Some hiccups as batsmen struggle in England
It has been a mixed bad so far for the Kenyan team on their European tour which is being used to prepare for the 20-20 World Cup Qualifiers in Ireland.
All started well when Steve Tikolo led the team to a 15 run win over a Sports For All XI in Rochdale last weekend.
On monday, Kenya backed this up with a second win in a 50 over match against Rochdale before travelling to Cranleigh where things took a turn for the worse.
Playing against a select XI that included Abeed Janmohammed and Seren Waters, Kenya's batting line up struggled after an initial good start. Alex Obanda alone stood out for the batsmen making a half century, but Kenya's total of 162 all out was never going to be enough for the bowlers to defend. In the end they went down by a comfortable 5 wickets and the defeat is a worrying sign so close to the important matches coming up.
A day later it was back to winning ways, but once again Kenya's batting looked frail as Guernsey managed to bowl them out for 194. both Maurice Ouma (24) and Alex Obanda (21) got starts, but both players only scored at a 50% strike rate. Steve Tikolo, and the Obuya brothers, Kennedy and Collins only managed 7 runs between them and things could have been embarrassing for Kenya had not Thomas Odoyo come to the rescue with a timely 61 off 84 balls. He received some support from the lower order as both Jimmy Kamande and Tony Suji weighed in with 23 a piece, but most importantly provided the back up he needed to take Kenya to a total of 194 thanks to some quick runs at the end from Peter Ongondo and Hiren Varaiya.
Where Kenya's batsmen struggled, Peter Ongondo (7-2-23-3) sparkled, ripping through the Guernsey top order to have them at 10-3. It was a start from which Guernsey were never able to recover and once Thomas Odoyo (7-4-14-1), Elijah Otieno (5-1-12-1) and Hiren Varaiya (7.4-2-31-2) joined the party to have them at 40-6, it was only going to be a matter of how close Guernsey could get before they were bowled out. Thanks to a gutsy 52 from Stuart Le Prevost, Guernsey fought on to make 122 before Varaiya wrapped up the innings.
Continuing on from the win against guernsey, Kenya were back in 20-20 mode as they were able to notch up another win, this time against a Cambridgeshire XI.
Today is scheduled as a rest day, though there is a possibility of a charity match against Hoodie, followed by a busy few days as the team travel to Devon to play them in both a 50 over game and a 20-20 followed by similar games against a Minor Counties XI. The team then head to Ireland and the crucial 20-20 qualifiers.