Kenya and Hong Kong shared points in their ICC World Cricket League championship fixtures at the Gymkhana Club in Nairobi, which were both decided on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method because of rain interruptions.
Hong Kong has moved up one slot to third position on the points table with 11 points from eight matches, ahead of Scotland (also on 11 points) because of more wins in the tournament. Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Netherlands are similarly tied at 12 points each with PNG in first position because of more wins and the Netherlands in second position. Kenya remains in fifth position with eight points from eight matches.
The top sides from this tournament, played on a double round-robin basis that gives 14 matches to each team, will join the bottom four sides from the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings as on 30 September 2017 for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, which will be staged in 2018.
Kenya captain Rakep Patel said that though he had hoped to win both matches, he was not disappointed.
“It would have been more favourable had we won the just concluded match as that would mean we would be in the top four. However, we are not far off the top four, which is a good thing. We performed admirably in both aspects of the game, with everyone chipping in with crucial performances, which is a positive.
“It would have been more satisfying winning both the games after being in contention in the second game,” Patel said about his team’s chase which had started strongly with a 79-run opening stand between Alex Obanda (39) and Irfan Karim (33) before all 10 wickets were lost adding only 54 more runs.
“There's always scope for improvement. We should be seeing games through and more importantly identifying key moments and not let concentration slip in such situations. Our aim is to win each of the remaining matches and ultimately finish in the top four to have a crack at the qualifiers,” said Patel, who grabbed five for 16 in the first match with his off-spin bowling.
Hong Kong captain Babar Hayat was pleased to have helped pulled off a win in the second match with a 68-ball knock of 78.
“I’m pleased that as captain I led from the front and that’s what I need to do. I’m really proud we could get this win for Hong Kong. I don’t think I am playing my best yet, there is still more improvement to come from me – I’d have liked to have made a hundred and I want to set the bar higher for myself,” Hayat said.
Hong Kong coach Simon Cook said it was good to remain in contention by winning at least one match.
“We’d have preferred two wins to put us on top of the table but coming away with two points puts us right in the hunt going forwards. So, it is not the result we were looking for coming here, but we are in the mix. We need to be more consistent.
“Winning the second match under pressure was a high point after Kenya had got a good start, while a low point for us here was losing five wickets for eight runs in the first game and throwing away a position of strength and that cost us being top of the table,” Cook said about the team’s slide from 214-6 to 222 all out.
Scores in brief:
1st match on 18 November: Kenya beat Hong Kong by three wickets on DLS method.
Hong Kong 222 all out in 46.2 overs (Anshuman Rath 90, Shahid Wasif 44, Kinchit Shah 34, Rakep Patel 5-16, Nelson Odhiambo 3-14, Nehemiah Odhiambo 2-34).
Kenya (target 200 in 43 overs) 201-7 in 40.5 overs (Irfan Karim 67, Dhiren Gondaria 45, Ehsan Khan 2-44).
2nd match on 20 November: Hong Kong won by 39 runs on DLS method.
Hong Kong 148-4 in 25.1 overs (Babar Hayat 78, Christopher Carter 41, Lucas Oluoch 3-29).
Kenya (target 173 from 25 overs) 133 all out in 23 overs (Alex Obanda 39, Irfan Karim 33, Ehsan Khan 3-12, Tanveer Ahmed 3-20, Nadeem Ahmed 3-23).