Kenya through to Super Six stage of world cup qualifier

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jan 24, 2022

An electrifying century from Kenya opener Irfan Karim saw Kenya shock Netherlands by four wickets in a dramatic final day of the group stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier New Zealand 2014  on Thursday.

An ODI battle for the third and final Group B spot in the Super Six stage, two centuries were struck as Kenya defeated the Netherlands by four wickets to leapfrog the Dutch into the top three.

After being sent in to bat, Netherlands set a cracking pace, with opener Eric Szwarczynski (57) and Wesley Barresi (137 not out) putting on a 148 run partnership that helped the Netherlands stack up a total of 265 for six.

However, the day belonged to Kenya opener Irfan Karim, the man of the match who wasted no time in the run chase, striking an 84-ball 108, including 14 boundaries. Ragheb Aga (86 from 70 balls) and Collins Obuya (37 from 24 balls) continued the pace, and Kenya reached 266 in 35.4 overs with four wickets in hand.

Karim was part of a 148-run second-wicket stand with Ragheb Aga, setting the base for Kenya’s win in the high-scoring clash after Netherlands had put up 265 for 6. Karim hit 16 fours in his 121-run innings and batted till the 32nd over to take Kenya within touching distance of its victory before being caught by Eric Szwarczynski off Ehsan Malik.

With only 26 runs required for a win at that stage, Kenya sailed to its target quite comfortably with 14.2 overs to spare.

Malik and Mudassar Bukhari were the only successful bowlers for Netherlands, bagging three wickets each. Bukhari provided the first breakthrough for his side in the fifth over when he castled Alex Obanda. This brought Aga to the crease and he played an impressive knock of 86 from 70 balls before Bukhari struck for a second time in the 25th over to send him back lbw. By then, however, Karim had taken charge.

Win huge relief, Patel 

Earlier, sent in to bat, Netherlands lost Stephan Myburgh off the fifth ball of the innings, bowled by Lameck Onyango. That brought Szwarczynski and Wesley Barresi together and the duo put on 136 runs for the second wicket in 185 balls to put the innings back on track.

Szwarczynski took 94 balls for his 57 before Hiren Varaiya went past his defence, but Barresi remained unbeaten on 137, hitting 11 fours and two sixes in his innings.

Kenya skipper Rakep Patel said the win was a relief. “There was a lot of pressure on the boys today.They really performed and got us through to the next round.” “Chasing 265 could have been very difficult. But the way Irfan Karim and Ragheb Aga batted today was very good, and Collins Obuya finished things off nicely,” he said.

“This win means a lot to the team, and to everyone back home. The boys have believed in themselves and changed their own luck. The senior players are displaying real leadership and commitment.”

A disappointed Netherlands captain Peter Borren was not making any excuses for his side’s loss. “A lot went wrong today, in the field particularly. Their two batsmen played beautifully, and we didn’t respond well.

“We probably didn’t get enough runs in our last ten overs. We could have killed them off there with wickets in hand. But they bowled well and we struggled to get it away. That was pretty crucial,” he said.

Thursday’s results mean that the teams to progress to the Super Six stage of the ICC CWCQ 2014, which starts on Sunday, are Group A’s Scotland, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), alongside Papua New Guinea (PNG), Namibia and Kenya from Group B. 

Kenya's upcoming fixtures:

Sunday 26 January

Kenya v Hong Kong, Rangiora Oval, Christchurch, South Island

Tuesday 28 January

UAE v Kenya, Hagley Oval, Christchurch, South Island

Thursday 30 January

Scotland v Kenya, Hagley Oval, Christchurch, South Island (ICC)