Saudi Arabia jolt Kenya for a must win against Uganda

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 28, 2021
  • Irfan Karim is one of the batsmen expected to raise their game against Uganda in a crucial quadrangular tie. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Jolted by a defeat by Saudi Arabia, Kenya take on an equally desperate Uganda in a do-or-die Cricket Kenya Quadrangular Twenty20 match on Wednesday.

Any further slip will mean Kenya are out of contention for the quadrangular title. The unexpected 39 runs loss at the hands of Saudi Arabia has left Thomas Odoyo and his men in tight spot needing a win in their last preliminary match against Uganda.

Similarly, Steve Tikolo’s men also need a win to reach the final set for Friday.

But, this is not just another match because Uganda inflicted the only defeat to Kenya in their 50 overs match last week. The two matches that Uganda have lost to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kenya’s performance against Saudi Arabia where they managed only 84 in their quest for 123 has left the coaches scratching their heads over their batting.

Kenya's top batting order collapsed at Nairobi Gymkhana, a big contrast to how they performed in the final of the 50 overs matches.

Irfan Karim, Rakep Patel, Collins Obuya and Rushab Patel are keen to make amends for their flop-show on Tuesday.

Kenyan skipper Rakep is expecting a tough contest from their neighbors. "It's going to be an exciting game. They have a good side but I think they will be under pressure to make it to the final too. Hopefully we would not collapse again and put a big score on the board," Rakep said.

Chasing 124, Kenya was never in the match against Saudi Arabia as none of the top-order batters could carry on after a start. With wickets lost at crucial momenta, Kenya stumbled and lost their bearing and focus.

Haq picked three wickets

For Saudi Arabia, Ibrarul Haq picked three wickets for nine runs in three overs. Roheel Shamus, Afzal Saleem and Waqas Akram all picked two wickets.

Shem Obado was the only Kenyan batsman with a positive performance with unbeaten 22 from 21 balls which included the only six of the inning.

Dhiren Gondaria (17), Rakep (10) and Karan Kaul (10) were the other Kenyan batsman to get past 10 runs.

Kenya were two down in 2.2 overs after Haq had got Irfan Karim (6) and Rushab (0) in span of two balls with the board on 14. Skipper Rakep and Gondaria then lifted the scores to 30 before Rakep fell was caught and bowled by Haq.

Collins Obuya scored three before he was bowled paving way to Karan Kaul who added 12 with Gondaria to get Kenya to 45 for 5 after 7.6 overs.

Gurdeep Singh didn’t last long. He lost his wicket for a duck to leave Kenya on 49 for 6 with 65 balls to play.

Shamus got the breakthrough three balls into the 10th over when he was bowled by Gondaria after facing 17 balls that had only a boundary leaving Kenya on 53 for 7.

Shem Obado and Nelson 'Mandela' Odhiambo could only make seven runs before Shamus got his second when he bowled Odhiambo on six.

Brothers Obado and Nehemiah Odhiambo added 82 for the ninth wicket stand in four overs before Waqas Akram trapped for five.

Eugene Ochieng was the last wicket to fall when he was bowled on one by Akram to leave Obado unbeaten on 22 from 21 balls.

Earlier Odhiambo had picked three wickets for 26 runs with Ngoche adding two more.