Kenya lock horns with hosts Oman
Kenya national cricket team will launch its quest to climb up the International Cricket Council (ICC) ladder against hosts Oman today at the Al Amerat Cricket Stadium in Muscat.
The Kenyans will also be on a mission to avenge their double loss to the Omanis in ICC Division Two in Namibia in February.
Kenya reached it’s lowest moment in Namibia when the team lost all its matches to finish sixth in a six-nation tournament and were demoted to Division Three.
An opening match victory will set Kenya on path to recovery as they seek a top-two finish which will see them move back to Division Two.
A lot is at stake for the Kenyan boys who are determined to reclaim their lost cricket glory.
Experienced Shem Ngoche is expected to take up the captain’s role after Collins Obuya, who was appointed by the Cricket Kenya Interim Committee, pulled out hours before the Oman trip.
Ngoche, who has been a key player in the Kenyan team, said their aim was to play well and gain the Division Two status.
“We are not happy with where we are now and we are determined to make the difference. We slipped and fell but all is not lost because we have the opportunity to fight and regain our lost glory,” Ngoche said.
After Oman, Kenya will also take on Singapore, Denmark, Uganda and USA in a round-robin format that will see the top two sides prompted to Division Two.
Kenya, under the tutelage of Lameck Onyango, will be wary of Oman, who beat them by two wickets in the first round.
Struggling with the bat, Kenya had scored 200 runs all out with a ball remaining in their innings but Oman broke their hearts after scoring 184 for the loss of eight wickets chalking a two-wicket win Duckworth Lewis method.
Oman then inflicted more pain on Kenya with a five-wicket victory in the fifth place playoffs forcing them to finish last. However, the Kenyans are now itching to return the favour. Onyango will rely on Dhiren Gondaria, Alex Obanda, Rakep Patel and wicketkeeper Irfan Karim to excel with the bat.
All-rounder Nelson Odhiambo is also set to boost Kenya’s campaign while Ngoche, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Pushpak Kerai, Elijah Otieno Lucas Oluoch and Emmanuel Bundi will are set to trouble Oman batsmen.
Youngster Sachin Bhudia, who captained Kenya at this year’s ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, will be eager to impress on his international debut at the senior level.
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