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Fulton, Gillespie likely to play Kenya match

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Gros Islet (St Lucia):New Zealand are expected to rotate their squad as they look to progress to the World Cup Super Eights with a win over Group C rivals Kenya on Tuesday.

Coach John Bracewell is so confident after the six-wicket win over England in their first group clash on Friday that he is happy to let all his players have a taste of World Cup action.

However, he is not taking victory for granted against 2003 semi-finalists Kenya, who overpowered Canada in their first match.

If Kenya shock England in the last group game on Saturday, the Africans will go through to the Super Eights so the Kiwis need to beat them to make sure of two points heading into the next stage.

"We've got two points to carry through should England qualify," Bracewell told reporters. "That's the importance of the Kenyan match. We have to win that just in case it's Kenya who qualify because they are the other team with two points in the bag."

Fast bowler Mark Gillespie is not expected to be part of the rotation though as he continues to recover from a numb bowling arm caused by a throat infection.

He has bowled in the nets but is still having trouble throwing.

In-form batsman Peter Fulton, unlucky to miss out on selection against England after being passed fit following a broken finger, may feature while seamer Daryl Tuffey could also come into the side.

Kenya dispatched Canada by seven wickets on Wednesday with 35-year-old captain Steve Tikolo leading from the front with bat and ball. The mainstay of four World Cups hit 72 not out with wicketkeeper-batsman Maurice Ouma also impressing much more with the bat than he did with the gloves.

Tikolo's slow-medium pace combined well with spin options Jimmy Kamande and Hiren Varaiya in the field, leading many watchers to say Kenya are a better side than in 2003, when their progression to the semis was largely due to New Zealand refusing to play in Nairobi because of safety concerns.

However, there are no hard feelings from the Kenyans with regard to that match even if Tikolo has long lamented the International Cricket Council's failure to secure his side more matches against the top nations to aid their development.

Squads:

New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (capt), Shane Bond, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie, Michael Mason, Brendon McCullum (wk), Craig McMillan, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori and Lou Vincent. Coach: John Bracewell.

Kenya: Steve Tikolo (capt), Thomas Odoyo, Ravindu Shah, Tanmay Mishra, Collins Obuya, Peter Ongondo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Morris Ouma (wk), Malhar Patel, Hiren Varaiya, David Obuya, Rajesh Bhudia, Jimmy Kamande, Tony Suji, Lameck Onyango. Coach: Roger Harper.

Reuters

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