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Kenya falls short in cricket qualifer

Kenya’s hopes of qualifying for the 2015 ICC World  Cup went up in smoke after losing to United Arab Emirates in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The UAE held their nerve to secure a narrow 13- run win, halting Kenya’s march to their sixth consecutive World Cup.

Kenya chose to field as UAE started to bat and were in trouble early on with 13-3. However, skipper Khurram Khan managed to get them out of a precarious position.

The run-scoring machine anchored the UAE innings, scoring 85 from 125 deliveries. A magnificent 63 off just 31 balls from Amjad Javed helped the UAE get to 246 from their 50 overs.

Kenya lost wickets at close intervals, but some lower order big hitting ensured a nervous finish for the UAE bowling unit.

The majority of Kenya’s batting order all made starts, but none of the batsmen were able to convert them into a 50 and losing wickets hampered their chase.

Collins Obuya and Morris Ouma’s 77-run stand for the fifth wicket gave the team hope, but they were eventually bowled out for 233 in 49.3 overs.

In the end, UAE were able to hold on to their margin with the Kenyan wickets shared around among UAE’s lethal attack.

Mohammad Naveed shone for UAE with three wickets, while Manjula Guruge, Kamran Shazad and Amjad notched two scalps apiece.

Steve Tikolo’s charges will now have to watch the World Cup that will held in Austraila and New Zealand from the terracces.

Before the team left for the qualifiers, player-cum-coach Tom Tikolo was optimistic about Kenya’s chances in the tournament.

“We are going to meet teams that we have played before. This tournament is important for us to showcase that the sport is picking up in Kenya.

We want to make it to the finals and there is only one way to do that, win in the Christchurch World Cup qualifiers,” Tikolo was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Cricket Kenya must now return to the drawing boards and addressing the issues behind the continued slide of the sport.