NAIROBI, October 30 – Kenya have the arduous task of rescuing their battered international season on Friday when they face South Africa in the first One Day International (ODI) match at the Outsurance Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Steve Tikolo’s team is yet to win an ODI series this year coming close last week in the washed out Tri Series against Ireland and Zimbabwe at Nairobi Gymkhana which forced the teams to share the trophy.
Kenya should not expect similar generosity and bouquets in the ‘City of Roses’ from their hosts who are the second ranked ODI country and possess one of the most feared batting line ups in world cricket.
Vice Captain and all rounder Thomas Odoyo, Peter Ongondo and Nehemiah Odhiambo have their work cut out against the buccaneering trio of Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and Herschelle Gibbs.
Tikolo spearheads a batting lineup that has question marks over its ability to remain defiant in the face of quality bowling which will be served up by AB De Villiers and the recently called up Johann Louw.
A lot has been said about Seren Waters and Alex Obanda and their exploits so far with the bat and it will be interesting to see whether they can live up to the hype on the Highveld.
Odoyo, David Obuya and Jimmy Kamande will come in to act as foils for their understudies as well as anchoring Kenya’s bating order in the hope to defy the Proteas’ bowling attack.
South Africa will be keen to reset their ODI form after a dismal tour of the United Kingdom where they lost the Natwest series against England 4-0 resulting into vilification from the British media about the fitness of some of their top players.
Graeme Smith is unlikely to face Kenya due to a tennis elbow while International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Player of the Year Dale Steyn has also been ruled with an unspecified ailment.
The match starts at 3.30 p.m. Kenya time.
Steve Tikolo (Captain), Thomas Odoyo, Rajesh Budhia, Lameck Onyango, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Alex Obanda, Seren Waters, David Obuya, Tony Suji, Hiren Varaiya, Jimmy Kamande, Alfred Luseno, Peter Ongondo, Elijah Otieno, Kennedy Otieno, Maurice Ouma, Rakep Patel
Hashim Amla, AB de Villliers, Herschelle Gibbs, Ryan McLaren, Morné Morkel, Monde Zondeki, Monde Zondeki, Albie Morkel, Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher, Johan Botha