Kenya’s hopes of returning to the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup went up in smoke yesterday following their fourth defeat in the ongoing qualifiers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Kenyan men once again failed to turn up for the job when it mattered most succumbing to a 45 runs loss to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in their last Group A match.
Four losses locked them out of the play-offs ending their chase for one of the six tickets to Australia for the 2020 World Cup as they finished fifth with four points.
Kenya featured in the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa but is yet to return to the global event owing to the declining standards of the sport in the country.
Kenya needed victory against PNG to give them a lifeline in the tournament but fumbled in their innings and were bowled out for 73 in 18.4 overs.
Despite restricting PNG to an attainable 118, Kenya’s batting struggles were worse than ever with Irfan Karim leading with 29 runs off 22 balls.
Coach Maurice Odumbe and the technical bench’s choice to push youngster Aman Gandhi (14 not out) down the order to fifth could have been one of the most costly decisions in the championship.
Even the Karim and Gandhi had partnered to give Kenya a brilliant start to their seven wickets win over Singapore, Odumbe threw caution to the wind starting Dhiren Gondaria who was sent back to the pavilion with the fifth ball of the innings.
The Kenyans seemed to lack a working game plan as they crumbled one by one as they were unable to outsmart PNG bowlers.
Kenya’s batting was so poor that only Karim, Gandhi and Collins Obuya 10 (19) chalked a double digit score while the rest would barely stay on the crease with Rushab Patel being dismissed on a dark.
Emmanuel Bundi led Kenyan bowlers taking four wickets for 18 runs.
Lucas Oluoch and Obuya took two wickets each while Shem Ngoche dismissed one.