Kenya team suf­fer blow as they fall to vis­it­ing Hong Kong

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International -

Kenya chances of qual­i­fy­ing for next year’s ICC World Cricket qual­i­fiers were dealt a ma­jor blow when they went down to Hong Kong in a ICC World Cricket League Cham­pi­onship match at Nairobi Gymkhana yes­ter­day.

Chas­ing a re­vised tar­get of 173 in an­other rain-soaked match, Kenya were bowled out for 133 for a 39 runs loss. Af­ter los­ing the toss in a late start match, Hong Kong put on a good bat­ting dis­play to post 148 for 4 in 25.1 overs of the al­lot­ted 31 be­fore skies opened.

On re­sump­tion, the match was re­duced to 25 overs and Kenya given a tar­get of 173. Lu­cas Olu­och gave Kenya a well de­served break­through when he up­rooted the stumps of Kin­chit Shah with only two runs scored. Skip­per Bar­bar Hayat opened his ac­count with two con­sec­u­tive bound­aries off Olu­och in the fourth over to get Hong Kong to dou­ble dig­its.

The two shared 19 for the sec­ond wicket be­fore Kenya made their first bowl­ing change, bring­ing on Naren­dra Kalyan for Ne­hemiah Od­hi­ambo. Kenya made their sec­ond bowl­ing change in the 10th over, bring­ing on Nel­son Man­dela for Olu­och and Hayat wel­comed him with an­other six to lift his side to 44 in 10 overs.

With the board on 60 af­ter 12 overs, Kenya missed the biggest chance of the in­ning when Ir­fan Karim missed a stump­ing on Hayat off Shem Ngoche. Hayat con­tin­ued with his con­fi­dent bat­ting dis­play and along­side Chris Carter, they reached the hun­dred stand in the 18th over.

With wick­ets not forth­com­ing with 10 overs to go and the board on 120, Olu­och was brought back into the at­tack and it paid off when he dis­missed Hayat on for 78 from 64 balls. Olu­och picked his third seven balls later when he had Carter eas­ily caught on 41, leav­ing them on 127 for 3 be­fore Man­dela got the fourth.

Three balls into the fifth wicket stand, the match was stopped and it went on for al­most an a hour and on the restart, Kenya were re­quired to chase 174 in 25 overs.

Open­ers Karim and Alex Obanda reached 50 in­side seven overs to give Kenya a de­cent start. Nadeem Ahmed got the break­through when he had Obanda stumped on 39 with 96 runs re­quired from 12 overs. Kenya lost its sec­ond wicket four balls into Karim-Dhiren Gon­daria’s stand when Rath bowled Karim on 33.

Skip­per Rakep Pa­tel was bowled by Ahmed for a duck with the board on 86. Scores were 90 for 5 when Ahmed dis­missed Gon­daria and Kalyan in quick suc­ces­sion be­fore Collins Obuya and Gur­deep Singh put on a cameo stand of 25. Need­ing 50 to win from five overs brothers Ne­hemiah and James Ngoche were out in two balls to Tan­veer Ahmed.

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