Minnows Kenya, Canada clash in battle of pride
New Delhi: Languishing at the bottom of the points table, both Kenya and Canada will only have pride at stake as they lock horns in a battle of minnows in a Group A match of the cricket World Cup on Monday.
Both Canada and Kenya have nothing to take home from the sub-continent as the two non-Test playing nations have lost all three of their World Cup matches.
In a tournament where Ireland won hearts by notching up an upset win over England, Kenya and Canada have not been able to produce any inspiring performance so far.
Canada, at best, came close to giving a scare to Pakistan when they bowled out the Asian giants for a paltry 184 but they threw away that opportunity when their batsmen came up with a listless performance.
Chasing 185, Ashish Bagai`s men were bundled out for 138 in 42.5 overs after being in the hunt at 104 for three at one point in their innings.
Kenya, on the other hand, have been worse. The African nation, which created a sensation by entering semi-finals of the 2007 World Cup, has failed to even give a fight in its last three outings.
Jimmy Kamande`s men could not even bat the whole 50 overs and scored 69, 112 and 142 against New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka respectively and the skipper admitted this is one area where they have to improve.
"Our big concern is we are not batting out our 50 overs. That`s the one area we want to work on very, very hard because you can`t win matches without batting your full quota of overs," Kamande said ahead of their match at the Feroze shah Kotla stadium.
"After all these tough matches against Test sides, we need to show that we have learnt from them. Canada have also suffered big defeats and we know they will also come hard at us and that`s what we should be prepared for," he added.
Kenya wicketkeeper Maurice Ouma said the team is pumped up and will look to win at least two out of three matches (against Canada and Zimbabwe) before facing Australia.
"We are pretty much geared up for the match. Canada`s bowling is something which is not new to us. We are quite familiar with their bowling attack because we have played against them quite a few times last year," he said.
Canada`s batting has been no better. While their bowlers, led by medium-pacer Harvir Baidwan and spinner Balaji Rao have done well against Pakistan, their batters have failed to bat the entire 50 overs.
Bagai had admitted after their match against Pakistan that batting is a concern.
"Our batting let us down; we just played poorly during our chase. Ireland played pretty bravely against England and that`s why losing against Pakistan was more disappointing," said Bagai.
Given that there is not much to choose between the two teams in terms of caliber, it would be an interesting contest with both sides evenly matched.
Kenya: Jimmy Kamande (capt), Seren Waters, Alex Obanda, David Obuya, Collins Obuya, Steve Tikolo, Tanmay Mishra, Rakep Patel, Morris Ouma, Thomas Odoyo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Peter Ongondo, Shem Ngoche, James Ngoche.
Canada: Ashish Bagai (capt), Rizwan Cheema, Harvir Baidwan, Nitish Kumar, Hiral Patel, Tyson Gordon, Henry Osinde, John Davison, Ruvindu Gunasekera, Parth Desai, Karl Whatham, Khurram Chohan, Jimmy Hansra, Zubin Surkari, Balaji Rao.
Umpires: Asad Rauf (PAK) and Billy Doctrove (WIS)
TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)
Match starts: 1430 hrs (IST).