Second Prize for Kenya
For the second time in succession Kenya has made it to the final, only to fall at the last hurdle, after having played excellent cricket throughout the Kwibuka tournament.
The team lost regular skipper before the tournament and it was left to vice captain Queentor Abel to lead the team. She thrived in the job, looking every bit the leader on the field, alert, astute and showing the way for the rest of the team with both bat and ball. She made the most runs, took the most wickets and equal top with catches. It was a brilliant allrounder’s performance.
That Kenya made it to the final was due not only to their consistency on the field, but also due to the slaying of a dragon. Their defeat against Uganda in the second match was against the run of play. The opposition bowlers switched off, as has happened a couple of times this year with Uganda, allowing Kenya to capitalise.
The team was soundly beaten in the final – no shame in losing to Tanzania, for they are an outstanding cricket team. It did mean Kenya were runners up for the second year running.
They’ve won the tournament before so they’ll be back again next year perhaps going one better. It’s something for us all to look forward to for this is a wonderful cricket team to watch. One key word is “team”. Across all of the disciplines, batting, bowling, fielding, the workload is shared.
- Botswana (Kenya by 35 runs)
- Uganda (Kenya by 3 wickets)
- Rwanda (Kenya by 4 wickets)
- Tanzania (Tanzania by 38 runs)
- Nigeria (Kenya by 42 runs)
- Brazil (Kenya by 102 runs)
- Germany (Kenya by 44 runs)
- Final: Tanzania (Tanzania by 44 runs)
Queentor Abel was one of only three players to pass 200 runs for the tournament. Her stroke play was a delight, particularly her drives. She exudes confidence at the crease, and matched with her excellent technique, rarely misses out for Kenya. One feels that the extra burden of captaincy was something she relished.
Aside from the skipper, three other players passed 100 runs, the only team in the tournament to have such a good spread. Sarah Bhakita seemed on a mission to finish the tournament in a hurry. Some of her shots were simply brutal, a contrast to the other batters in the team, and the consistence she showed in the middle order was priceless.
While the opening bowlers, Mercyline Ochieng and Melvin Idambo were not the leading wicket takers, their value to the team was in their economy. Both gave away less than 4.00 runs per over and deserved better rewards for their effort. Lavendah Idambo was one of the quicks who did pick up wickets but was a little expensive at 6.00 per over.
At the top of the table, the captain once more, with her off spin. It was surprising not to see more of Sarah Bhakita. Her off spin took Kenya to victory last year when she returned her best figures of 6-16. She could have been used more but one doubts it would have changed the result.
There are some mighty throwing arms in the Kenyan team, the best in the tournament. The ground fielding was very good throughout also.
As the table show below, the catching was spread throughout the team. The wicket keeper Sharon Juma gave her best performance for a series so far.