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February 3, 2008
Kenya are still reeling from their 105-run loss to Namibia last week, when Gerrie Snyman's extraordinary 230 batted them out of the game, but they're determined to bounce back when they take on UAE on Monday.
"We have decided to put that match behind us," Davinder Bharij, the Kenya manager, wisely said. "There were positives and negatives from it. Dropping Snyman when he was on 49 and again when he was about 110 are obviously negatives, along with the fact that Thomas Odoyo was unable to bowl for most of the second innings due to injury.
"But we did get six points for securing a first-innings lead and it is a positive that we manage to bowl them out twice in the match. We are now very keen to get back out there and get our campaign back on track."
The middle order will be a worry for Kenya, with Collins Obuya ruled out due to a knee injury, and Tanmay Mishra not part of the squad due to study commitments. Allrounder Odoyo is a doubtful starter, as he is not yet 100% fit.
"Losing Collins is a big blow but we have learned a lot from the game against Namibia. It was clear from the second innings that Namibia used its technical analyst resource better than we did," Bharij said. "They bowled much better in the second innings and also their field placing was better after reviewing the video. We have identified that as an area of improvement for us."
After having taken a first-innings lead of 80, Kenya conceded 396 runs in Namibia's second, and then failed to chase 337, with Jan-Berrie Burger bagging his maiden first-class five-wicket haul. "Our aim is to get back on top of the table despite the injuries and absences in the team. That is our focus now."
Despite the loss to Namibia, Kenya are no pushovers and Saqib Ali, the UAE captain, is aware that his team could be at the receiving end of a backlash. "Namibia played a good game but that doesn't mean Kenya are a bad side," Saqib said. "They have very good players and I know their spinners [Hiren Varaiya and Steve Tikolo did well in that match. We are working hard in practice, mostly on our fielding, and we are improving day by day."
A win for UAE will see them jump to third place in the points table. They are presently languishing at seventh place, among eight teams. "I know we are seventh in the table but I believe we can finish much higher," Saqib said. "We are competing in our matches and so we can do well."
Namibia are the current leaders, with Kenya two points adrift of them.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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