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Wounded Kenyans face Namibia in WC qualifier

CRICKET By BY OSCAR PILIPILI | January 17th 2014

BY OSCAR PILIPILI

KENYA: Kenyan cricket team will be seeking their first victory when they meet Namibia in the 2015 ICC World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand this morning.

Joseph Angara, an elite coach with Cricket Kenya (CK) and former international, says Kenya have high chances of beating Namibia.

He said: “It was just unfortunate that we lost the first match against Papua New Guinea, but Kenya is a balanced side that is still stronger than Namibia.”

“If every player in the batting and bowling order takes full responsibility, then our team will win,” he said.

Angara supported earlier views by former international Peter Ong’ondo that experienced medium pacer Lameck Onyango and player/coach Thomas Odoyo should open bowling.

“Onyango has been consistent in bowling and he should open against Namibia for us to boast our chances of claiming early wickets,” he said.

Left arm bowlers Shem Ngoche and Hiren Varaiya are expected to combine well with right off spinner Tikolo to restrict the Namibians.

Angara said top batting order should record enough runs in the mandatory first power play and avoid dropping early wickets to place the team in a better position of winning the match.

“Kenya batsmen need to maximise the first power play and score good runs. In the last match our third man came in too early,” he said.

Angara, a veteran of two World Cups- 1999 and 2003- hopes that fourth man Collins Obuya maintain the form that saw him achieve a century against Guinea.

“Obuya is a good batsman and if he maintains consistency then our team would prevail against Namibia,” he said.

“The bowlers should also restrict the opponents in power play and claim some wickets if possible,” he said. The two teams go into the match after having recorded contrasting results in their respective opening matches last Monday.

Kenya began the campaign to qualify for the next World Cup on a false footing after they went down by eight wickets against Papua New Guinea.

On the other hand, Namibia crushed Netherlands by 91 runs in their opening match of the event that is the final qualification round to the 2015 ICC World Cup.

Pressure will be more on the Kenyans as they must win this match to remain on course to reach the Super Six stage of the tournament.

The Super Six stage would involve the top three finishers from each one of the five-team two pools A and B. The three-day day must have given coach Tikolo and his charges opportunity to rectify the mistakes they made against Papua New Guinea. Kenya’s victory against Namibia will put the East Africans in a better position to advance to second round of the competition.

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