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We can bounce back

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 30 – Kenya’s national coach Andy Kirsten offered no excuses Friday for his team’s disastrous start in the one-day cricket series against Zimbabwe and vowed his side would bounce back to save the series.

The tourists lead 2-0 in the five-match series after inflicting heavy defeats on the Kenyans in the opening two matches in Mombasa which they won by massive margins.

The South African-born coast said his team was disadvantaged to have opened the bowling on a hard and slow Mombasa Sports Club wicket on both occasions.

But he said the pendulum would swing their way when play resumes on a wicket-friendly Nairobi Gymkhana club on Saturday for the final three matches.

"To beat Zimbabwe we have to be on top of our game," Kirsten told AFP. "We have to improve on our batting and the bowlers have to be more disciplined."

But he remains wary of the destructive Zimbabwean opening batsmen who wrecked his bowling attack, enabling the visitors to pass the 300-mark in two successive ODI matches for the first time.

Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Elton Chigumbura and Stuart Matsikenyeri all scored half centuries in their solid performances in Mombasa.

"Zimbabwe have come from two back-to-back series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and have shown a tremendous improvement to their game," said Kirsten.

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Kenyan all-rounder Thomas Odoyo has been ruled out of the series after pulling a thigh muscle while there are doubts on the availability of Jimmy Kamande as the middle order player.

Kamande, who top-scored for Kenya with 74 in the opening match, also limped off with a suspect ankle injury.

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