5 months ago, 17 Jan 00:27
Kenya Under-19 cricket team skipper Sachin Bhudia is confident his side can secure a rare win when they take on hosts New Zealand in their second match of the ICC U19 World Cup campaign at Hagley Oval, Christchurch this morning. Kenya suffered a 165-run defeat to South Africa after they lost the all-important toss. The hosts were dominant in the opening match with an eight-wicket win over defending champions West Indies and know that victory would secure them a place in the super eight before taking on South Africa in the last match. The highly-rated batsmen led by Aman Gandhi, Aveet Desai, Rene Were and Sukdeep Singh were found wanting against the swinging ball. The bowlers too struggled against the top order enabling their opponents to get past. Despite the beating the Kenyan bowlers received, Bhudia is confident of a good show this morning and it is unlikely that there will be any changes in his team. “I am confident we will play our best. It will give us a good chance (of victory),” said Bhudia. “They will try very hard too since they want to secure a place in the next round early. They will try to push us from the start. They know how to play aggressive cricket. We have to execute our plans properly and start anew,” he added. Kenya have only won two out of nine group matches in their last three appearance at the event and will be looking to make it three with a win against the home team. Despite the loss to South Africa, Bhudia said his team-mates had learnt their lessons from the disappointment. “South Africa match was difficult for us but that experience will work for us against the hosts. The team is really pumped up after losing the first game. We know the pressure is on us because we don’t have any more chances,” he said. “It’s like a main final for us. We are pretty confident that we can play much better than we did,” Bhudia added. The hosts will bank heavily on their batsmen Finn Allen and Jakob Bhula to end Kenya’s dream of a first win over an associate team at the event. A brilliant partnership from Allen and Bhula got New Zealand’s campaign off to a perfect start, with an eight-wicket win over defending champions West Indies at Bay Oval in Tauranga. The pair put on 163 runs for the second wicket while Allen became just the seventh New Zealander to score a century in the tournament’s history, as the hosts comfortably chased the Windies’ target of 234 with 63 balls to spare.
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