Rakep: Kenya must address collapse

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Oct 03, 2017
  • Rakep Patel, the Kenya captain has identified collapse as a key area of improvement before facing the Netherlands. (SNA. File Photo)

Kenya must address their tendency to collapse before taking on Netherlands in an ICC World Cricket League Championship match this weekend, skipper Rakep Patel has said.

Having collapsed in three of their last six matches against Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and Nepal, Kenya has found themselves in must win situation against leaders Netherlands in Port Elizabeth.

Their latest collapse was in their last group match of the Africa Twenty20 Cup in South Africa where they lost nine wickets for 22 run against Kwa Zulu Natal to miss a place in the semi finals.

“Those batting collapses, they’ve become quite a regular occurrence for us,” Rakep told Sports News Arena. “It’s something we need to rectify. We get ourselves into good positions and then can’t go on with it. That’s something we have to fix.”

The collapse against Kwa Zulu Natal exposed Kenya’s weaknesses against spin bowling which was as the case in the other WCLC losses. “I think we have been playing some good cricket at times in this event (WCLC) but we have been letting ourselves down with how we bat."

The Kanbis’ all-rounder said, being faced by the must win situations in the remaining matches is of their making. 

“We have learnt some painful lessons and hopefully in this series and the next against Scotland, if a similar situation comes, we’ll handle it better and boost our chances of progressing,” Rakep said.

“Whether you win or lose, there are always areas to improve. I am sure we know where to improve on. We have to come up with good plans and execute well.”

World Cup qualifier

The top four teams of this tournament will also join the lowest ranked four teams from the ICC ODI Championship (as of September 2017) in the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

The bottom four teams will be relegated to Division Two and play with the finalists of Division Three for the remaining two spots in the 2018 CWC Qualifier. The tournament will comprise a round-robin format.

“We know we haven’t had the most success in the previous matches, so it is important for us to come out and stand up in these conditions,” the off-spinner said.

“Netherlands are a classy side, so to come up against them was a challenge for us.”

Cricket Kenya selectors named uncapped bowler Peter Koech in a 14-man squad. The Nairobi Gymkhana seam bowler joins 13 players who took part in the Africa Twenty20 Cup in South Africa where Kenya was knocked out in the group stages.

The Nakuru born gets into the shoes of experienced Elijah Otieno who was overlooked again once again by the selectors for the crucial fixtures.

Otieno was also not considered for the South Africa trip which came up five months after coach Thomas Odoyo explained the Swamibapa bowler had something ‘special’ thus his recall into the team ahead of the last ICC WCLC match against Nepal.

But after the tour, Otieno’s fortunes with the team dwindled. Koech has not had a good season in the NPCA league. He has only picked a wicket a match compared to another seamer Eugene Ochieng who has claimed 15 wickets from seven matches.

Good run

Selectors released the squad – which also includes Nehemiah Odhiambo and Lucas Oluoch as the other seamers in the team. The two are also not enjoying a good run in the league because they are not among the top 20 bowlers in the NPCA league after round seven.

Oluoch is placed 23rd in the bowling chart while Odhiambo is 47th with only seven wickets from seven matches.

Pushpak Kerai who is placed second in the bowling chat has once won the selectors confidence and is expected to spearhead the spin department that also has vice-captain Shem Obado.

On form Rakep Patel will lead the team hoping that his current form will follow him in the must win fixture against the leaders. From six innings Rakep has scored 554 runs.

Second-placed Gurdeep Singh who is serving a two match ban from NPCA league will also be expected to transform his form to the international arena.

Squad: Rakep Patel, Dhiren Gondaria, Pushpak Kerai, Nelson Odhiambo, (Kanbis), Rushabvardhan Patel, Lucas Oluoch, Peter Koech (Nairobi Gymkhana), Irfan Karim, Emmanuel Bundi, Alex Obanda (Swamibapa), Collins Obuya, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Shem Obado, Gurdeep Singh (Sikh Union).

Officials: Thomas Odoyo (Coach), Peter Ongondo (Asst. Coach).