Third time lucky for Kenya in Africa T20 Cup?

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 06, 2017
  • Dhiren Gondaria is one of the players traveling to South Africa on Wednesday. (SNA. File Photo)

Kenya will be searching for the elusive knockout stage stage when they compete in their third successive Africa T20 Cup in South Africa this weekend.

For two year’s, Kenya have failed to go past the group stages of the event that features 13 South African provincial teams, as well as national representative sides Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Kenya won only one match and finished last in the first in 2015. Last year, The same script was repeated last year.

This year, Kenya has been pooled with Kwazulu-Natal, North Cape and Free State. They will open their campaign on Friday against Free State at De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberly before taking on Northern Cape on Saturday.

They will end their first round campaign against KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday at the same venue.

On Tuesday, Cricket Kenya released a travelling squad of 13 players for the event with fast bowlers Emmanuel Bundi handed a comeback.

The Swamibapa fast bowler impressed with his bowling skills before the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Super League took a one month break to pave way for the NPCA Select tour.

"Bundi's return is welcomed because he has had a good run in the domestic league and he has also been impressive in training for the last two months’, a statement from the selectors read.

"He may not be bowling as quickly as before, but still possesses that skill we all knew he had, plus his experience adds greater depth to the attack."

Bundi replaces Otieno

Bundi replaces his club mate Elijah Otieno who inn two years, Otieno has been left out of the team at least three times.

After missing out on the team that hosted Hong Kong in the ICC World Cricket League Championship tie in November last year, Otieno was recalled back in the team that played Nepal with coach Thomas Odoyo saying he had something special.

Kanbis spinner Pushpak Kerai has also earned a place in the 13 man-squad that leaves the country on Wednesday.

Kerai is tasked with leading the Kenyan spin attack alongside skipper Rakep Patel and his deputy Shem Obado.

In the opening match, Kenya will heavily bank on the good local form from Rakep, Dhiren Gondaria and Gurdeep Singh to end the two years jinx.

The pace attack will be spearheaded by Bundi, Nehemiah Odhiambo and Lucas Oluoch.

Despite a poor run with the bat both domestically and internationally, Nairobi Gymkhana batsman Rushabvardhan Patel has once again won the selectors nod in the squad.

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