ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Kenya v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, Hambantota

Baptiste confident Kenya can lift game

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 24, 2011

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Kenya coach Eldine Baptiste has said that Kenya need to go back to the basics after they suffered a huge 205-run defeat against Pakistan in their opening World Cup game in Hambantota on Monday.

"We were not up to the mark in all three departments and in cricket whatever you do you have to stick to the basics, and when you play a team like Pakistan or any international side you don't spurn your good starts.

"It's about being persistent and at the moment we are just not doing that."

Kenya started strongly after Pakistan chose to bat, picking up two wickets within the first seven overs but lost the initiative after that. Kamran Akmal and Younis Khan added 98 runs for the third wicket to steady Pakistan and Misbah-ul Haq and Umar Akmal put on 118 runs at almost nine runs an over to take the game away from Kenya. Kenya also conceded a whopping 46 extras, including 37 wides.

"We did show some improvement from the last game against New Zealand as we started well bowling-wise in the first 25 overs, but again we slipped in the middle and were very poor in the end."

Faced with a daunting target of 318, Kenya's batsmen wilted with only Collins Obuya offering some resistance with 47. None of the other batsmen made more than 20, and five batsmen failed to get off the mark as Kenya were bowled out for 112 in just over 33 overs. However, Baptiste, who took over as the coach in September 2009, was confident Kenya would be able to lift themselves up for their next game against co-hosts Sri Lanka.

"On the big stage I know these boys can do that, and I have to drive the confidence in them for the remaining four matches. When I took the job I knew the enormity of it and I know that I have to go and get the 15 guys to revive their self-belief, because you cannot play cricket like that."

Baptiste said Kenya's poor showing was not a justification of the ICC's decision to trim the number of teams in the next World Cup in 2015 to 10 from the existing 14.

"What is the reality? The reality is that we have played two bad games and that's easy to say that, but you have to look at the way Holland played."

The Netherlands pushed England hard in their clash in the Nagpur after a hundred from Ryan ten Doeschate powered them to an impressive 292 for 6. England squeezed home by six wickets with just eight balls remaining.

"So when we play bad games, it's no credit, but when we play well they must give credit. Cricket is a funny game and we can stage a comeback, provided we stick to basics," said Baptiste.

Kenya play Sri Lanka in Colombo on March 1.

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

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