|World Twenty20 Cup Qualifier: Belfast, Northern Ireland, August 2008|
Scratchy Kenya reaches semi-finals
A scratchy Kenya defeated Canada by five wickets to become the third team to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier at Stormont in Belfast, Ireland on Sunday.
The second-seeded Kenyans made heavy weather of a small target of 92 before achieving victory in 17.5 overs to join the Netherlands and Scotland in the last four stage.
However, Kenya finished second behind the Netherlands in Group B after failing to reach the target inside 15 overs. At the start of the 15th over, Kenya was 78-4 and had needed 14 runs to win the group but it could manage only three runs.
After Kenya missed the first target of 15 overs, it set its sights on the 18-over mark which would have kept it ahead of Canada on net run-rate. But that didn’t come easily either as when the 18th over started Kenya was 88-6. Had Canada wicketkeeper Ashish Bagai not missed a run-out opportunity on the winning run, there might have been a different story to tell.
Nevertheless, this sets up the potential of an exciting semi-final between top-seeded Ireland and Kenya which, of course, depends on Ireland managing to beat Bermuda in the last league match which starts 1630 (local time).
The result was a bitter blow to Canada which had defeated the Netherlands by four wickets on Saturday afternoon. The North American side will now play the fifth and sixth-place play-off match against the bottom-placed side from Group A.
Canada did itself no favours by failing to post a decent score after it had elected to bat first.
After experienced John Davison fell in the fourth over, the rest of the batsmen fell at regular intervals and only captain Sanjay Thuraisingam (15), Karun Jethi (13) and Geoff Barnett (13) reached double figures.
Kenya’s reply was dominated by Kennedy Obuya who scored 40 off 42 balls with two fours and two sixes. He was later declared man of the match.