Monday, 21 March 2011

The best Zimbabwe can do

Well yesterday at Kolkata, Zimbabwe did what best they could do-beat the nation which is yet to win a contest in this tournament when they beat Kenya by a huge margin of 161 runs. For the second time in a world cup, the Kenyans have gone without a win when they first did it in the 1999 edition at England when they lost all their games to India, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Luckily they won a match against Canada in the 2007 world cup in the Caribbean. No one expects Kenya to win big games like they did in 2003.

If our memories are fresh enough, Kenya beat Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in the 2003 world cup to become the first non-test playing nation in history to make it to the semi-finals of a world cup. In the 1996 edition, they surprisingly beat the West Indies when they ere under-estimated by them. With that being history now, this time Kenya could not win games against Canada and Zimbabwe when expectations said otherwise. If winning against Sri Lanka in the 2003 world cup is considered to be a sort of a cheap gimmick, then one has to give hats off for the way they tackled India and Australia in the super eights.

Kenya saw Australia reeling at 117/5 chasing 175 and India at 107/4 chasing 227 under lights. In that particular match against Australia, Aasif Karim was awarded the man of the match for returning with figures of 3/7 from 8.2 overs with 6 overs maiden-can you believe it! However, he was the bowler who gave away the winning runs to Australia with a boundary snatched from his 50th delivery. If not for that boundary, his bowling figures read 3/3 from 8.1 overs. Even Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne would have been ashamed of such figures. That was Aasif Karim for you.

Now that Kenya have lost all their six games, especially to Canada and Zimbabwe, it looks like they have gone back to the 1996 world cup since when they had started playing decent cricket. This is the fifth time Kenya are playing in world cups. Canada have played four times out of which three are countable. It was not a decent start for Canada in 1979. Likewise, Scotland have had their third appearance and Holland their fourth with them missing out in 1999. With winning a secondary issue, Kenyans didn't even come close to winning or even give a tough fight when they were bowled out for 147 which was 3 runs less than 150-a milestone score.

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