April 17, 2009

ICC World Cup Qualifiers

Canada, Kenya and Netherlands book World Cup spots

Martin Williamson

Ireland, Canada, Netherlands and Kenya have qualified for the 2011 World Cup, but the headlines will once again be stolen by Afghanistan who have secured ODI status with victory over Namibia

Man of the Match Collins Obuya and Thomas Odoyo, Ireland v Kenya, ICC World Cup Qualifiers, April 17, 2009
Thomas Odoyo and Collins Obuya added an unbeaten 113 for the fifth wicket to ensure Kenya qualified for their fifth successive World Cup  © ICC/CricketEurope
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Kenya ensured they would be at their fifth successive World Cup with an impressive six-wicket win over Ireland in Pretoria. Wednesday's humiliation at the hands of Namibia had left their place in doubt, but against an Ireland side already assured of their own qualification, they eased home with 12 balls to spare. It wasn't easy, though, and chasing a target of 209, they slid to 96 for 4 with the loss of the talismanic Steve Tikolo. Their batting has often been brittle, but Collins Obuya and Thomas Odoyo combined to add 113 for the fifth wicket to guide them home. Man of the Match Obuya hit an unbeaten 66 off 73 balls while Oboyo struck 50 off 68.

Niall O'Brien was the top-scorer with 59 during Ireland's innings. John Mooney (34), Andrew White (25), Kevin O'Brien (22) and William Porterfield (21) got starts without really pressing on. Tikolo was the most successful wicket-taker with 3 for 11. Ireland will be without Eoin Morgan for Sunday's fairly meaningless game against Canada.

A splendid 167-run opening stand between Alexei Kervezee and Mudassar Bukhari made short work of Canada's 205 in Johannesburg and confirmed Netherlands also grabbed one of the three remaining slots at the 2011 World Cup, along with Canada who had already all but qualified. Kervezee (77) and Bukhari (84) led a confident reply to a target of 206 and though Netherlands wobbled after their stand was snapped in the 37th over, the cool hand of Bas Zuiderent was there when the winning runs were hit. The win was set up in the field thanks to a controlled bowling and fielding display. Bukhari and Edgar Schiferli struck with the new ball and the pressure was maintained by Darron Reekers and Peter Borren. Only Sandeep Jyoti (46) and Umar Bhatti (39*) waged some resistance down the order but a target of 206 proved too easy for Netherlands.

For a report on Afghanistan's tense win over Namibia click here.

For a report on Scotland's victory over UAE which meant they retained ODI status click here.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by Vikram Maingi on (April 23, 2009, 11:09 GMT)

Kenya did a great job in beating Ireland in their last Super-Eight match. Otherwise, a Namibian victory in the tense Afghinstan-Namibia match could have cost them the World-Cup berth. With Steve Tikolo already stepped down and soon retiring from international cricket, the future of Kenyan cricket really looks very grim.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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