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Kenya's miserable 2009 continued with humiliating defeats in both Twenty20 internationals against Uganda in Nairobi. The matches, which were intended to help prepare the Kenyans for the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers early next year, have instead raised even more questions about the quality of the national side.
Even though Uganda are widely touted as one of the up-and-coming Associates, they should not have troubled their better equipped and professional neighbours. But in both games Kenya, who batted first, failed to score nearly enough runs. In the first match they were bowled out for 88 and were beaten by four wickets; in the second, they did little better, making 104 for 7 before going down by two wickets with two balls in hand.
The top-order batting looked weak and folded under the first sign of pressure. That gave their bowlers almost nothing to play with and, in the circumstances, they did well to keep their side in the contest for as long as they did.
The beleagured Kenyan selectors will point to missing names, but that will cut little ice with an increasingly frustrated cricket fraternity. However, Uganda will be rightly buoyed by the results.
A one-day series follows. Anything other than a comprehensive success for the Kenyans could lead to quiet mutterings becoming altogether more hostile criticism.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
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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.