Canada Vs Kenya
Starting time: 2:30 pm IST
Delhi, March 6: The teams placed lowest in Group A gear up for an encounter that could be touted as a poor man's version of an exciting game. Kenya and Canada are both coming off three successive defeats and would both like to get come points on the table. After all who wants to languish right at the bottom after four games in a World Cup?
Canada hold the upper-hand against Kenya, not just because they dealt Pakistan a scare in the last game by bowling them out for 184 and then coming within 47 runs of the target. But also because they have beaten Kenya the last three times these two sides have met in the one-day arena. Kenya however lead them in the overall head-to-head 7:4, but most of the former's victory came 5 to 6 year ago when the side was a far more formidable unit.
Canada last faced off with Kenya in July 2010 in two matches that were part of the World League Division One itinerary. In those encounters, Canadian players like Ashish Bagai, Zubin Surkari, Harvir Baidwan and Rizwan Cheema made a mark, the former two with the bat and the latter two with the ball.
However, the Mapleleaf batsmen have had a poor time of it in the World Cup so far and are yet to find a groove. Jimmy Hansra has emerged their most successful batsman, averaging just 24.00 from three innings with a high of 43 against Pakistan. He is followed by Zubin Surkari who has an average of 19.66 and then Rizwan Cheema with 18.33. But Canada's most serious issues are at the top of the order with the openers almost never getting into double figures.
Kenya's willow-wielders have had an equally dire time in the Cup. One-down batsman Collins Obuya stands out as the lone saviour with an average of 37.66 from 3 matches and a fifty to his credit. Meanwhile, his brother David also has a fifty, but has played in just one match. Opener Seren Waters who hit a ton in the warm-up matches, has been off colour since the cup started, averaging just 12.00.
As far as the bowling is concerned, Canada rates far higher than the Kenyans in this World Cup 2011. Canada's two most impressive bowlers have been seamer Harvir Baidwan, who has taken 7 wickets from 3 matches at 20.14 runs per scalp, and leg-spinner Balaji Rao, who has 6 wickets under his belt, at an average of 26.00.
In contrast, Kenya's bowlers appear a woeful lot. Thomas Odoyo is their highest wicket-taker with 3 wickets from 2 matches at a-not-so-great average of 32.00. The other bowlers are not even worth mentioning.
But it appears, the team that bats better on the day will prevail. This is because, the evidence shows that batting has been both their main concerns. Neither of these sides have been able to last out a full 50 overs, nor have they crossed 142 runs. While Canada has notched up team totals of 122, 123 and 138, Kenya has managed an equally shocking 69, 112 and 142.
It's therefore not difficult to see why both Canada and Kenya have been pulverised by their respective oppositions in the tournament thus far. Hopefully, they can rise above mediocrity and give us an involving game on Monday, March 7.