No injury concerns for Bermuda ahead of Kenya test
Cal Waldron has a fully fit squad at his disposal as Bermuda prepare for their ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B campaign in Uganda.
Ahead of facing Kenya today in their opening encounter in the second leg of group matches the team are aiming to improve their standing in the table.
Bermuda have one point gained from a no result in an abandoned match against Kenya, having suffered defeats by Uganda, Jersey, Hong Kong and Italy.
Hosts Uganda top the table after the first leg, which was played in Oman in December 2019, with a perfect record of five victories. The third and final leg of the group stage will be played in Jersey in August.
Waldron, in charge of the team for the first time, has confirmed that he has no injury worries among his squad as he makes final preparations for the match.
“There are no concerns or issues regarding players’ fitness or injuries to worry about, so everyone is available and up for the final selection on game day,” he told The Royal Gazette. “The players are in good spirits, there is a good vibe and harmony among everyone.”
The team endured less than ideal preparations in the build-up, following up a 117-run defeat by club side Aziz Damani with a 55-run loss against Ceylon Lions.
Waldron conceded lessons have been learnt from the defeats, including dealing with the elements in Uganda, and has challenged his players to now go out and execute the tweaked game plan against Kenya.
“We had two practice matches under our belts that have made us more aware of some things we have been addressing in our sessions and talks,” he added.
“The second match we should have won comfortably at the end of the day, so that's a positive to know we adjusted well to the thought processes and outcomes we’ve talked about.
“We’ve learnt and have formulated our game plans around the elements and conditions that are present. It’s now a matter of executing them and the results will be on a positive outcome.”
Captain Kamau Leverock leads the 14-man squad, which includes a number of new faces called up in the absence of a host of key players, including English county professional Delray Rawlins.
Despite the inexperience, Leverock is adamant that the team are determined to give a good account of themselves throughout the tour.
“The main thing for us has been getting used to the conditions and elements,” said Leverock, speaking to Creed Sport website. “We have quite a young team and have had to integrate a number of new guys into the squad.
“But we’re looking to compete well and steal a couple of games.”
Another of the more experienced players among the squad, Malachi Jones, has called on his team-mates to remain fully focused on their individual roles.
“The key thing is to just to focus on your own game and personal discipline, whether that’s batting or bowling and just staying around for the entire 50 overs,” he said.
“Conditions seem pretty good, not too hot and the fields have been fairly decent. The field we played on in the friendly was pretty fast and flat, whereas this one [venue against Kenya] seems a little bit more up and down with thicker grass. However, the size seems a little more manageable in terms of boundary hitting and so we should be all right.”
Uganda were dealt a blow yesterday after suffering a shock 62-run defeat by Jersey.
Having been put in to bat, Jersey scored 255 for six from their allotted 50 overs, with Nick Greenwood scoring 80. Josh Lawrenson (43) and Harrison Carlyon (34) also impressed with the bat.
Despite Ronak Patel (64) and Simon Sseszai (50) both hit half-centuries in reply for the host nation, who got off to a promising start at 91 for one in the fifteenth over. But after opening bowler Julius Sumerauer returned for his second spell to bowl Sseszai, an end was opened for wickets to fall with regularity — Uganda’s last nine wickets falling for 101 to be dismissed for 193.
The chief beneficiary was leg spinner Dominic Blampied, who was the seventh bowler used by Jersey and finished with a career-best five for 18.