DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, (CMC) – Bermuda have a day to regroup after a third successive defeat left their hopes of securing a place in next year’s ICC T20 World Cup hanging by a thread, following a 45-run Qualifier defeat against Kenya here Monday.
Bermuda will hope to kick-start their campaign on Wednesday when they face Namibia, who lost their opening two games.
After winning the toss at the ICC Academy, Kenya owed their first win of the tournament on a wearing pitch to 24-year-old Indian-born Dhiren Gondaria, who rode his luck with an unbeaten 85 from 67 balls to lift the African side from 66 for four after 12 overs to 138 without further loss.
In reply, Delray Rawlins (37) and Janeiro Tucker (22) rallied Bermuda after another poor start with a fourth-wicket stand of 58, but both perished in the space of four balls as the innings petered out.
Experienced leg-break bowler Collins Obuya claimed four for 27.
Bermuda made one change to their team that lost the previous day by five wickets to Singapore, Allan Douglas replacing Malachi Jones.
And they were off to a flyer thanks to George O’Brien, the 35-year-old pacer removing Alex Obanda for a first-ball ‘duck’ with just the fourth ball of the innings.
They were firmly on top by the end of the powerplay, as seamer Kamau Leverock took a wicket in each of his first two overs en route to registering two for 30, the best full T20 international figures of his career.
But Bermuda would take just one further wicket, courtesy of Rodney Trott, as Gondaria helped Kenya recover with the highest individual score of the competition so far.
Gondaria was fortunate, however, gaining a reprieve while facing Leverock in the 17th over when the Bermuda bowler’s third ball hit the batsman and then the stumps without dislodging the bails.
Gondaria, who struck six fours and a six and put on 72 in an unbroken fifth-wicket stand with Rushab Patel (15 not out), was also dropped by O’Brien two overs later, again off the bowling of Leverock.
In reply, the wickets of Okera Bascome for a first-ball duck, Stovell for four and Terryn Fray run out for three left Bermuda up against it at seven for three inside three overs.
But in Tucker and Rawlins, they had their most in-form and talented players together at the crease to spark a recovery before the tail crumbled meekly, leaving the aide on the cusp of elimination with three games remaining.
Rawlins, the England-based Sussex star, belted five fours and two sixes in a 26-ball knock. He did his best, reverse sweeping left-arm spinner Shem Ngoche (2-15) for his first boundary in the fifth over before charging Obuya for a trio of straight-driven fours.
He pulled Rakep Patel for a couple of big hits over the leg side in the 12th over but a third attempt resulted in a top-edge being taken at short fine leg by wicketkeeper Irfan Karim.
Fourteen teams spread over two groups are vying for six places as qualifiers for next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.