Preview: Canada and Kenya face-off in the battle of the wooden spoon

Canada have a chance of registering a win in this World cup against Kenya

 

Canada and Kenya face-off in the battle of the wooden spoon
 
By Jamie Alter
 
Delhi: Mar 7, 2011
 
And so the whipping boys of the 2011 World Cup face up at the Feroz Shah Kotla in the most low-key match of the tournament. Ireland have the greatest chase in World Cup history to their credit and Netherlands can point to one spirited game where they pushed England, but Canada and Kenya have little to look back at with satisfaction.
 
The two Associates are the basement dwellers of Group A, having lost each of their three matches so far, and their failure to put up a single point has added weight to the International Cricket Council’s decision to reduce the number of teams to 10 from 14 for the 2015 World Cup.
 
Their respective campaigns have been marred by poor batting. The openers have not forged any notable partnerships: Kenya have tried two different combinations for an average opening stand of 18.33, boosted significantly by a best of 37 between the ever-underachieving Maurice Ouma and the talented but overawed Seren Waters. Canada have tried out three opening acts in three matches and their openers have only been able to muster a paltry 11.77. John Davison, their most veteran opener, was dropped after two successive ducks. It’s clear to see where Kenya and Canada struggle the most.
 
Thus, this puts focus on the contributions of seniors such as Ashish Bagai, Canada’s wicketkeeping captain, and Steve Tikolo, Kenya’s most seasoned campaigner. Neither has done anything of note with the bat and if they continue to underperform in the middle order, there aren’t many positives to look forward to.
 
These teams have faced each other twice in World Cups. In 2003, Kenya won a low-scorer by four wickets and in 2007 by seven wickets. Common to both victories was the contributions of Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo – who picked up Man of the Match awards respectively – and four years on from their last World Cup encounter Kenya depend heavily on these men for a hat-trick. Odoyo has been surprisingly mute this time around.
 
Form on either side doesn’t lean toward a victor, and this match is too close to call. Kenya are a more experienced side but they have been shambolic during the tournament, while Canada have showed signs of finding form against Pakistan. Without the pressure of having to evade a thrashing by the Test-playing teams, players on both sides can play freely and try to express themselves.
Kenya (Probable):  Maurice Ouma (wk), Seren Waters, Collins Obuya, Steve Tikolo, Tanmay Mishra, Rakep Patel, Jimmy Kamande (c), Thomas Odoyo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Shem Ngoche, Peter Ongondo.
Canada (Probable): Nitish Kumar, Ruvindu Gunesekera, ZubinSurkari, Jimmy Hansra, Ashish Bagai (c&wk), RizwanCheema, Tyson Gordon, Khurram Chohan, Harvid Baidwan, Balaji Rao
Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies)
 Time: 14.30 local (09.00 GMT)
 (Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. His first book, The History of World Cup Cricket, is out now.)

By Jamie Alter

 

Delhi: Mar 7, 2011

 

And so the whipping boys of the 2011 World Cup face up at the Feroz Shah Kotla in the most low-key match of the tournament. Ireland have the greatest chase in World Cup history to their credit and Netherlands can point to one spirited game where they pushed England, but Canada and Kenya have little to look back at with satisfaction.

 

The two Associates are the basement dwellers of Group A, having lost each of their three matches so far, and their failure to put up a single point has added weight to the International Cricket Council’s decision to reduce the number of teams to 10 from 14 for the 2015 World Cup.

 

Their respective campaigns have been marred by poor batting. The openers have not forged any notable partnerships: Kenya have tried two different combinations for an average opening stand of 18.33, boosted significantly by a best of 37 between the ever-underachieving Maurice Ouma and the talented but overawed Seren Waters. Canada have tried out three opening acts in three matches and their openers have only been able to muster a paltry 11.77. John Davison, their most veteran opener, was dropped after two successive ducks. It’s clear to see where Kenya and Canada struggle the most.

 

Thus, this puts focus on the contributions of seniors such as Ashish Bagai, Canada’s wicketkeeping captain, and Steve Tikolo, Kenya’s most seasoned campaigner. Neither has done anything of note with the bat and if they continue to underperform in the middle order, there aren’t many positives to look forward to.

 

These teams have faced each other twice in World Cups. In 2003, Kenya won a low-scorer by four wickets and in 2007 by seven wickets. Common to both victories was the contributions of Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo – who picked up Man of the Match awards respectively – and four years on from their last World Cup encounter Kenya depend heavily on these men for a hat-trick. Odoyo has been surprisingly mute this time around.

 

Form on either side doesn’t lean toward a victor, and this match is too close to call. Kenya are a more experienced side but they have been shambolic during the tournament, while Canada have showed signs of finding form against Pakistan. Without the pressure of having to evade a thrashing by the Test-playing teams, players on both sides can play freely and try to express themselves.

 

Kenya (Probable):  Maurice Ouma (wk), Seren Waters, Collins Obuya, Steve Tikolo, Tanmay Mishra, Rakep Patel, Jimmy Kamande (c), Thomas Odoyo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Shem Ngoche, Peter Ongondo.

 

Canada (Probable): Nitish Kumar, Ruvindu Gunesekera, ZubinSurkari, Jimmy Hansra, Ashish Bagai (c&wk), RizwanCheema, Tyson Gordon, Khurram Chohan, Harvid Baidwan, Balaji Rao

 

Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies)

 

 Time: 14.30 local (09.00 GMT)

 

(Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. His first book, The History of World Cup Cricket, is out now.)


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