17 January 2018

Kenya Face Hosts in Under-19 World Cup

Kenyan lads face hosts New Zealand on Wednesday in their second ICC Under-19 World Cup encounter at Hagley Oval, Christchurch, faced with a herculean task of recovering from their loss to South Africa in the opening game on Sunday.

Kenyan coach and former senior international Jimmy Kamande on Tuesday said his charges had "worked on the mistakes" they made against South Africa and was hopeful that they will improve their performance in today's match against the "Kiwis."

"The opening bowlers bowled too many short balls to the experienced South African top order batsmen who punished them for it by hitting the balls all over the ground. But both our middle and lower order did not disappoint," Kamande said.

South Africa beat Kenya by 169 runs and currently top Group 'A' with two points followed by New Zealand with same number of points but an inferior net run rate.

INTERNATIONAL RETURN

The West Indies are third with no points, the same as Kenya who are at the bottom of the points table.

At the end of the preliminary rounds, the top two teams in each group will move into the quarter-finals of the Main Trophy while the bottom two sides will fight it out in the Plate quarter-finals.

It has taken Kenyan youngsters nearly 16 years to return to the international arena.

The last time Kenya competed in the Under-19 World Cup was in Australia in 2002.

As the team left for New Zealand over a week ago, Kamande said his main goal was for his team to finish as the top associate side in the tournament as that will give Kenya an automatic qualification for the 2020 Under-19 World Cup to be held in South Africa.

Kamande's charges are Kenya's hope of regaining lost glory as the performance of the senior team has taken a nosedive. Kenya's seniors were demoted to Division Two of the ICC World Cricket League.

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