South Africa here we come

October 27, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 27 – The national cricket team departs on Tuesday morning for South Africa where they will face the Proteas in a two match One Day International (ODI) series.

Steve Tikolo’s team will arrive in Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon from where they will take a connecting flight to Bloemfontein where the first ODI will be staged at the 20,000 capacity Outsurance Oval on October 31, an arena where Kenya last played and beat Zimbabwe by seven wickets in 2003.

The second ODI will be played in the Northern Cape city of Kimberley at the De Beers Diamond Oval two days later.

After a string of poor results, which includes Kenya winning only two out of their last six ODI series’, the team will be heading to the rainbow nation with their confidence boosted after a morale boosting 95 run win over Zimbabwe in last week’s Tri Series which also involved Ireland at the Nairobi Gymkhana.

All three teams had to contend with sharing the title after incessant overnight rains laid waste to the tournament with several matches being called off due to a wet outfield.

Andy Kirsten, who will be plotting the downfall of his home country, has kept faith in the same team that took part in the Tri Series.

Peter Ongondo and vice captain Thomas Odoyo will spearhead Kenya’s bowling attack with the ever reliable Tikolo and 18 year old Seren Waters expected to continue where they left off with the bat.

This is Kenya’s most prolific ODI assignment since the 2007 World Cup against a team ranked second in ODI’s and have one of the top ranked batsmen and Proteas’ captain Graeme Smith

One sense of comfort for Kenya is that South Africa will be without their most prolific bowler at the moment and International Cricket Council Test Player of the Year Dale Steyn who was incapacitated by a mysterious illness last week.

Steyn fell ill after returning from Dubai where he received his award and is expected to be fit for his team’s subsequent three match ODI series against Bangladesh.

South Africa lost the Natwest ODI series 4-0 against England in August.

Kenya Squad:

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,

South Africa:

Graeme Smith (Captain), 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


1st ODI, South Africa v Kenya, OUTsurance Oval, Bloemfontein- Friday 31, 3.30 p.m. (Kenya time)
2nd ODI, South Africa v Kenya, De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberley- Sunday 2, 11.00 a.m. (Kenya time)


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