•Batting first in a tournament that is also being used as 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Kenya were bowled out for 210
•Irfan Karim opened his international account as a skipper with a half-century (71) which ended up being the biggest asset in Kenya’s batting.
National cricket team poor run on the international scene persisted when they lost to Italy in their opening match of the ICC World Cricket Challenge yesterday in Oman.
The four-wicket loss to lowly-ranked Italy was the third in a row in five weeks for the Kenyan team who are trying to come to terms with the drop in standards of the game in the country.
Batting first in a tournament that is also being used as 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Kenya were bowled out for 210—a target the European side reached with 18 balls to spare. Despite finishing on 210 with only two balls to play, Kenya batting was once again miserable with only four batsmen standing up against spirited Italian bowling.
Irfan Karim opened his international account as a skipper with a half-century (71) which ended up being the biggest asset in Kenya’s batting.
Karim was patient in his knock, hitting only two boundaries as Kenya’s batting once again failed to show any resistance.
Rakep Patel (36), Rushab Patel (27) and Shem Ngoche (25) were the other top contributors with the bat as Michael Ross (4 for 35) and Gareth Berg ( 2 for 35) ripped through Kenya batting line-up with ease.
In reply, Italy who were playing Kenya for the first time, lost two early wickets to stand at 22 for 2 after six overs but that didn’t deter their spirits of beginning their campaign on a good note.
opener Nikolai Smith held on his nerves to score a match-winning century. He remained unbeaten on 102 from 122 balls which included 11 boundaries. He received a hand from Joy Perera (26), Ross (31) and Rakibul Hasan (29).