Humbling start for inexperienced Bermuda
Kyambogo Cricket Ground, Kampala (Bermuda won toss): Kenya (2pts) beat Bermuda (0) by six wickets
The scope of the task facing Kamau Leverock’s largely inexperienced Bermuda squad at the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B in Uganda was laid bare by a thumping defeat on Saturday.
Kenya required fewer than 20 overs to knock off an inadequate 107, which was more than 100 runs short of the target that the Bermuda captain felt would be a par score at the toss.
That seven of the starting XI to launch Cal Waldron’s tenure as interim head coach were making their debuts at this level told its own story.
However, pre-tournament favourites Kenya, who have left themselves a mountain to climb after a poor first leg in Oman in December 2019, were in no mood to ease the young Bermudians into international cricket.
Their strike bowlers, Elijah Otieno and Emmanuel Bundi Ringera — both tall, wiry and with decent pace, even if occasionally wild — claimed nine wickets between them to effectively take the match away from Bermuda.
“We didn't have any significant batting partnerships, which contributed to us not having a better batting performance and overall total on the board,” said coach Cal Waldron. “That, along with not batting 50 overs just wasn’t conducive to this level of cricket.”
Ringera’s three wickets in the nineteenth over ripped the guts out of the Bermuda batting line-up after there had been signs of a recovery from a nervous start.
First, at 74 for three, he had captain Leverock caught for a well-played 29 from 35 balls, and three balls later Malachi Jones was gone for 15 from 18 balls. Steven Bremar fell for one to the very next ball, and at 75 for six the innings was left in tatters.
Earlier, Dennico Hollis batted with resolve for his 12 from 38 balls, but it was a struggle for his opening partner, Dalin Richardson, the former Bermuda Under-19 captain, whose two runs took 19 balls before he flailed wildly into the covers.
Dominic Sabir, one of the bright domestic finds of the past two years, was curiously held back at No 8 in the order, but he too had limited impact and made only two before he was out palpably leg-before.
Charles Trott showed typical resistance at the end with two boundaries in his 14 not out.
Otieno finished with five for 21 and Ringera took four for 26. Between them they sent down 13 wides, which contributed to the 19 extras that served as Bermuda’s second-highest scorer.
Bermuda needed to make early inroads when the Kenya innings began, and they got just that when St George’s seamer Jabari Darrell dismissed Alex Obanda for five with the first ball of the fourth over.
Unfortunately for Bermuda’s prospects, though, the East African nation had already got off to a flyer in scoring at eight an over, which resulted in the mercurial Zeko Burgess being whipped out of the attack early.
Kenyan opener Rushab Patel carried his bat to finish 49 not out from 51 balls, with five fours. Leverock, Jones and the recalled Burgess picked up solitary wickets, but, with nothing really to bowl at, the inroads made were rather academic.
Waldron added: “The bowlers bowled well and were rewarded by claiming four wickets. So at today’s training we identified and worked on ‘room for improvement’ and will implement them into tomorrow’s game plans — both batting and bowling.
Bermuda remain rooted at the foot of the table, with this result widening the gap from fifth to four points. Kenya have moved up to fourth.
In the other match on Saturday, Hong Kong signalled their intent to challenge Uganda for first place with a 58-run win over Italy at the nearby Lugogo Cricket Oval.
Kinchit Shah struck this tournament’s first century — 102 from 97 balls with nine fours and five sixes — as Hong Kong amassed 283.
They were on course for a much bigger win, which would have swelled their net run-rate, but big-hitting tailender Jaspreet Singh (81 from 60 balls at No 10) and Crishan Kalugamage (50 from 67 balls) rescued some pride to get Italy from 101 for eight to a par score of 225.
Hong Kong backed this up by smashing the hosts by six wickets yesterday after dismissing them for a mere 94.
It is that result which should give Bermuda renewed hope that they can “steal a game or two”, in the words of captain Leverock.
We will learn today when Bermuda play Uganda, who have now suffered two big defeats on home soil and will be smarting.
“I expect a competitive match, as both teams will be wanting to turn things around and secure their first win and some much needed points,” Waldron said.
D D E Richardson c Odhiambo b Ringera 2
D A W Hollis lbw b Odhiambo 12
N Raynor c R R Patel b Otieno 0
*K S Leverock c Bhudia b Ringera 29
M O Jones c Obanda b Ringera 15
S R Bremar c R N Patel b Ringera 1
†A Ebbin c R R Patel b Otieno 8
D Sabir lbw b Otieno 2
C Trott not out 14
Z Burgess b Otieno 2
J T Darrell c Bhudia b Otieno 3
Extras (lb 3, nb 1, w 15) 19
Total (27 overs) 107
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-21, 3-48, 4-74, 5-75, 6-75, 7-85, 8-87, 9-91.
Bowling: Otieno 7-0-21-5; Bundi 8-0-26-4; Odhiambo 3-0-19-1; Ngoche 4-0-18-0; Bhudia 2-0-8-0; V Patel 3-0-12-0.
R N Patel not out 49
A A Obanda c Bremar b Darrell 5
†I A Karim c Ebbin b Leverock 16
R R Patel c Leverock b Jones 4
N M Odhiambo b Burgess 13
C O Obuya not out 11
Extras (b 1, lb 2, w 8) 11
Total (4 wkts; 19 overs) 109
S R Bhudia, *S O Ngoche, E B Ringera, E Otieno and V Patel did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-60, 3-68, 4-94.
Bowling: Burgess 4-0-30-1; Darrell 4-0-15-1; Leverock 4-0-33-1; Jones 4-0-10-1; Trott 3-1-18-0.
Umpires: C Schumacher (Namibia) and S George (South Africa).
Match referee: E T Dube (Zimbabwe).
Lugogo Cricket Oval, Kampala (Hong Kong won toss): Hong Kong 283 (49.5 overs; K D Shah 102, A M Khan 75; G K Berg 5 for 51); Italy 225 (44.1 overs; Jaspreet Singh 81, C J P F Kalugamage 50). Hong Kong (2pts) beat Italy (0) by 58 runs.
Lugogo Cricket Oval, Kampala (Jersey won toss): Jersey 275 (50 overs; N A Greenwood 66, J A D Lawrenson 55); Kenya 179 (41 overs; R R Patel 86; A W Hawkins-Kay 5 for 18). Jersey (2pts) beat Kenya (0) by 96 runs.
Kyambogo Cricket Ground, Kampala (Uganda won toss): Uganda 94 (33.2 overs; Ehsan Khan 4 for 17); Hong Kong 96-4 (21.5 overs). Hong Kong (2pts) beat Uganda (0) by six wickets.
P W L T NR Pts NRR
Hong Kong 7 5 1 0 1 11 0.743
Uganda 7 5 2 0 0 10 -0.034
Jersey 7 4 3 0 0 8 1.013
Kenya 7 2 4 0 1 5 0.033
Italy 6 2 3 0 1 5 -0.514
Bermuda 6 0 5 0 1 1 -2.091