Barry Silah @obel_barry
Kenya earned reprieve Tuesday following their six wickets win over neighbours and rivals Uganda in the ongoing ICC World Cricket League Div 3 qualifiers in Oman.
Irfan Karim’s half ton ensured he was named man of the match in a diligent inning, which saw Kenyans survive despite losing its top batting order.
Karim (59 off 118 balls) shone at the crease after coming at number four and stabilising the Kenyans’ ship with a contribution that included match-high seven boundaries.
The Ugandans had earlier won the toss and selected to bat with 27 year old left handerDinesh Magan Nakrani (50 off 71 balls) leading their charge for a score total of 177/9 at close in their allotted 50 overs.
Team Kenya, who had lost the first two matches against hosts Oman and group leaders USA, had to dig in against their worthy opponents who are fourth on the standings on two points.
Indeed the opening innings was the ultimate defining moment for Kenya skippered by Dhiren Gondaria. Inside 37 balls, the Kenyan re-arranged speed bowling attack of Lucas Oluoch and Emmanuel Bundi had already fell the deadly Ugandan pair at the wicket led by Roger Mukasa (11 off 14 balls) and Arnold Otwani who was restricted to a run score of 6/23 on the board.
Nehemiah Odhiambo was excellent in checking the run rate in overall for the Kenyans while Karim’s batting calculations was just about right for game number three for Kenya who want a promotion back to Division Two status. Wicketkeeper Karim combined for three wicket falls before the break; with the glorious stump on Ugandan batsman Ronak Patel starring.
At the end, Kenya had to just keep the glue together with the partnership of Odhiambo and Karim holding out diligently for the remaining five and a half overs. Shem Ngoche was also potent with 2/13 that added gloss to Kenya’s performance.