Cricket. Kenya lock horns with Uganda in what has been termed as
the ‘early decider’ to see who takes the continent’s lone ticket to
the 2018 CC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand.
Nairobi. The chilly weather in the Kenyan capital Nairobi has done little to dampen the good work of the organisers, mood of the players and morale of the fans that are anxious to catch every bit of the action.
And if the opening of three days of the tournament are anything to go by, Nairobi will once again be buzzing today when arch-foes Kenya lock horns with Uganda in what has been termed as the ‘early decider’ to see who takes the continent’s lone ticket to the 2018 International Cricket Council (ICC) U-19 World Cup in New Zealand.
It is more than likely that today’s venue for the East African derby – The Nairobi Jaffreys Sports Club – will be packed to the rafters with several pupils and students who have previously provided a carnival atmosphere at the Nairobi Gymkhana Oval where Kenya has scripted two clinical wins against Ghana (82 runs) and Botswana (7 wickets) in the opening round.
Game of Tactics
With both camps boasting of Kenyan tacticians; (Franco Otieno, Steve Tikolo and David Obuya for Uganda) and Jimmy Kamande, David Asiji and Josephat Irungu for Kenya, the game will have several subplots and key battles as the dugouts look to outdo each other.
As Kamande opted for a light afternoon workout for his SImbas, Otieno took the Cranes through an intense two-hour session at Sikh (referred to as Simba) Union Sports Club.
Obuya put focus on top order batsmen Zephaniah Arinaitwe, left-hander Steven Wabwose and Eddy Agaba, who have been guilty of succumbing to deliveries on the leg stump. Otieno dealt with the all-rounders whereas assistant coach Jackson Ogwang took charge of the fielding and bowling session.
“Every tournament comes with a bad game. We are lucky that we won it,” Obuya, fresh from a Level III Coaching Course in Australia, said in reference to Uganda’s 32-run win over hard-fighting Ghana on Sunday.
“It was a bad day in office for our batsmen. But that is behind us. Hopefully we can concentrate and start afresh.”
Ogwang has urged the guys to show more presence in the field. “The guys have to show more fighting spirit in the field. Many of them dropped their shoulders when Ghana looked like they were going to win. That is not how cricket is played. We have talked to them to keep together in both the good and times,” said Ogwang.
For Kenya, coach Kamande will heavily rely on the tournament’s leading batsman Aman Ghandi, captain Sachin Bhudia, all-rounder Ankit Hirani and the spinning-pair of Yaksh Patel and Abisheikh Chidambaran.