123 runs victory.
Today, Kenya will be seeking to extend their dominance over the Tanzanians who they have beaten in previous matches. The last time the two sides met in a competitive ICC championship was in the 2015 T20 qualifiers where Kenya easily beat Tanzania by eight wickets.
Despite Kenya’s remarkable record against the Tanzanians, Odumbe said they will remain focused so as to achieve their objective.
“We have to live in the moment, play good cricket and keep winning. We have to be at our best for us to achieve our objectives. We are playing well and so are the other teams, hence the need to remain focused,” Odumbe said.
Kenya will be banking on the services of her top and middle order batsmen who have been superb in the last two encounters.
Openers Alex Obanda and Gondaria will be expected to form a solid first stand wicket to push Kenya’s score as they seek to get better with every match. Obanda and Gondaria anchored Kenya to victory against Rwanda with 63 and 56 runs respectively.
Old hand Collins Obuya and former captain Rakep Patel were also outstanding for Kenya with 63 and 51 runs. Obuya staged an all-round performance to be named man-of-the-match against Rwanda. Shem Ngoche, who took four wickets, will lead the bowlers.
Tanzania, who beat Rwanda by 76 runs in their event opener on the other hand, will be seeking their second victory after falling to Uganda in their second clash. Uganda will take on Rwanda in the second encounter of the day.
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