Victory for Kenyans at last in ICC T20 cricket

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Tuesday, October 22nd 2019 at 12:14 GMT +3 | Cricket
Kenya are now fifth on the seven-team table with two points from three matches. [Courtesy]

After two straight losses, Kenya finally got it right chalking their first win in the ongoing 2020 International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup global qualifiers.

Yesterday, Kenya beat Bermuda by 46 runs in their third match at the ICC Academy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Kenyan boys, who had lost their first two matches to Netherlands and Scotland by 30 and 31 runs respectively now need to win their remaining three Group A matches to seal a top four finish.

With the victory, Kenya are now fifth on the seven-team table with two points from three matches. Papua New Guinea (PNG), Netherlands, Scotland and Singapore are ranked one to fourth in that order tied on four points, but separated by the net run rate.

Kenya’s wish to have their hands on the first two tickets is seemingly a tall order as they have already lost two matches reducing their chances of topping the pool and earning a direct ticket to Sydney, Australia for the global showpiece.

Kenya must overcome PNG, Singapore and bottom-placed Namibia to secure another chance to fight for the remaining four slots. Hosts UAE top Group B with four points same as second-placed Oman.

Against Bermuda, Dhiren Gondaria staged a brilliant show hitting a towering 85 not out to steer Kenya to the much needed win. Alex Obanda, who is yet to make his presence in Dubai felt once again failed to turn up for the job and Bermuda bowlers did not spare him as George O’Brien got him caught on a golden duck with the fourth ball on the innings.

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Gondaria formed a second wicket stand with Irfan Karim and their partnership would only last into the fifth over as Kamau Laverock set up Karim to be caught by Dion Stovell as the score stood at 29 runs for the loss of two wickets.

Laverock would not let veteran Collins Obuya settle on the crease trapping him leg before with the last ball of the seventh over as Kenya struggled to find their footing with the score at 41 for three. Gondaria remained solid despite Kenya’s quick fall of wickets holding on to push Kenya’s score to 138 for four setting a target of 139 for Bermuda. In defence, Elijah Otieno set Kenya on path to victory by sending Bermuda opening batsman Okera Bascome back to the pavilion with the first ball getting him caught by Nelson Odhiambo. [Elizabeth Mburugu]

Kenyan skipper Shem Ngoche bowled his equal Stovell with the 12th ball destabilising Bermuda’s game plan as the score stood at seven for the loss of two.

Obuya would for the third time lead Kenya’s onslaught with the ball taking four wickets while conceding 27 runs while Ngoche and Rakep Patel would take two wickets each. Delray Rawlins top scored with 37 off 26 balls, but his effort was not good enough as Bermuda succumbed to their third loss 93 all out in 18.5 overs.

 

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